RUSTY MILLER, AP Sports Writer
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — What’s brewing with the 2013 Ohio State Buckeyes …
BUCKEYES BUZZ: After Wednesday’s practice, coach Urban Meyer felt QB Braxton Miller was good but still not great.
“No. 5 practiced today. He’s still not full speed, but he practiced today,” Meyer said.
The fourth-ranked Buckeyes host Florida A&M on Saturday (noon, Big Ten Network). Miller, the starter the past two seasons, sprained his medial collateral ligament in his left knee early in the second game, a victory over San Diego State. Backup Kenny Guiton came on, to largely rave reviews, to lead victories that week and on Saturday against California.
Meyer said Miller will play.
“I think he’ll be ready in a still somewhat limited role,” he said. “That’s kind of what I’m counting on right now. We’ll see. Tomorrow’s obviously another big day (of practice).”
One of the major considerations for Meyer is just getting Miller on the field to face the pressures and decision-making of game conditions.
“It’s concerning,” Meyer said about the lack of game reps the past two weeks for Miller. “I mean, how important is it to get? I know he’s experienced but it’s certainly not a finished product yet. So I think as many reps as we can get (is good). Once again, the good thing is, there’s confidence in No. 13 (Guiton).”
Yet another major concern is getting Miller ready and prepared for the start of Big Ten play. The Buckeyes open at home against Wisconsin a week from Saturday in a primetime game.
“We show up every day at work to compete for the Big Ten Conference,” Meyer said inside Ohio State’s indoor practice facility at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. “Look around here, that’s why this building is here, that’s why we compete, to compete for championships in November. That’s still our goal and target. The No. 1 objective is to win this game. No. 2 is to make sure everything’s ready to go as we enter Big Ten play.”
QUOTABLE: Ohio State’s two-deep lists one of the LBs as “Viper.” DL coach Mike Vrabel, asked whether there was a difference between a Viper and a regular, old linebacker: “No. We just thought Viper was a little cooler.”
FORMER BROWNIE: Florida A&M head coach Earl Holmes spent a year with the Cleveland Browns (2002) under head coach Butch Davis during his NFL career (1996-2005). Holmes was a Pittsburgh Steeler for most of his career (1996-2001), then spent the final three seasons (2003-05) with the Detroit Lions.
While with the Steelers, he was a teammate of Vrabel, who played 14 seasons in the NFL including eight (2001-08) with New England. Vrabel joined the Ohio State coaching staff three years ago.
SPEAKING OF FORMER BROWNIES: The Browns’ trade of RB Trent Richardson to Indianapolis for a first-round pick was announced during Wednesday’s interviews.
Cleveland native and starting offensive lineman Marcus Hall was stunned by the news.
“It’s like the Browns are always doing something,” he said, shaking his head.
IT’S A CHALLENGE: The NCAA Football Challenge, a mobile video game campus tour sponsored by Electronic Arts and others, will be making a stop at Ohio University soon.
The tour will be on the Athens, Ohio, campus on Oct. 25 for competition, and also the following day when Miami (Ohio) takes on the Bobcats.
There will be stops made at 21 college campuses across the country, beginning with Cal State-Fullerton this week and ending with South Florida on Nov. 23. Winners from each campus competition will win a $1,000 prize and qualify for the championship bracket to be played online. The two semi-finalists of the online tournament will earn their spot on a trip to Pasadena, Calif., to compete for the national title and grand prize of $5,000.
CHASTENED: LB Ryan Shazier was flagged for a late hit when he tackled Cal QB Jared Goff out of bounds in the first half of Saturday’s game.
Shazier said it wasn’t intentional, but that didn’t make it a whole lot better.
“From my vision, I thought he wasn’t all the way out of bounds yet,” he said. “That was a stupid play and I can’t be doing that. It won’t happen again.”
COMPARE AND CONTRAST: No one works any closer with QBs than the WRs. So it seems a natural thing to ask WR Devin Smith to compare Guiton and Miller.
“If I had to say one thing about those two, I would say Kenny’s probably a little more patient in the pocket than Braxton is,” Smith said. “But I feel they both can throw the ball very well. Braxton may have a quicker release than Kenny, but when it’s all said and done, they both get the job done and that’s what we’re looking for.”
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