Could Two-QB System Be In Works For OSU?

Earlier this week, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer floated the idea that the Buckeyes could use both Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton on the field at the same time once the former is healthy enough to play? Could such a system work? looks for answers.

Looking over his Ohio State roster, head coach Urban Meyer admitted he had the comfort to use two quarterbacks.

After all, Meyer had some success at Florida using a pair of signal callers, riding the savvy veteran nature of Chris Leak and the dual-threat athleticism of Tim Tebow to lead the Gators to the 2006 national championship.

So as he looked at the uber-athletic Braxton Miller and the silky smooth Kenneth Guiton, Meyer figured he might be able to work a two-quarterback system that utilizes the best attributes of each signal caller.

Oh, and this wasn't Monday. It was in the fall of 2012.

"I like Kenny Guiton, so we're going to be more – I don't want to say reckless, but we're going to be more aggressive because I have trust in two quarterbacks," Meyer told reporters. "The year we had Chris Leak and Tim Tebow they both kind of fed off each other."

In fact, tn his first fall camp at Ohio State, Meyer felt comfortable enough with Guiton to say that the then-junior might actually see time on the field at the same time as Miller. Even before ever seeing Guiton play in Ohio Stadium – and with game tape of the quarterback, who had seen just a handful of snaps the previous two seasons, at a minimum – Meyer knew the Houston native was good enough to help the Buckeyes.

So count Meyer among those not surprised that Guiton has excelled each of the past two weeks, directing the Buckeyes to a total of 94 points while accounting for 603 total yards of offense and six passing touchdowns.

But now the question remains – what does the team do if Miller is ready to go as a game-time decision this weekend against Florida A&M?

It doesn't appear Miller will play the whole game, but there is another intriguing idea. Yes, the Buckeyes could go back to that old idea, putting both Guiton and Miller on the field at the same time?

"We're in conversation about that right now," Meyer said. "If he's one of the best 11, you have an obligation to get him on the field a little bit."

It's not as crazy as you think.

Meyer is a fan of taking ideas from other teams – witness the swinging-game two-point conversion idea he co-opted from Oregon at the Fiesta Bowl last year – and there is one example of a team that has run a two-quarterback system with success.

At Louisiana-Monroe, head coach Todd Berry used a system at times last year that utilized the skills of Kolton Browning and Cody Wells. While Browning was the starter, racking up 29 touchdowns and completing 63.8 percent of his passes, Wells was an effective complement who completed 64.1 percent of his passes.

And, at times, they were in the backfield together, calling signals and working to flummox opponents.

The result was that the Warhawks could use a variety of misdirection and option plays to confuse opponents. In one play from this video last year, the Warhawks run a zone-read play with the two, and upon taking the handoff, Browning throws for a first down while rolling to his left. In another, Wells does the same while rolling to the right after taking the read give.

So why wouldn't it work at Ohio State? Well, for one, Browning and Wells threw with different arms, meaning both could roll out to their strong sides and deliver accurate throws if necessary. At OSU, Miller and Guiton are both right-handed, meaning any plays that involve running left would send one to his opposite side.

In addition, reports indicate the ULM coaching staff would practice both mobile QBs at running back and wideout to give defenses something else to think about. Neither Miller nor Guiton has ever done that, though both are mobile in their own ways.

There's also the potential that any sort of new tricks debuted could blow up in a team's face. Ohio State saw that happen on Saturday vs. Cal, as the first time the Buckeyes debuted a new formation and attempted to a run a triple-option look, Guiton ended up fumbling the football.

"The idea is we are running plays we started beginning in summer camp all the way to now over and over and over again," tight ends coach Tim Hinton said. "Boy, football is a game of repetition. You get really good at what you do all the time because defenses can make a lot of adjustments, but our kids understand their adjustments better. That's what offense is all about is being able to make those adjustments on the run because there's a lot of chaos on game day."

In other words, it might be a stretch to see the Buckeyes debut something crazy on Saturday.

But don't put it all the way out of your mind. You just never know.

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