Created on Thursday, 26 September 2013 Written by RUSTY MILLER, AP Sports Writer
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — What's brewing with the 2013 Ohio State Buckeyes ...
BUCKEYES BUZZ: Everybody was wondering who'll start at QB for No. 4 Ohio State, at least until Urban Meyer declared after Wednesday's practice that Braxton Miller would "probably" start.
It's an open question how much Miller or Kenny Guiton will play against No. 23 Wisconsin on Saturday night at 8 p.m.
The next major decision is who'll get the call at RB.
Jordan Hall has gotten off to a terrific four-game start, but Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith are now back from suspensions and itching for more carries. Freshmen Ezekiel Elliott and Dontre Wilson have also played well.
The big question is: What's the pecking order at the position?
"The good thing is when you have competition in spots, (practices) are big evaluation days in who's going to start," Meyer said. "I think special teams are a big part of who plays, too. So I want to see how these guys do on special teams, how they do in prax, and usually by Thursday or Friday, that's when we make those final decisions."
The Buckeyes will probably need all five of those backs against Wisconsin.
The Badgers are third in the nation in rushing at 350 yards per game. They are led by the 1-2 punch of Melvin Gordon and James White, sort of the modern-day version of Mr. Outside and Mr. Inside.
"I am complimenting Wisconsin's backs because they've earned it, they have tremendous stats, they're very good players," Meyer said. "But I kind of like where we're at as well. Jordan Hall and Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith are our top guys. Then there's the down-the-line guy, the freshman (Elliott), who is going to be very good here."
Meyer wouldn't change much about his options at the position. His team is sixth in the nation at 311 yards a game.
"This is going to be a really big test for us against a very good rushing defense," he said. "But I like where we're at. I'm probably as comfortable as I've been with a running-back group in many, many years."
MILLER LIKELY TO START: Meyer had been waiting to see how Miller might respond to another week of rest on his sprained left knee ligament. As a matter of fact, he's had a very good week of practice.
Meyer said Miller will "probably" start. He said his movements were "very natural" while wearing a brace.
Miller's only feedback to Meyer? "Good to go. Good to go."
Meyer said another week off made a big difference for the junior. He said if he didn't know he had been injured he wouldn't have been able to tell.
"This week, no," Meyer said. "Last week I could."
Meyer also said that DE Adolphus Washington would be available to play against Wisconsin.
MENDING BADGERS: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Wisconsin may be without or may play with several injured players.
They include the following: TE Jacob Pedersen (knee), LB Brendan Kelly (hamstring), C Dallas Lewallen (ankle), CBs Peniel Jean (leg) and T.J. Reynard (unspecified), and WRs Kenzel Doe (hamstring) and Jeff Duckworth (hamstring). None practiced on Tuesday.
Lewallen has a good chance to play. Pedersen, who caught a TD pass in last year's game against Ohio State, is wearing a knee brace after tearing the medial-collateral ligament in his knee. The fifth-year senior says he thinks he can play
WRs coach Chris Beatty didn't sound confident he would have either Doe or Duckworth.
"I wouldn't rule them out," Beatty said, "but I'm not counting on it."
Jean was injured in the first quarter against Purdue. Reynard is out this week, and it is too soon to tell about Jean.
QUOTABLE: Wisconsin OL Ryan Groy on the rivalry with Ohio State: "It's always been a tough battle every time we've played them. Every time I have been on the field, everybody is always going their all. It's something you can't ever take a play off, not that we do in other games. It's a little bit different animal."