Miller’s status still uncertain

Ohio State backup quarterback Kenny Guiton took all the first-team snaps in practice Wednesday, while starter Braxton Miller, recovering from a sprained knee ligament, did some light drills and then left the field for more rehab.

It’s two days before a crucial road game against California, and the Buckeyes still don’t know who their quarterback will be.

“We’ll have a better sense (today), but it’s going to go up to game time,” coach Urban Meyer said after practice at the indoor Woody Hayes Athletic Center. “Braxton is an experienced player. I’m not worried about how much he practices.

“It’s not as sore, but it’s unstable. He’s getting used to that brace.”

If Miller was a pocket quarterback, he’d probably already be cleared to play. But because he’s as much of a runner as he is a passer, his sprained MCL is an issue that could linger.

“That’s tough. It takes a couple weeks to get back to that kind of athleticism,” Meyer said. “Usually with a lineman, you can strap it down and go. But a guy like that is different.

“He’s a competitor. I texted him at 5:30 in the morning, and he was up and going. He was here four or five times (for treatment). He’s grinding really hard.”

Meyer has confidence in Guiton but isn’t sure about the No. 2 QB if Miller is out. It’s a battle between redshirt freshman Cardale Jones and true freshman J.T. Barrett, neither of whom has played.

Starting defensive end Adolphus Washington (groin injury) hasn’t practiced this week and will be a game-time decision.

Bucking up: Taylor Decker is the only newcomer on the starting offensive line, and the right tackle had a debut he’d like to purge from his memory.

The sophomore from Vandalia was beaten twice for sacks against Buffalo, but Decker was much better in his second outing against San Diego State after quieting his nerves.

“For me personally, it was my first start,” he said of the opener. “I think I got a little over-excited. My technique went a little bad. I was able to settle in a little (Saturday),” Decker said.

“The coaches try to get us up for every situation in practice, but you’re not going to get that game atmosphere until game day. Just getting in and getting some experience, you start to feel more comfortable on that big-time stage.”

Offensive linemen are sort of like referees — it’s usually a good sign during a game if you don’t get noticed. And Decker was able to stay out of the spotlight against the Aztecs.

“He played much better, much more confident in the second game,” line coach Ed Warinner said. “You guys know, and we know — and I’ve talked to former head coaches who wander around in this building — about how a guy’s first game in the ‘Shoe sometimes can be very stressful, and they can get worked up. I think he was just a little too excited.

“He looked more like what I saw in August in the second game. He settled in, and he played a solid game. He really was very productive.”

Newest recruit: The Buckeyes picked up the 18th player in their 2014 class when receiver Noah Brown of Sparta, N.J., committed during an official visit last weekend. The 6-foot-2, 212-pound senior also had offers from Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Southern Cal, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Michigan State.

The Buckeyes’ class currently is ranked third nationally by, fourth by and ninth by ESPN. Michigan is the only other Big Ten team in the top 20. The Wolverines are ranked sixth by ESPN, 12th by Scout and 15th by Rivals.

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