COLUMBUS — The Braxton Watch continues.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer had no update Wednesday night on quarterback Braxton Miller’s injured left knee, saying he may not know until game time whether the junior star will play at California.
As if trying to burrow into the heads of the Bears, Meyer left all options on the table. He said Miller could start, sit, or be an insurance plan waiting for use in relief if backup Kenny Guiton struggles.
"I'll have a better sense [today]," Meyer said. "It's going to go to game time. [Miller] is an experienced player, so I'm not worried about how much he practices."
A preseason Heisman Trophy frontrunner, Miller left the fourth-ranked Buckeyes’ 42-7 win over San Diego State after seven plays with a sprained MCL. He went through a light throwing workout Tuesday morning and practiced in a limited role the past two days.
Meyer again said he is "fairly optimistic" Miller could play, though he expressed concerns the injury to a stabilizing ligament would keep the quarterback from being the same dual threat as usual.
"It's a little unstable," Meyer said, "so he's getting used to that brace."
He added: "It’s hard. It takes a couple weeks to get back to that kind of athleticism.. Usually, with a lineman, you strap it down and go. But a guy like [Miller] is different."
Meyer’s worry, though, is tempered by Guiton — the fifth-year senior stand-in offensive coordinator Tom Herman said could start for at least half of the nation’s teams.
With or without Miller, the Buckeyes will be expected to pile up the points Saturday. A Cal defense that includes 12 underclassmen on its two-deep allowed 553 yards to FCS Portland State last week and ranks 118th nationally through two home games.
The Buckeyes’ focus this week has been developing a "Plan C." That quarterback is redshirt freshman Cardale Jones, though fourth-string freshman J.T. Barrett is just behind. OSU plans to include all four quarterbacks on the 70-man travel roster.
"Plan C is a concern, just with the width of what we can ask those guys to do right now," Meyer said.
EXTRA POINTS: Meyer, meanwhile, was hopeful defensive end Adolphus Washington will be back from a strained groin. The sophomore starter expects to practice today for the first time this week and is on course to make the trip to Berkeley. ... Senior center Corey Linsley will play a full game if needed Saturday, Meyer said. Linsley had played limited snaps the first two weeks as he recovers from offseason foot surgery. ... Meyer said sophomore receiver Michael Thomas and sophomore running back Brionte Dunn — two once-touted prospects who have become forgotten pieces of the offense — are candidates to redshirt this season. "I’m very cautious about wasting years," he said. "Those are two guys I think are very talented players."