Braxton Miller: Latest Updates on QB's Status vs. Cal

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2013

Sep 7, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller (5) is taken to the locker room after being injured on a play against the San Diego State Aztecs at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 season was supposed to be Braxton Miller's chance to make a run at the Heisman Trophy after an epic 2012 campaign that saw Ohio State go undefeated.

And Miller may yet reach Heisman heights, though it's possible he'll have to do so after missing two games early in the season. Ohio State's star quarterback left last Saturday's game against San Diego State with a left knee injury in the first quarter.

UPDATE: Saturday, Sept. 14, at 6:35 p.m. ET

From's Doug Lesmerises

---End of Update

UPDATE: Saturday, Sept. 14, at 6:05 p.m. ET

From the Columbus Dispatch's Tim May:

---End of Update---

Head coach Urban Meyer reiterated Miller's questionable status heading into the game on his radio show for 97.1 The Fan. From Ari Wasserman of The Plain Dealer:

Meyer said QB Braxton Miller threw yesterday and had a "great workout" in the pool this morning. The team will try to work him out a little more later this afternoon, but he is a game-time decision for Ohio State's game at California on Saturday. 

Meyer said that if Miller isn't ready to play, then he won't play. If Miller can play, Meyer still will decide whether he'll start him or start [Kenny] Guiton and use Miller only if the Buckeyes absolutely need him. Meyer said he was happy to have that luxury, which happens when you trust your backup the way he does Guiton. 

At this point, it seems 50-50 that Miller will start, and if he doesn't, it's hard to imagine him playing a significant role in the contest. There's no reason to rush him back with the Big Ten schedule still looming, especially considering Guiton went 19-for-28 with 152 yards, two touchdowns and an interception (he also rushed nine times for 83 yards and another score) against San Diego State. 

Is it worth potentially injuring Miller in this game with Wisconsin on tap in two weeks and Northwestern up a week after that?

Last season, Miller finished fifth in the Heisman voting, throwing for 2,039 yards and 15 touchdowns and rushing for another 1,271 yards and 13 scores. He was one of the most dynamic players in all of college football, and expectations were sky high entering this season. 

He didn't disappoint in the team's opener against Buffalo, finishing 15-for-22 with 178 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also rushed 17 times for 77 yards. 

Behind Guiton, Ohio State can surely defeat Cal. There is enough talent elsewhere on the roster to make up for Miller's potential absence. 

But this team most certainly cannot win a national championship without its star quarterback. Resting Miller for this one may be the prudent decision. 


Follow TRappaRT on Twitter