COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio State depth chart still has the top two options at quarterback bracketed together, but it appears Urban Meyer already has a pretty good idea who will be his starter.
After sitting out the past two weeks and missing almost all of the previous game with a sprained knee, Braxton Miller is slated to return to the lineup Saturday against No. 23 Wisconsin in a critical Big Ten opener at Ohio Stadium. And the fifth-place finisher in last season's race for the Heisman Trophy is apparently poised to slide back into the starting lineup despite Meyer having enough comfort with his backup that he currently lists his starter as Miller "or" Kenny Guiton.
"I think Braxton will probably start," Meyer said after practice Wednesday. "He had a good day today, and it looks like he's pretty close to 100 percent. I just wanted to make sure running the ball was good today, and he was and Kenny is good.
"We're still working through exactly how we're going to manage the game, but they both look good."
The Buckeyes have the option of playing both quarterbacks against the Badgers, and Guiton certainly has given Meyer something to think about with his red-hot play in place of Miller the past three games. The redshirt senior set a school record with 12 touchdown passes during that span, earning back-to-back Big Ten offensive player of the week honors, leading one of the highest-scoring attacks in the country and presenting himself as a viable option in the starting lineup.
The Buckeyes sat Miller for the second consecutive game Saturday in a rout of Florida A&M in an effort to get him closer to full strength on his sprained left knee, a decision Meyer called mutual among the coaches, the training staff and the QB.
There is the possibility the reigning Big Ten player of the year has gathered some rust after suffering his injury on the seventh snap of the second game of the season, which could leave the door open for Guiton to at least remain in the rotation even if Miller winds up reclaiming his first-team job.
"Braxton took a good majority of the snaps this week in practice, like we did before he got hurt," Meyer said. "We still had with Kenny Guiton, not necessarily a package, but we certainly let him practice a bunch.
"It's tough. I have experience playing two [quarterbacks] in 2006 [at Florida], and it's hard. When a guy gets a hot hand, or if he doesn't get the hot hand, then when does he go back in and all those things. That's a decision I can only make by myself."
Meyer still has time to make it, but it now looks like his mind is made up for the first snap.