By Matt McCoy
Braxton Miller's 2013 debut against Buffalo last Saturday was hardly a flop. Miller started out by completing his first seven passes, two of them going for touchdowns. But after the sizzling start, the junior quarterback cooled.
Coach Urban Meyer said Wednesday that part of the problem had to due with issues with the offensive line, which allowed four sacks...and a fifth, which resulted in a Miller fumble, was averted thanks to a penalty.
"I hope we protect him better and I hope we are more efficient, and just be more of the dynamic player that he is," Meyer said. The coach also hinted that we may see more of Braxton Miller, the runner. "I don't think we called a run and I think there has to be a couple of those in his repertoire to make him use his whole skill set."
Miller ended up with 77 yards on 17 carries, but 60 of those yards came in the fourth quarter, when the quarterback tucked and ran on designed pass plays.
"The coverage dictates (whether to tuck and run)," Meyer said. "He had two of those that were really good runs in the fourth quarter."
Miller heads into Saturday's game, poised to etch his name in the Buckeye record book. He needs only 18 yards to pass Cornelius Greene and become Ohio State's all-time leader in rushing among quarterbacks.
Roby, Smith back
Meyer said he was still unsure whether Bradley Roby would start at corner immediately in his return from his one game suspension. Armani Reeves got the nod last week and was picked on by Buffalo. Meyer said Roby has had "two good days" in practice this week.
Also returning from suspension is running back Rod Smith. Meyer made it clear that Jordan Hall, who had a career high 159 yards against Buffalo, is the number one back.
"He's had a good week of practice," Meyer said of Hall. "He goes really hard."
What's not known is whether Smith will be the number two back but Meyer said he's off to a good start because he will contribute on special teams.
"I think he's starting on punt (coverage) and that's more important than starting at running back," Meyer said of Smith. "I believe he's starting on punt block too so that's a good sign that he'll get in the game."
Meyer said he hopes that Warren Ball, Bri'onte Dunn and Ezekiel Elliott get carries Saturday as well.
Banged Up Buckeyes Update
Senior safety C.J. Barnett missed the opener with a minor ankle sprain but Meyer said he's been practicing this week and appears to be good to go.
Senior center Corey Linsley was limited to 16 plays, a number predetermined before the game, as he eases his way back from foot surgery.
"We're just going to be smart," Meyer said when asked if Linsley will play more this Saturday. "He's had a good week of practice and (the medical staff) is just saying that it is going to continue to increase."
Meyer is unaware of any other new injuries.
To listen to all of Meyer's Wednesday comments to reporters, click HERE: