If you didn't know who Kenny Guiton was before Ohio State's (just short of miraculous) victory over Purdue in OT on Saturday, you certainly do now. I don't think it's unfair to say that Ohio State is essentially a one-man show that begins and ends with the play of Braxton Miller, their sensational sophomore quarterback. On Saturday, in typical Ohio State-Purdue fashion, it was an ugly showing for the school Ohio's capitol city.
Two big plays from Purdue, one from the special teams and another from the offense, appreared to have sunk Ohio State's aspirations at being perfect in lieu of a Bowl apperance, a feat that the NCAA has banned them from achieving. Miller's best and worst moment of the game came at the end of the 3rd Quarter, when he broke off a run for 37 or his 47 yards rushing on the day. His best run would be his last play of the game, and some worried it would his last of the season.
Enter Kenny Guiton, that Ohio State backup QB who has not caused a stir on Twitter this season. The Buckeyes fourth-year Junior, playing the first meaningful snaps of his collegiate career, could not finish what Miller started, and a Drew Basil missed field goal attempt left Ohio State down six with 14:12 to play. After the Joe Bauserman experience a year ago, Guiton's struggles surprised no one, but it was a wonder that he was even there.
There's nothing glamourous about the recruitment of the Aldine Eisenhower HS (Houston, TX) product. He was only offered a scholarship after Tajh Boyd chose Clemson over Ohio State in 2009, just a week before signing day. He was home sick the day Ohio State's recruiter visited his school in Texas, and his eventual recruitment was just a day spent watching film. (Source: @KyleRowland (Eleven Warriors))
Eighteen months ago, if you believed what his teammates told Bucknuts in anonymity, he was as good as gone...
"He's knows he's too good to never play," an OSU player said. "Once they dropped him to third on the chart, that was a clear sign to him. And he knows it's probably only a matter of time before Braxton passes him, too. [Guiton] didn't tell me he was definitely going to leave, but he said he's looking into things."
"He's gone," the player said of Guiton. "He wants to play and he knows he's not going to play here. He's still thinking over things and won't make a final decision until summer, but I just don't see him coming back. The chances of him playing are not good and all he wants to do is play. He likes it here at O-State though, so we'll see. But I'm pretty sure he's going to transfer."
After the missed field goal, a Purdue drive stalled, but they were able to pin the Buckeyes deep in their own territory, and forced a penalty in the end-zone for safety. The two points stretched the deficit to 8 with ten minutes to play. Guiton struggled on the next possession, which ended with an interception, and the clock had become a serious issue at that point. However, Purdue couldn't get anything going, and he got one last crack at it from his own 39 with 47 seconds on the clock.
Urban Meyer told his quarterback, "you're going to win us a game", and that's exactly what he did. It started with 39 yard completion to Devin Smith, and eight plays later, he was hitting Chris Fields in the end-zone to set up the tying conversion. Though the offensive line begged the staff to pound it in with Carlos Hyde, they had faith in their Heisman candidate's understudy, and brilliantly drawn up play for tight end Jeff Heurman tied the game at 22.
As you know, the Buckeyes won in OT to extend their undefeated record to 8-0.
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