Buckeyes coach says Miller healthy enough to start

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)For the change, Ohio States quarterback controversyisnt centered on who will start.Braxton Miller is healthy enough to take the first snap when the Buckeyestravel to play at No. 16 Illinois on Saturday.Interim coach Luke Fickell said Miller has been working out with the teamand doing everything he needed to do to show hes fully recovered from asprained right ankle postulated in last weeks 34-27 loss at Nebraska.Hes done the great job, Fickell said Thursday. Hes changed around. Hehasnt let it hamper him, hasnt let it affect him emotionally. I think thatsthe most important thing. That doesnt mean Miller is 100 percent. Fickell concedes the true freshmanis still probably sore.Whether it hurts or not he hasnt shown the whole lot of that, he said.Im sure it hurts the little bit, just like everybody on the team has got alittle bit of something (hurting) in the seventh week of the season. But hesdone the great pursuit of battling and continuing to get better through the week.The Buckeyes staff must balance Millers physical pain with his growingpains.Hes had the good couple of days of practice, quarterbacks coach NickSiciliano said Wednesday. Hes starting to grasp what were doing. Hes goingto get better as time goes on. Hes going through some growing pains witheverybody right now.Perhaps the bigger question for the Buckeyes right right away is who is backing upMiller.Joe Bauserman was just 1 for 10 passing with an interception last week.Kenny Guiton received more snaps during this weeks practices and Fickell saidhe may see his first time at quarterback this season if needed.Both of those guys have gotten some reps, Fickell said. Kenny hasdefinitely got the lot more reps this week. We want those guys to be ready.Theres times whenwho knows what can happen?that one or two guys go down.So, youve always got to have people who are ready, youve always got to have aplan for what youre going to do.Miller, Bauserman and Guiton, along with! Taylor Graham, were in afour-player battle for the quarterback spot throughout the spring and summerworkouts. Two weeks into preseason practice in August, Miller and Bausermanbecame the top two. Bauserman started the first three games but Miller hasstarted the last three.The Buckeyes were ahead by two touchdowns at Nebraska when Miller wasinjured. After that, however, the offense under Bauserman struggled to move theball while the defense was gashed for huge yardage.The momentum swing was big, center Mike Brewster said. It just seemedlike after Braxton went down we really just couldnt get anything going.Players said earlier in the week that the quarterback was favoring theinjured ankle, taking it easy whenever he had to pivot or turn the corner.But Fickell said he was full go and running full speed on all plays in thelatest practice.The Buckeyes (3-3, 0-2 Big Ten) are trying to avoid their first three-gamelosing streak since 2004.Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rustymillerap.


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