Braxton Miller Return: Sharing Time with Kenny Guiton Can Work for Buckeyes

Tyler Brooke@TylerDBrookeSenior Analyst IISeptember 25, 2013

September 8, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Kenny Guiton (13) talks with quarterback Braxton Miller (5) before their game against the UCF Knights at Ohio Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Having a two-quarterback system isn't always a good thing, but it's something that the Ohio State Buckeyes can pull off in 2013 if they want to with Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton.

The Ohio State Buckeyes are off to a strong 4-0 start, and their offense is looking great heading into this Saturday against No. 23 Wisconsin, even with two different quarterbacks playing over the past four games.  In fact, both QBs have played so well, Urban Meyer has had both Miller and Guiton as co-starters on the depth chart, according to the SportsCenter Twitter account.  

According to Austin Ward of, Meyer had this to say when asked about who would start against Wisconsin:

"Those decisions will be made later in the week," Meyer said during the Big Ten teleconference on Tuesday. "I think if [Miller] has a great week of practice, he will [start]. I don't want to name him a starter yet, because I don't know.

"I want to make sure I'm doing right by Kenny Guiton, so it's more complicated than that."

In theory, Meyer could play both of the quarterbacks throughout the season.  While it isn't always the most attractive option, it has worked before, and there's certainly reason to believe it could work with these two talented players under center.

The 2006 Florida Gators had a two-quarterback system with Chris Leak and Tim Tebow.  Both players brought a different dimension to the offense, and they were able win the national championship that season, beating the Buckeyes 41-14.

While Leak was more of a traditional QB and Tebow was a more mobile one at Florida, the Buckeyes have two quarterbacks that are similar in athletic ability, but they are just different enough to provide versatility in the offense.

For Guiton, he's been a terrific passer in the pocket.  He does a good job looking off the defenders and isn't afraid to make big throws, which is sometimes a problem for a quarterback coming off of the bench.  He is able to take off and run as well, although he doesn't nearly tuck it and run as often as Miller does.

When you look at Miller, he's a quarterback that enjoys running the ball more.   In his first three starts in 2012, Miller took off and ran 56 times for 377 yards and five touchdowns.  Through Guiton's first three games (excluding Week 1 against Buffalo), he ran the ball just 24 times for 180 yards and one score.  

Miller can still make plays in the passing game, but he doesn't have the same presence in the pocket as Guiton does.  While Guiton will look at other options before making a decision to run, at times Miller has seemed to eager to take off.

This isn't a bad thing.  Both players can make plays through the air and on the ground.  By playing both throughout games, defenses will have to adjust to varying skill sets but still be prepared for anything with how dynamic both QBs are.

While some college teams are trying to find one capable quarterback to run the offense, the Buckeyes have two.  If they decide to run both QBs throughout the season, it could add another layer to the offense and make them even more deadly.