July 24, 2014

Rumble, Young Men, Rumble: Ohio State Season in Review

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Braxton Miller and Jamal Marcus

Today we look back. Forget the star-studded 2014 recruiting class. Forget the possibility of having someone not named Luke Fickell coaching the Ohio State defense next season. Today we have but one purpose, and that is to relive the peaks and valleys, twists and turns of another Buckeyes season in the books.

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Ohio State’s Shazier to leave for NFL Draft, Miller to stay

ryan shazier buckeyesOhio State linebacker Ryan Shazier will leave for the NFL Draft, multiple media outlets reported on Saturday afternoon. Quarterback Braxton Miller will stay for his senior season, however, as reported by Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel.

The news is fairly expected for Shazier. He was a First-Team All-American this season and is likely to be a first round draft pick in the pros. It’s not a surprise that one of the most decorated linebackers in the program’s prestigious history would take the jump to the riches of the pros.

This season, before Friday’s Orange Bowl, Shazier had 134 tackles (40 solo), 22.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, four pass deflections and four forced fumbles. He was a team captain and, on the emotional side, changed his number to No. 2 in support of injured senior co-captain Christian Bryant.

Miller was not likely to be selected in the first two rounds of the draft, thus making his decision a smart one. He won Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year for the second straight season, but was injury-prone throughout and disappointed at the end of the Orange Bowl.

Overall, Miller had 2,094 passing yards, 1,068 rushing yards and 36 touchdowns. He had been undecided in recent weeks about his NFL decision. The report of him staying for one more year certainly is a huge boost to the Buckeyes’ 2014 title hopes. He’s also likely to be among the favorites for the Heisman Trophy.

OSU cornerback Bradley Roby, who missed the Orange Bowl with an knee injury, officially declared for the NFL Draft earlier in the season. He was honored among the team’s seniors during Senior Day against Indiana on Nov. 23. Shazier was not honored during that day.

Thamel also reported that tight end Jeff Heuerman will stay for his senior year.

[Orange Bowl Recap: Watkins, costly turnovers too much for Bucks to overcome]

AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

Watkins, costly turnovers too much for Bucks to overcome

clemsonorangeIt was no surprise performance, no jaws were dropped, no eyebrows were raised. Rather, it felt as if the predetermined script played out nearly absolutely as expected. The Orange Bowl got its shootout, with Tajh Boyd and Braxton Miller going back and forth. It looked like Ohio State was on the doorstep of taking control, but Philly Brown’s muffed punt changed everything, and Sammy Watkins shattered school and Orange Bowl records with his receiving as the Tigers held on to win over the Buckeyes 40-35 in South Florida.

In some ways, there was no possible way that Ohio State’s defense had a chance. We had seen it allow 41 points to Michigan followed by 34 to Michigan State in the Big Ten title game, and that was with nearly their full complement of players. Already missing safety Christian Bryant who wasn’t able to return in time for the bowl, the team was without defensive end Noah Spence and cornerback Bradley Roby. Sure, there were big plays made by the Buckeye defense, including two interceptions, a safety, and a turnover on downs, but there was not enough pressure to be had, and nobody had an answer for Sammy Watkins. Joey Bosa (5 tackles, 1 sack) played with a gladiator-like effort after injuring and re-injuring his ankle, limping off the field after making plays. It made you wonder how bad Bradley Roby, with his bags packed already for the NFL, and his bone bruise were. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Top Buckeye moments of 2013, drinking your favorite Cavaliers, and ranking the NFL head coaching vacancies

Cleveland sports fans are waiting. Thus, while we’re all waiting, the WFNY editors thought you might enjoy reading. Because you never know how long we might be waiting. So here are assorted reading goodies for you to enjoy. Send more good links for tomorrow’s edition to tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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Leading off 2014, let’s take a look back at the best the Buckeyes had to offer in 2013 with help from Jason Priestas and the guys at Eleven Warriors, including their top moment, “Ohio State is one of the top-five winningest programs in the history of college football – a veritable blue blood program if there ever was one – and this man matches into town and shatters a 44-year-old record like it was no big deal. The game that secured the mark, Urban’s 23rd win in a row, came against Indiana, in a 42-14 romp on Ohio State’s senior day. He would, of course, add a little room between the new mark and the old mark, by securing No. 24 in dramatic fashion in Ann Arbor when Tyvis Powell intercepted a Devin Gardner pass on a final, desperate two-point conversion from the Wolverines. Sadly, the streak would die against Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game the following week, but it was a hell of a ride, every step of the way. Stop for a second to appreciate it. If you think you’ll see another streak like this one, you’re likely wrong (we’d love to be wrong).” [Eleven Warriors]

The Cavaliers’ heart-breaking losses in the past week have probably driven some people to the bottle a little more than usual. Over at Cavs: The Blog, they pair each player up with a beer or two that resemble their qualities, including Alonzo Gee, “You’re a “hard nosed defender” (ha) with a half-decent three pointer.  But it’s time to up your defense game so I can remove those quotes.  Chances are this is the best Alonzo will ever be, but it couldn’t hurt for Alonzo to down a few barley wines – big, strong beers that typically have some dark fruit, licorice, and booze notes.  Great fits would be Anchor’s Old Foghorn and Old Ruffian from Colorado’s Great Divide.  Whatever the choice, the bigger and stronger the better.” [Cavs: The Blog] [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Life without Andrew Bynum

Cleveland sports fans are waiting. Thus, while we’re all waiting, the WFNY editors thought you might enjoy reading. Because you never know how long we might be waiting. So here are assorted reading goodies for you to enjoy. Send more good links for tomorrow’s edition to tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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Where is the hope for the Cavs? “I have a somewhat similar feeling of optimism about the entire franchise right now. Again, it feels out of place. It is possible it is because I am dumb. Hopefully not. The Andrew Bynum era may be done in Cleveland. If so, at least it went according to Plan B. The team saw what they had, decided it wasn’t going to work by January 7th, parted ways, and only sunk $6 million into the project.” [Kevin Hetrick/Cavs: The Blog]

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Buckeyes and the Orange Bowl: An unsatisfying and challenging consolation prize

braxtonandhydeSitting in the upper reaches of Lucas Oil Stadium last Saturday evening, I watched Ohio State’s BCS Championship Game hopes slip away amidst a chorus of “Go Green! Go White!”

But it wasn’t only dreams of a national championship that slipped out of the Buckeyes’ grasp in Indianapolis. With the loss, Ohio State not only lost out on the opportunity to play for the BCS title on January 6 in Pasadena, but they also missed out on the chance to head to the same stadium for the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day – replaced by the Michigan State team who had just defeated them to take the Big Ten crown.

It was a somber march through the cold Midwestern night for the 40,000 plus Buckeyes fans1 who had made the trek to Indy. With no BCS Championship Game and no Rose Bowl, Ohio State supporters were left to wonder where their team would end up when the bowl pairings were announced the next evening.

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Footnotes:

  1. The announced crowd was 66,002. Of that number at least two-thirds were wearing Scarlet and Grey. []

Michigan State upsets Ohio State to win Big Ten Championship, knocks Buckeyes out of national title contention

MSUUrban Meyer and Ohio State’s 24 game winning streak came to and end in Indianapolis on Saturday night with a 34-24 loss to Michigan State. The win caps off a dream season for the Spartans, sending them to their first Rose Bowl since 1988. The loss leaves Ohio State looking back at a 24 game win streak that is now in the past and ends without a BCS title or a Big Ten title.

The Spartans opened the game with a 14 play drive aided by two Buckeye pass interference penalties that led to a 40 yard a field goal. Then the Spartans defense took the field and looked as advertised, forcing OSU punts on the game’s first three possessions. The Michigan State defense keyed in early on Braxton Miller, giving him little room to run the football. While Miller was bottled up early, Michigan State sophomore quarterback Connor Cook let it all hang out. Cook found Keith Mumphrey behind the OSU defense for a 72 yard touchdown to give the Spartans a 10-0 lead and then hit Tony Lippet for 33 yard touchdown to stretch the Spartans lead to 17-0 early in the second quarter.

Trailing 17-0 Braxton and Buckeye offense finally got it going, moving 84 yards on a quick 2:35 drive, capped off by a 20 yard passing score to Philly Brown. Brown got behind the Spartan defense up the seam as Miller put the ball high, back shoulder for Brown to go up and make the catch for the score.

Both defenses then locked in until the Buckeyes got the ball back at their own 36 with 1:23 remaining in the half. After a Miller and a Carlos Hyde run, the Buckeyes had the ball into Michigan State territory at the Spartans 47 with just 13 seconds remaining. Miller then connected with tight end Jeff Heuerman for a 36 yard game down to the Spartans’ 11 yard line. The Buckeyes hurried to the line and spiked the ball with 7 seconds left in the half to set up a much needed Drew Basil 28 yard field goal to cut the Spartan lead to 17-10 at the half.

The OSU offense started the second half getting their running game on track, gashing the Spartans offense for 59 yards on the drive, including an 8 yard Miller touchdown run that knotted the score at 17-17 early into the third quarter.

The next drive saw Connor Cook intercepted by the Buckeyes’ C.J. Barnett. The turnover didn’t amount to points for the Buckeyes, but flipped field position. Both teams would then traded punts with OSU getting the ball at the Spartan 44 yard line. Ohio State capitalized on the great field position and marched in to take their first lead of the game 24-17 on a 6 yard Braxton Miller run with 5:36 remaining in the 3rd quarter.

Michigan State was able to answer the Buckeyes’ score with a 44 yard field goal to bring the game to 24-20 heading into the 4th quarter.

Cook then led the Spartans down the field on a 90 yard drive sparked by a 48 yard pass to Macgarrett Kings Jr. and a crucial pass interference by OSU’s Doran Grant. Three plays later Cook would find Josiah Price for a 9 yard touchdown to give Sparty a 27-24 lead.

Michigan State then attempted an onside kick of sorts that the Buckeyes recovered on their own 41. Sparty would force the Buckeyes three and out, which was followed by the Ohio State’s defense holding serve forcing MSU into a punting situation. While punting from inside their own 25 yard line, Michigan State had the punt blocked by Ryan Shazier who came full force into the Spartan wall of protectors, bulldozed his man, and got a hand on the punt that gave the Buckeyes the ball back at the MSU 47 yard line.

But the Spartans defense were up to the task stopping the Buckeyes on three straight before Urban Meyer elected to go for it on 4th and 2 at the MSU 39 yard line. On fourth down the Buckeyes ran Miller around right end, but he was never able to get the edge and brought down a yard shy of the marker.

Michigan State took over the ball on their own 38 yard line with 5:41 to play and needing to bleed out the clock for a trip to Pasadena. Connor Cook completed a crucial 3rd and 4 with a five yard pass to Tony Lippet at the OSU 34 yard line to put Sparty fully in the driver’s seat. After a Jerry Langford 8 yard run, Langford broke off a 26 yard touchdown run to give the Spartans a 34-24 lead and lock up a Big Ten title.

With the win Michigan State heads to Pasadena to represent the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl against Pac 12 champion Stanford.

The loss for Ohio State snaps a 24 game winning streak and knocks them out of contention for a berth in the BCS National Championship game. Ohio State will more than likely receive an at large bid to a BCS bowl game to be announced on Sunday night.

[Photo: Mike Mulholland/MLive.com]

Indianapolis to Pasadena: How Ohio State gets there

braxtonandhyde24. In 24 straight contests, the Buckeyes have come out victorious, subpar schedule or not. It’s something that no one in the current college football landscape can claim. To get to 25, however, they’ll need to beat their first Top 10 opponent in that stretch. The Michigan State Spartans are looking to make their own claim to the conference and hush critics who say they too haven’t played anybody. With a stout defense, this will be the most complete opponent that Braxton Miller, Carlos Hyde, and company have faced in their career. On the other end of this game, should they navigate a victory, stands an almost-certain trip to Pasadena and the BCS National Championship Game. Here’s some notes on the matchup and how they get to No. 25.

The Michigan State defense vs. Ohio State offense: Who have they played?

I think the first thing to look at is who these two polarizing sides of the ball have matched up against so far this season. [Read more...]

Braxton Miller named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year

Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller was named the Big Ten Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year on Tuesday night. It is the second consecutive year that Miller has won the award.

Since the award was first given out in 1990, no player has ever won in back-to-back seasons before Miller. (Purdue’s Drew Brees won in 1998 and 2000.) Miller is the fifth Ohio State player to win the award. Joe Germaine, Orlando Pace, Troy Smith and Eddie George are past winners.

Miller has completed 65.7% of his passes this season for 1,759 yards and 21 touchdowns. He has also ran for 891 yards and 8 scores despite missing a pair of games with an injury, and playing only the opening series of a third.

Miller leads the undefeated Buckeyes into the Big Ten title game on Saturday against Michigan State (11-1, 8-0). Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio on Tuesday was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year.

[Related: Eight Buckeyes honored as All-Big Ten]

O-H-I-Whoa! Buckeyes survive on Michigan’s failed two-point try

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We heard the cautioning words before the game. We were told you can throw the records out in this best of all rivalries. Michigan specifically has ended the national title hopes of many Buckeye squads of seasons past. The Buckeyes’ defense has been suspect against lesser conference opponents this season. All of this culminated in a ready-made upset stunner, but the Buckeyes on the legs of Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde and the ability to make one key defensive play at the end of the game, Ohio outlasted That Team Up North in a 42-41 instant classic thriller. I’m still sitting in my recliner in my living room trying to lower my blood pressure and slow my breathing.

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The Time to Impress

ddn110611sparch1_1041626a_2Remember what happened last year when the Buckeyes faced Indiana? Allow me to refresh your memory.

No. 8 Ohio State sauntered into Bloomington’s Memorial Stadium at 6-0, coming off consecutive wins against ranked opponents to open the Big Ten schedule – the latter of which was a 63-38 dismantling of then No. 21 Nebraska. The Hoosiers came into the game at 2-3 (0-2 in the conference) and looked to be an inconsequential speed bump on the Buckeyes road towards an undefeated season. But then the Hoosiers started doing whatever it is that Hoosiers do1, and the Buckeyes couldn’t get a key stop against Indiana’s suddenly potent offense, and by the it was all said and done Ohio State escaped – yes, that is the appropriate word – with a 52-49 win.

Does that sound slightly familiar? Well it should after Ohio State’s surprisingly lackluster performance in another Memorial Stadium2 – this one belonging to Illinois – last weekend. [Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. Really though, the question of what a Hoosier is will bother me until the day I die. I lived in Indiana for seven years, my mother and an aunt are graduates of IU, and my brother is a current student there, and I still haven’t accepted that it’s just a stupid name for someone who lives in Indiana. But I digress. []
  2. I fear for the Buckeyes next trip to Lincoln, Nebraska, where the team inhabiting Memorial Stadium is actually a traditional power, unlike either the Illini or Hoosiers. []

Hyde, Buckeyes extend streak to 22, but about that defense…

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In another game in a weak schedule that the Buckeyes were heavy favorites, they took care of business yet again on the road. Braxton Miller moved the offense with his legs more than his arm, and Carlos Hyde exploded, particularly late, accounting for five total touchdowns and 270 yards of offense. The Buckeye defense missing some starters left a lot to be desired, but the important thing is the Buckeyes came back to Columbus with a 60-35 victory that keeps their BCS title game hopes alive.

Early, this game looked a lot like the Purdue game. The Buckeyes took just 36 seconds to get on the board as Braxton Miller took a quarterback keeper up the middle for 70 yards and the score. C.J. Barnett picked off a Nathan Scheelhaase pass in the first quarter, and Bradley Roby picked off a second that he took to the house to make it 21-0. The scarlet and gray opened up a 28-point lead early in the second quarter before Glenville’s V’Angelo Bentley put the Illini on the board with a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown. Following another Carlos Hyde score, his 2nd, Illinois answered back with a Scheelhaase touchdown toss to make the score 35-14 at the break. [Read more...]

Ohio State blows out the Boilermakers 56-0, now 21-0 under Meyer

Carlos Hyde is athletic.

Carlos Hyde is athletic.

This game was never going to be close, but Purdue did themselves no favors. We weren’t even a full minute into the game when Doran Grant returned Danny Etling’s interception to the house to put Ohio State up 7-0. Purdue proceeded to go three and out on their next possession but a crappy punt gave Ohio State the ball in Purdue’s territory. Two plays later, Braxton Miller found TE Jeff Heuerman for a 40-yard TD.

Less than five minutes into the game, Ohio State had a 14-0 lead and that was that.

Braxton Miller threw for 233 yards (19/23) and four touchdowns and Carlos Hyde ran for 111 yards to lead the Buckeyes to a 56-0 shellacking of Purdue. The Buckeye defense was equally as dominating as the Ohio State offense. The Buckeye D held the Boilermakers to just 116 total yards of offense. The victory improved Urban Meyer’s Ohio State record to 21-0 and their 21-game win streak is the longest in the nation.

It’s hard to take away anything concrete from a 56-0 game. I’ve seen Scarlet and Gray games that were more competitive. Ohio State certainly played well, but Purdue was fumbling away simple handoffs. Of course, I certainly prefer OSU to blow out the crappy teams (optics matter in college football), but as much as a love a victory, this wasn’t exactly a fun game to watch. And as much as I enjoy watching Michigan lose (as they did to Michigan State), the OSU-UM game only matters because Michigan used to be more than pretty good. The Big Ten is doing Urban Meyer and Ohio State no favors.

This is now back-to-back blowouts for Ohio State. It’s really the best thing they can do to help themselves. Yes, Purdue isn’t that good, but OSU took a bunch of flack for not hammering Iowa and Northwestern. With their schedule drawing so much ire and the Big Ten being, well, the Bit Ten, Ohio State has to dominate the Purdues of the world. I expect them to do the same thing in two weeks in Illinois and the following week against Indiana at home. These game have to be blowouts. If multiple teams end the season undefeated, Ohio State needs all the style points they can get.  [Read more...]

Urban Meyer, Mad Scientist: On the Dual-QB formation

Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Exchanges are some of the most fundamental actions in football. Center to quarterback. Quarterback to running back. If a team struggles to execute these simple things, then it is highly likely that team will not be successful.

Last week in the blowout of Penn State, Urban Meyer debuted a new formation and teased the possibility of a new exchange rarely if ever seen. With 4:01 left in the third quarter, backup quarterback dynamo Kenny Guiton lined up in the shotgun. Starter Braxton Miller was split out wide left. Guiton took the snap from Corey Linsley, calmly surveyed the Nittany Lion defense, and jazzed his way into the end zone from two yards out.

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Braxton and the Bucks hand Penn State record-breaking loss

braxtonrunpennst686 total yards. 408 yards rushing. 63 points. 9 touchdowns.

I could stop there, because in a way that really says it all. For the sake of storytelling, however, I’ll continue. Braxton Miller looked as good as he has in scarlet and gray. Carlos Hyde continued to build on the momentum of his last two performances. But, even more important than that, the defense was effective and forced turnovers. Because of it, Urban Meyer’s Bucks were able to avenge the 63-14 loss against the Nittany Lions in Happy Valley in 1994 by the same margin.

The first drive really set the tone for the rest of the night with the Bucks scoring in a 7-play, 75-yard drive that took just under two and a half minutes. Exploiting the perimeter of the PSU defense and throwing several times on first down, Miller was able to work his team down the field quickly with completions to Hyde, Spencer, and Smith before Hyde punched it in from 2 yards out. Penn State looked poised to answer back, driving the ball all the way down to the OSU 12 yard line. From there, on 3rd-and-5, freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg threw an interception into the end zone as safety Corey “Pittsburgh” Brown dropped into coverage and picked it off to stop the Nittany Lion momentum. [Read more...]

Examining the Buckeye Offense at the Midpoint

braxtonhallA year and a half into the Urban Meyer era, and the Buckeyes are still yet to taste defeat.

The 2012 season was glorious. In spite of a nonexistent postseason, I’ll never forget watching Ryan Shazier house that interception at Beaver Stadium, the emotional roller coaster in Madison, or Carlos Hyde grinding the Michigan defense into submission. The 12-0 record is something to be celebrated, in spite of the fact that Ohio State fans had to watch December and January games from the couch.

However, the Buckeyes offense was borderline unwatchable at times last season. In the first year playing in Urban Meyer’s spread attack, Ohio State occasionally devolved into the Braxton Miller show. The Buckeye quarterback racked up almost 1300 yards on the ground, but only 2039 through the air. Philly Brown was the leading receiver with just 669 yards. Carlos Hyde totaled 970 yards on the ground, but the next leading rusher behind him and Miller was Jordan Hall with just 218.

[Read more...]

Urban Meyer: “I almost put Kenny (Guiton) in there.”

In the third quarter of Ohio State’s 40-30 victory over Northwestern on Saturday night, head coach Urban Meyer came close to pulling his star quarterback Braxton Miller in favor of capable back-up Kenny Guiton.

How close was Meyer to pulling the trigger?

“Real close.” said Meyer in his post game press conference.

Down 23-13, Braxton Miller drove the offense from their own 35 to Northwestern’s seven yard line. There Miller fumbled for the second time in the game. He also threw an interception on a ball that floated down-field after a defender hit his arm while he was throwing it.

When the Buckeyes came back to the sidelines you could see the frustration. One offensive linemen threw his helmet in disgust. That’s when Kenny Guiton picked up a football and started to warm up.

Meyer felt for his star quarterback. “My heart bleeds,” Meyer said, “but I almost put Kenny in there.”

Ultimately, Meyer decided that pulling Miller wasn’t the “appropriate thing to do at that point”. Perhaps Meyer didn’t want to start a quarterback controversy. Perhaps he wanted to give Miller the chance to rebound, to overcome adversity.

That’s exactly what Miller did in the fourth quarter, although the heavy lifting was done by running back Carlos Hyde, who finished the game with career highs in carries (26) and yards (168).

Give Meyer credit for admitting that he was thinking about pulling Miller.

Ohio State holds on for 40-30 victory at Northwestern

Thanks to an impressive late fourth quarter defense, the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes held on for the 40-30 road victory over the No. 16 Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday night.

Carlos Hyde was the star of the game, rushing for three second half touchdowns and 168 total yards in the victory. The Buckeyes defense was not pretty, considering the loss of captain and senior safety Christian Bryant, but managed to come up with the a key fourth down stop and late turnover.

At the end of the game, the Buckeyes defense forced a final turnover and rescued the ball in the endzone, leading to a final touchdown. That score switched away the Vegas line, which was set at -7 for the Buckeyes. It was the 18th straight victory in Urban Meyer’s Columbus career.

Ohio State (6-0) managed to win their second straight Big Ten game by a narrow margin. For the Wildcats (4-1), it was yet another heart-breaking late defeat, reminding head coach Pat Fitzgerald of the team’s three late losses back in 2012.

Northwestern’s do-it-all quarterback and wildcat extraordinaire Kain Colter finished 11-for-11 passing with a rushing touchdown and passing touchdown. But the home team ran for only 2.2 yards per carry compared to 5.2 for the Buckeyes.

The crowd figured to be at least half OSU fans at Ryan Field in Evanston. It was labeled as one of the biggest home games in Northwestern’s football history with the ESPN Gameday crew at the stadium.

Ohio State has a bye next week, then takes on Iowa (4-2) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at Ohio Stadium.

[Related: Bradley Roby and Picking Nits]

Buckeyes top Badgers 31-24 under the lights

Getting their first true test of the 2013 campaign, the Ohio State Buckeyes won a hard-fought battle with the Wisconsin Badgers 31-24. Quarterback Braxton Miller made his return, started, and played the entire game, relegating spot starter Kenny Guiton to the bench. Miller threw for 198 yards and 4 touchdowns while running for 83 yards. Two of those scores went to Corey “Philly” Brown who had 8 catches for 85 yards. Devin Smith and Evan Spencer each caught touchdown tosses as well. Carlos Hyde ran for 85 tough yards on 17 carries.

The Badgers actually outgained the Buckeyes 399-390 and outscored the Buckeyes 10-0 in the fourth quarter. Fortunately for Ohio State, two turnovers were wiped out by Wisconsin penalties, and they also scored a touchdown on a 40-yard deep ball to Browns as the first half clock wound down. Quarterback Joel Stave threw for 295 yards and 2 scores, while receiver Jared Abbrederis was on the other end of most of those, catching 10 for 207 yards and 1 touchdown, making it a long night for OSU corner Bradley Roby. Wisconsin’s dynamic rushing attack, however, was held to just 104 yards.

The Bucks are now 5-0 on the season and have another conference showdown under the lights next week when they travel to Evanston to take on Northwestern.

NCAAF News: Guiton and Miller listed as co-starters for Wisconsin game

While Braxton Miller will play this Saturday night when the fourth ranked Buckeyes take on No. 23 Wisconsin, but it’s still unclear just how many snaps he’ll see. In the Ohio State depth chart released on Wednesday, Miller and fifth-year senior Kenny Guiton.

Urban Meyer was noncommittal in his latest press conference, saying the team’s starting quarterback is Miller “or” Guiton. “I think if [Miller] has a great week of practice, he will [start],” said Meyer. “I want to make sure I’m doing right by Kenny Guiton, so it’s more complicated than that.”

While Miller was the 2012 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Guiton has deputized impressively since the preseason Heisman favorite left the first quarter of the Buckeyes’ week two victory over San Diego State with a sprained left knee. Over the last two games – his first two collegiate starts – Guiton has completed 45 of 66 passes for 491 yards, 10 touchdowns, and only one interception. He has also added 15 rushes for 97 yards on the way to consecutive Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors.

On the year, Guiton has thrown for 664 yards, 13 touchdowns and two interceptions on 65 of 95 passing (68.4%) and rushed for 186 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. In just over one game of action, Miller is 17 of 24 (70.8%) for 208 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He has also rushed 18 times for 82 yards.

The Buckeyes face the Badgers at Ohio Stadium at 8:00 PM ET on Saturday.

[Related: Nothing to see here: Why the Buckeyes must stick with Braxton Miller]