Ohio State quarterback Kenny Guiton made the absolute most of his two starts in 2013, but he will continue riding the bench as long as Braxton Miller is healthy.
Miller completed 17 of 25 passes for 198 yards and four touchdowns on Saturday in the Buckeyes' 31-24 victory over Big Ten rival Wisconsin in Ohio Stadium.
The Buckeyes' student newspaper, the Lantern, documented the classy move Miller made when addressing the media following his phenomenal return, where he praised Guiton and said he was proud of him:
Braxton Miller opens post game press conference giving credit to Kenny Guiton, saying he was proud of his "big brother"— Lantern Sports (@LanternSports) September 29, 2013
It's not clear-cut that Miller is a better overall player than Guiton, who saw significant action in only three games and still threw for 13 touchdowns and ran for another in keeping the AP No. 4-ranked Buckeyes undefeated.
However, head coach Urban Meyer went with Miller to open the conference schedule, which shows how much confidence he has in the junior—even though Miller had missed the previous two-plus games with a knee injury.
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The knock on Miller is his throwing ability, because nobody doubts his dynamic athleticism in the open field.
That strength was showcased against the Badgers, as Miller ran for 83 yards on 22 carries, but his passing stood out and ultimately got the Buckeyes the victory against their toughest 2013 opponent to date.
ESPN Stats & Info highlighted just how well Miller thrived as a passer—he hadn't thrown for more than two touchdowns in his prior 16 starts in the Big Ten:
Braxton Miller tied his career high with 4 pass TD. He had never thrown more than 2 TD in any of his 16 starts vs Big Ten teams.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 29, 2013
Unless Miller has a real clunker of a game throwing the pigskin, it's doubtful that Meyer will change his mind as to who gets the starting nod.
Fluctuating between quarterbacks—even though Miller and Guiton are both fantastic choices—threatens the stability of the team and the smoothness with which the offense operates.
Guiton at least gave himself a shot at a professional football career and played a big part in OSU's early success, but he will ride the pine as Miller drives the Buckeyes' destiny for the rest of the season.