Kenny Guiton Shouldn't Start over a Healthy Braxton Miller

Maxwell Ogden@MaxwellOgdenCorrespondent IIISeptember 21, 2013

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 21:  Quarterback Kenny Guiton #13 of the Ohio State Buckeyes completes a pass in the first half against the Florida A&M Rattlers at Ohio Stadium on September 21, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated FAMU 76-0.   (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

In one of the greatest performances in school history, Kenny Guiton led the Ohio State Buckeyes to a 76-0 win over the Florida A&M Rattlers. Guiton torched the FCS school for 215 yards, six touchdowns and one interception on 24-of-34 passing.

As phenomenal as Guiton may have been, he shouldn't start over a healthy Braxton Miller.

Miller missed Ohio State's blowout of the Rattlers due to a knee injury, per Bill Rabinowitz of The Columbus Dispatch. With the star absent, Guiton took advantage of his opportunity and put on a legendary outing.

In turn, some are asking questions about Ohio State's future at quarterback.

Slow your roll.

There is no way around the fact that Guiton has played at a level that deserves the talk of a quarterback controversy. Not only was he sensational with his arm, but it also marked the third consecutive week that Guiton has stepped in and shined.

While he may be showing signs of brilliance at Ohio State, the Buckeyes are looking to win right now; there's no reason to punish the quarterback who already has the team heading in that direction.



Nov 24, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller (5) runs for a first down in the third quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Over the course of his last 13 completed starts, Miller has led the Buckeyes to a record of 13-0. That includes an undefeated 2012 season, when he accounted for 3,310 total yards and 28 total touchdowns from scrimmage.

As great as Guiton may have played, I fail to see the logic in benching a quarterback who has won 13 consecutive completed starts.

During the 2012 season, Miller threw for 2,039 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. Miller also ran the ball for 1,271 yards and 13 touchdowns on 5.6 yards per carry.

He's far from a pocket passer, but that doesn't mean Miller can't win.

There's much to like about Guiton, but there has never been logic behind benching a player who has won 13 consecutive games. Just as Tim Tebow lacked the fundamentals as a passer at the University of Florida, Miller is an Urban Meyer quarterback who simply knows how to win.

That's not to discredit Guiton, but Miller led Ohio State to an undefeated season in 2012. Guiton has led Ohio State to three consecutive wins in 2013, but there just isn't a large enough sample size to warrant a replacement at quarterback.

Plain and simple, you don't bench a player for suffering an injury after going undefeated when healthy.


Schedule Getting Harder

Nov 17, 2012; Madison, WI, USA;  Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller (5) rushes with the football as Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Ethan Armstrong (36) defends during the second quarter at Camp Randall Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Guiton's performance will live in the record books—and rightfully so. Throwing six touchdowns against any opponent is a monumental feat, and for that reason, we'll inevitably hear talk of a quarterback controversy in Columbus.

Just don't lose sight of the big picture.

If Miller had been struggling to perform and win games, there would be reason to believe that Guiton deserves the starting role. In the future, we may even learn that Guiton is the better all-around player as he pursues a career in the NFL.

Until you find a fact to combat the fact that the Buckeyes are 13-0 in Miller's past 13 completed starts, however, there isn't much else to say.

Guiton deserves his shot, but even a six-touchdown performance against Florida A&M doesn't make it right to give him the starting job. Miller has been the face of Ohio State football over the past year and would've been in the 2012-13 national championship game if not for the Buckeyes' postseason ban.

With the schedule reaching conference play, Ohio State's only option is to return to the player who has led it through the fire before.

The Buckeyes will face the No. 24 Wisconsin Badgers on Sept. 24 and will travel to play the No. 18 Northwestern Wildcats on Oct. 5. From there, the Big Ten schedule will ensue and the will of a quarterback will be tested.

So why bench the proven commodity?

In 2012, Miller won road games against Michigan State and Wisconsin and home games versus Nebraska and Michigan. Even if the Buckeyes are to slip up in 2012, Miller has proven capable of leading this team to the promised land before.

As great as Guiton was, benching Miller simply doesn't make sense.


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