Friday Open Thread – Bye Week

It’s bye week time here in Buckeyeland, so we’ve decided to present a couple polls to gauge how Buckeye Nation is feeling about a couple of the issues facing the coaching staff going into the second half of the season.

The first is: What would you do if you were in charge of who started at QB, Braxton Miller or Kenny Guiton

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The other question is about the poor play of the Ohio State defensive backfield. For some reason, blame has to be placed somewhere, so where would you place the blame with? The head coach? The Defensive Coordinator? The actual players?

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In the comments, let us know why.

As with any other open thread, feel free to discuss anything Buckeye, sports, or MotSaG related. Heck anything on your mind is fine!


  1. 1st question is a loaded one… I think Braxton is the best athlete on the team and should be on the field no matter what. However, Guiton runs the read option much better and is far more consistent. If you want a title, gotta go with consistency and recommend Guiton. If you want football that’s awesome to watch, go with Braxton. Personally, I want both on the field at the same time.

    Second question: 95% of it is the players not executing. (See Ross Fulton’s great breakdown over at 11W.) However, there’s a little bit of the coaches’ mistakes thrown in… they are still trying to find an identity for the defense and have made some assumptions about talent that have proven to not be true (e.g., that Curtis Grant would pan out).

    • sM – I agree that Guiton has been more consistent and Brax has struggled making the right read on the read option play. Also, we haven’t seen what Guiton could do with Carlos in the backfield. Braxton’s flaws (including ball security. Y U NO PROTECT BALL, BRAXTON?) are overcome by his raw ability. I still don’t think he’s at 100%, no matter what the coaches say.

      I think they are not playing to the strengths of our players. Roby has shown he plays better in press coverage but is often giving WRs cushions because of the scheme. I think the identity is a big point. Of course, the LBs have been turrible in pass coverage and the ball is coming out of the quarterbacks hand quickly, so it’s a conflagration of a lot of things.

  2. Totally agree about Braxton not being 100%. If he _is_ physically 100%, then he’s got a mental hitch that he needs to get over, because he’s not as quick or elusive as he was early in the season. He’s not planting and changing direction like he used to.

    I liked Ross’s point that the entire scheme for the past couple of teams has been based on shutting down the run, and to sacrifice that, you have to play with what appears to be cushions on the edges. While that’s maddening from our viewpoint to see the CBs line up 7 yards off, it’s a lose-the-battle-win-the-war method. No team could consistently throw the ball quickly for an entire game and win – that’s the equivalent of essentially making up the yards you aren’t getting by rushing, only at a MUCH higher risk that statistically never pans out. A team is more likely to win by rushing – even if they’re being stopped – than by relying on moving the ball with tons of quick passes thrown near the line of scrimmage.

    The only catch with the scheme is that your back 5-7 have to change the routes of the receivers running through their zones, and Curtis Grant especially hasn’t done that. So to a big extent, Roby’s being left on an island has been largely the fault of the folks that aren’t re-routing the WRs toward him like they should. He did have a couple of missed tackles, and could definitely improve, but he’s the one that looks bad when others take poor angles.

  3. Kenny Guiton is not perfect and has collected impressive stats vs. truly terrible teams. And he has turned the ball over himself via an INT vs. FAMU and fumbled vs. Cal…on the read option. The truth is…Miller is doing a MUCH better job reading the option than he has in the past.

    Last year, Miller was asked by his coaches to carry the team. It was hammered into his head over and over that he was the only playmaker on the team and was the offense. Because of that his ability to truly read the option was compromised.

    This year he is light years ahead of where he was last year. And throwing the ball? Wow…the throws he is making are simply so far ahead of what Guiton can do. Against better competition Miller has a higher QB rating.

    Look…Miller is the starter. Guiton is the backup. Does anyone really, truth want Kenny Guiton in there in key games vs. actual tough defenses? Could Guiton have done what Miller did vs. a damn good Wisky defense? I don’t think so. Guiton simply cannot make some of the throws Miller can.

    Miller is a walking injury. He will most likely get hurt again. Guiton will then step in and do his job. This reminds me of the nonsense a few years ago when people were actually calling for Joe Bauserman to start over Pryor…

    Serenity now.

  4. Jay Roubini says

    Kade~regarding Miller being brainwashed as the “only playmaker”, if so then why is he handing the ball to running backs as they are already being tackled? Miller isn’t reading anything very well, he looks timid lacking the explosiveness he once had. Here in his third year he still floats passes ten feet over open end zone receivers like Chris Fields. Can you really see slick Kenny G doing the same?

    Lets face it, three years in Miller hasn’t lived up to the hype, 2 fumbles and an interception. Fumbles in third quarter with Bucks down ten. Without Carlos Hyde the Bucks were going no where.

    We’ll never know how Guiton would have faired in those two games but we do know he would have brought far more enthusiasm to the game. Meyer was very close to handing him the game and if he’d capitalized on a comeback you may not have see much of Miller again this season, it was that close.

    • While you’re right that we can never know how either QB would have done playing in place of the other this season, here are some things we DO know:

      Kenny Guiton has thrown exactly 1 pass against an FBS team with a winning record this year. Braxton Miller has thrown 2 passes against one with a losing record.

      The two FBS teams Guiton has faced allow on average a completion percentage of 63.7% The three that Braxton has faced allow 55.1% (avg). Yet Guiton’s completion percentage this season is only slightly higher than Braxton’s (68.4 to 65.3) despite facing significantly worse defenses.

      To think that Guiton would have performed better against the teams Braxton played and/or that Braxton would have done worse in Guiton’s games is unfounded. It’s more likely that the opposite is true.

      If that doesn’t convince you, then how about this: Ezekiel Elliott has an average of 9.14 ypc this year and also has 2 TDs. Carlos Hyde has an average of 6.13 ypc and just 3 TDs. Both have over 20 carries. Who should start?

      We consider strength of schedule when comparing two different teams, so why wouldn’t we do the same when comparing two players on the same team?

  5. Jay Roubini says

    Jason~ didn’t say KG would have performed better, it’s all hypothetical but we do have film of our QBs performance against this 87th ranked defense and his 20 fumbles in 27 games. The film shows how depth of talent on his team bailed out his struggled performance. Grant’s pickoff was a turning point. Just watching the game over and concentrating on Miller it’s disappointing. Fan’s have expectations after 3 years and his elusiveness needs to be followed with playmaking. Hopefully he can turn it around but it could just be a matter of time before KG gets plays.

    • He had a bad first half. I understand that that’s frustrating, but it’s not a serious ongoing issue, especially when you look at his performance in the fourth quarter. Yes, Hyde was a beast and if you’re only going to give credit to one player, then it’s absolutely Hyde. But Miller made some amazing decisions at the end of the game, especially pulling back on his would-be first down run to toss a pass that gained far more yards. That shows an awareness that not many QBs have.

      As for expectations from fans, who cares? Sorry if that sounds harsh, but he’s not out there to hit our statistical goals for him. He’s out there to win football games, and he’s done that more often than not, including the last 15 he’s played significant time in. That said, his passer rating and completion percentage have improved every year so far, and this year the improvement is substantial.

      I believe 100% that Kenny Guiton only gets into games this year in three situations: 1) injury to Miller (obviously) 2) blowouts and 3) a dual-QB formation against Michigan.

      Nothing against KG, but consider what you yourself said: “if he’d capitalized on a comeback you may not have see much of Miller again this season.” Instead what happened was Miller capitalized on a comeback. So why is he being vilified when KG would have been celebrated in the exact same situation?

  6. I just typed out a whole long thing and then realized 2 things and deleted what I wrote.

    Here is what I realized:

    1. Jay Roubini is the same guy that over and over clamored to have Joe Bauserman take over for Terrelle Pryor.


    2. Urban Meyer named Braxton Miller the starter of the Ohio State Buckeyes.

    I’ll just go ahead and side with Meyer on this one:)

  7. Jay Roubini says

    Kade~Probably cause I never liked TP from day one, maybe not for you but years later a majority of fans would come to agree his leadership had been a poor choice for the program.

    Agree anything UM decides is fine by me too as it has been since his BG days. It took a long time but the boneheads in C-bus fortunately stumbled into some luck landing Meyer.

    BM will bounce back facing the 119th toughest schedule which is set to plunge between now and the trip to Ann Arbor. Discussing how our team woundup needing to be bailed out by one player running behind an offensive line that eventually drove a 78th ranked defense into the ground…well that’s disturbing and worth discussing I’d think.

    • Stumbled into some luck with Meyer? How is that luck? What?

      How was OSU bailed out be 1 player?

      You do realize Miller wasn’t just handing the ball off in the 2nd half right? He was throwing the ball and yes, reading the defense on the zone read. OSU won the game because Miller played well in the 2nd half.

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