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Big Ten Notebook: Braxton Miller "OK" to play for Ohio State

BY MOLLY IRENE OLMSTEAD | OCTOBER 24, 2012 6:30 AM

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Much of the nation thought that Ohio State QB Braxton Miller had a severe concussion or a serious neck injury when he left the game against Purdue on Oct. 20.

But he’s doing just fine, head coach Urban Meyer said in the Big Ten teleconference on Tuesday.

The coach said that during the game, he anxiously asked for updates on Miller’s condition after he was carted off the field in the third quarter, but nobody knew what was wrong. The first-year Buckeye coach said he “jumped in a police car” immediately after the game and went to the hospital, just as all the tests were coming back.

“They were all positive,” Meyer said.

The head coach’s main concern is whether Miller will be too sore to play well on Saturday against the Nittany Lions; because the signal caller has had pain in his neck, he’s practiced without contact early this week.

Backup quarterback Kenny Guiton will be ready to play this week in case Miller’s injury plagues him.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean the Buckeyes would be at a disadvantage. Guiton shone against Purdue on Oct. 20 by leading the team to a touchdown and 2-point conversion from seemingly impossible circumstances.

The Buckeyes were down 8 points to the Boilermakers with 47 seconds left and 61 yards to go. Guiton completed three passes — one for 39 yards — and scored a touchdown, sending the game into overtime and to an eventual Buckeye victory.

“Both [Miller and Guiton] are good athletes, so run still an option, what Braxton does so well,” Meyer said. “But Kenny is a great manager, a great distributor, like a coach on the field. He gets you into the right plays very easily.”

Penn State strategy includes fans

Nittany Lion head coach Bill O’Brien was clear — every game in college football is important. But the game he faces this week, against the undefeated Buckeyes, might be even more important.

And O’Brien said Ohio State was best team in the conference.

It will be an interesting game: The faceoff between two teams undefeated in conference play but ineligible for a championship title.

The Buckeyes haven’t lost, and the Nittany Lions have. But the Buckeyes also haven’t played in Beaver Stadium this season, which will be a huge benefit for the home team. O’Brien said the environment of the stadium will affect the game.

“This is without a doubt the best college football environment in the country — there’s just absolutely no doubt about it,” O’Brien said. “There are going to be 108,000 people here Saturday night. I mean, this place is going to be loud.”

O’Brien praised the Nittany Lion fans and student body for continuing to support the program despite the recent scandal, and the head coach also said he notices the effect the fan support has on his team, especially during warm-ups.

“Our team just really wants them [the fans] to show up early, be in there for warm-ups. It really gets our guys jazzed up,” O’Brien said. “If we can get them out of the tailgating maybe early and get them in the stadium early, get 108,000 in there for warm-ups, that would be pretty neat.”


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