COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State has boasted that it has one of the nation's top back-up quarterbacks in Kenny Guiton for some time and on Saturday afternoon it was time for Guiton to prove it as Braxton Miller was knocked out of the game early. Guiton responded by going 19-28 for 152 yards and two touchdowns in the air and a team high 83 yards on the ground with a score en route to a 42-7 win for the Buckeyes (2-0) over visiting San Diego State (0-2).
Miller did not even make it through the first offensive series of the game and was hurt on a 4th-and-1 from the San Diego State 12-yard line when he kept it over the right end for a 5-yard gain. Miller laid on the field with what appeared at first to be a head injury but was taken to the locker room and preliminarily diagnosed with a MCL sprain. The medical team and coaching staff decided to end Miller's day and go to "The Old Right Hander".
The Buckeyes didn't miss a beat and while they were worried about their offensive leader the scored on the very next play when Dontre Wilson took it in from 7-yards out.
"I started out really strong," Guiton said after the game. "We got on the scoreboard right away and that was positive for the team. I think I could have played a lot better in the second half, but that is just what I'll have to take away from this game and improve on."
The win is Ohio State's 14th consecutive win, which is good for the longest active streak in the nation.
Guiton has filled in for spot duty during his Buckeye career but this was his longest time on the field and Urban Meyer had faith in his senior signal caller.
"He does a nice job," Meyer said. "His management of the game and the reads and those type of things and getting us in play which a lot of times you don't see… He's a coach. He really - I told him that. He needs to coach some day because he's got a really good mind and got some incredible leadership skills."
The Buckeyes would put up 21 points in the first quarter and would run off 42 straight points before the Aztecs finally got on the board late in the 3rd quarter. After the Buffalo game in week one there was a concern about the Buckeyes starting fast and not maintaining intensity. On Saturday the Buckeyes were able to keep the ball rolling for three quarters and put San Diego State away early.
"I think we were closer to a complete game," Wilson said. "The defense stepped up tremendously. We shut them out most of the game. We played a great game."
The other storyline people wanted to see was the return of Bradley Roby and Rod Smith from their one-game suspensions and the return of C.J. Barnett after an injury kept him out of the first game of the season. Smith had three carries for 11 yards as the Buckeyes put up 263 yards on 40 carries as a team. Roby and Barnett combined for 11 tackles.
Jordan Hall continued to see the most carries in game two with 13 but the Buckeyes were able to spread the wealth more with Wilson, Smith, Ezekiel Elliott, Warren Ball and the two quarterbacks all log carries. Devin Smith led the Buckeyes with seven catches but it was Corey Brown who led the scoring charge with two touchdowns on six receptions for a team high 73 yards.
The Aztecs started quarterback Adam Dingwell but pulled him after he started 0-5 with an interception, marking Dingwell's 5th interception of the season. Quinn Kaehler replaced him and went 22-36 for 216 yards and one touchdown to Chad Young late in the 3rd quarter.
But the Aztecs never really found much success on offense in the first half with three yards in the first quarter (on 11 plays) and 99 yards in the first half.
"I thought in the second half we showed improvement," San Diego State head coach Rocky Long said. "I thought they were absolutely horrible in the first half."
The SDSU head coach also had some glowing praise of the job that Guiton did.
'He's as good of a backup quarterback as there is in the country," Long continued. "I don't know how they decided which one starts to be honest with you. I think both of them are very good players. When one goes down, I don't think they lose anything."
Guiton even did his best Miller impersonation when he broke a 44-yard run for a touchdown.
Ohio State goes on the road for the first time of the season next week as they travel across the country to take on the Cal Golden Bears (1-1). The game kicks off at 7:00 pm (EDT) and will be televised by Fox Sports.