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August 16, 2014

Meyer goes on the record

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Buckeyes have made it through their toughest week of practice with the end of two-a-days and Saturday's scrimmage and have earned a well-deserved day off on Sunday as the coaches will go through the tape of Saturday's action.

Of course the biggest question being asked by Ohio State fans is the health of Braxton Miller. He has been limited so far in practice and it seems that is still the case at this point.

"He scrimmaged today, just limited throws is where we are at right now and we are expecting Monday to hopefully take a big step," Urban Meyer said. "From what they tell me he is right on schedule and you would like to have him do a bit more but he did scrimmage today and his attitude is great. He'll be ready."

Meyer also announced that J.T. Barrett has moved ahead of Cardale Jones on the quarterback depth chart.

Another position of concern for fans and the coaches to a lesser degree is where the offensive line stands. Meyer said that three spots are locked down but the other two are still in open competition.

Darryl Baldwin is the starting right tackle, left tackle is Taylor Decker. Darryl Baldwin is one of the most improved players on the team, Joel Hale is right in the battle, here's who is left, Pat Elflein, Darryl Baldwin and Taylor Decker are the three starters and then you have Jacoby Boren, Joel Hale, Chase Farris and you have Billy Price battling for the next two. Antonio Underwood is in there as well and that is kind of where we are at. Chad Lindsay, his shoulder was a little dinged up but he did scrimmage today so he will be in the mix as well.

The defensive backfield replaces several players and the safety position is not one of concern to Meyer and the coaches.

"Safety is strong, you have got Cam Burrows, Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell with Erick Smith right on his toes," Meyer said. "Ron Tanner would be the fifth (player)."

Corner on the other hand has been a work in progress.

"We have some health issues at corner right now, Doran (Grant) has had a great training camp but I didn't scrimmage him today, he has a tight hamstring. Gareon Conley has a sore back and I didn't scrimmage him and he was doing great," Meyer said. "Marshon Lattimore has a tight hamstring and he didn't go, so there are three guys right there and then Armani (Reeves) has some tight hamstrings so we just have to get everybody fresh and that is supposed to happen next week."

Doran Grant will be secure in his position while nobody has locked down the other corner spot as of yet.

"Doran is playing like an all-Big Ten corner," Meyer said.

The strength of the team will be on the defensive line but the Buckeyes know they will go two games without Noah Spence but the big-time lineman is still working with the first team but who will fill his spot on the line during his suspension?

"Steve Miller and Rashad Frazier are the two that will fill his spot at this point," Meyer said. "Jalyn Holmes is really making a push right now. When we go Navy period, which we do pretty much every day, he is actually on the scout team. We do keep him training with the (first team) defense though, just not in the Navy period and obviously Virginia Tech, he won't play that one either."

Keep an eye on Tommy Schutt as well for being a player who could see increased playing time in 2014.

"Tommy Schutt is the most improved player at Ohio State right now and has done a really good job," Meyer said. "Seeing people like that step up, along with Darryl Baldwin, I put those two… they were non-factors a year ago and now they are going to be deep in the mix offensively and defensively."

And finally to running back, Ezekiel Elliott has made his way back to practice after wrist surgery but is being help out of contact for the time being, opening the door for other backs to impress the coaches as the Buckeyes look to replace Carlos Hyde.

"Both Bri'onte (Dunn) and Rod Smith have made every practice and done really well, then you have No. 4 Curtis Samuel," Meyer said. "I give credit to Bri'onte and Rod Smith, every day they have showed up and have worked their tails off so they are in the mix."

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