Wednesday, September 18, 2013


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COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer isn't going to blow wind up any skirts when talking about the difficulty of his No. 4 Buckeyes' (3-0) home match-up this Saturday (12 p.m., BTN) against 1-2 Florida A&M.

While the Buckeyes are coming off their nation's best 15th straight victory, where they racked up 608 yards of offense in a 52-34 rout of California, the FCS Rattlers have mustered just 77 more than the Buckeyes' total against the Golden Bears ... in three total games. 

With the Big Ten opener — a Primetime home tilt against Wisconsin — just a week away, Meyer said it's going to be difficult to get his team pumped up going against such an inferior opponent as the Rattlers.

"It does make a difference," Meyer said on Monday during his weekly media luncheon in Columbus. "I could give you some coach-speak up here, but it does make a difference.

"We are going to have to really coach them hard this week."

Now, I could provide positional breakdowns of each team and how they will dictate which comes out victorious, but I will spare the ink. 

This one is going to be ugly. 

Ohio State may see their star quarterback Braxton Miller return from an MCL injury which forced him to miss most of their win against San Diego State two weeks, and all of last Saturday's victory at Cal.

Although backup quarterback Kenny Guiton put up more than 300 yards of offense and four touchdown passes against Cal — en route to being named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week — according to Meyer, if Miller is healthy, he's in.

"If he's ready, he'll play this week," Meyer said of Miller.

But as Meyer points out, that may be a big "if," due to the type of injury and the type of player it is involving.

"It can linger," Meyer said of Miller's injury. "It can linger and that's something that we have to be smart about, and I'll have to evaluate that as we go. I think straight ahead, he can go right now. It's the lateral (he could have problems with). 

"The MCL is the medial collateral ligament on the inside of your leg, so you just have to watch it."

Meyer said if it was any other player than one like Miller, he would 100-percent play ...

"I know the MCL injury very well, and he had a grade one, grade two, which means those things heal," Meyer said. "With lineman you could probably get in there quicker. Immobile quarterback, you can probably get them in there quicker."

Meyer admits that it will be difficult to keep Guiton on the sideline after playing so brilliantly in Miller's absence.

But as he stated Monday, there is no quarterback controversy, no clashing in the locker room or beating the other down for supremacy.

"I think it would if there was personality conflicts, if there was agendas," Meyer said. "There's certainly none here. And so I don't think there's any confusion whatsoever."

Bottom Line

Whether it's Braxton Miller, Kenny Guiton or practice squad player Reid Worstell under center this Saturday for the Buckeyes, the game will be a runaway victory.

And I emphasize "Runaway."

Buckeyes' senior tailback Carlos Hyde will make his season debut after sitting out the first three games of the season due to suspension. 

Hyde will join fellow senior Jordan Hall — who leads the Buckeyes in rushing with 406 yards and a Big Ten-leading six touchdowns — to help bolster a running unit which already ranks seventh nationally (285.3 avg.).

Did I mention this game is going to be ugly?

Lee's prediction: OSU 70-3