Former quarterback turned receiver Braxton Miller will be Ohio State's backup QB against Minnesota because of J.T. Barrett's suspension.

In August, Braxton Miller took himself out of the crowded picture at quarterback for Ohio State. But take another look at that picture today.

With J.T. Barrett suspended for a game Saturday against Minnesota and with Cardale Jones starting again after taking a back seat to Barrett in the previous game, coach Urban Meyer said Miller is considered the backup quarterback.

"As of right now, it would be Braxton," Meyer said. "We're right in the middle of those conversations, but there's no question that he's our No.2 quarterback."

Offensive coordinator Ed Warinner agreed.

"Whatever we have to do to use Braxton Miller to win a game, he'll do it," Warinner said. "And he's in here many hours getting ready. The kid loves Ohio State football and is a team guy, so we're confident that when his number is called, he will be ready."

That's even if he needs to throw it, Warinner said. Miller, coming back from a shoulder injury that knocked him out of the 2014 season, moved to hybrid back in August because he wasn't ready to compete with Jones and Barrett. But Warinner said things have changed in the past two months.

"He's completely healed and he's medically able to go, so behind the scenes, there is a lot of things that he's been doing that nobody knows about," Warinner said. "So we're confident that he will do whatever he needs to do to help us win a game."

Miller has lined up to take the direct snap as the wildcat quarterback this season, but the only pass he has thrown was a

1-yard shovel throw to a receiver coming across in front of him on a jet sweep. Otherwise, Miller has rushed 30 times for 207 yards and one touchdown, and he has caught 19 passes for 280 yards and three TDs.

"I think almost every game he has a package of quarterback plays," Meyer said. "(As the wildcat QB), it's not just running around the end, it's getting everybody lined up, getting the play, getting the formation and all that."

Now he might get the chance to pass it again.

"It's a just a matter of fact, he can throw, (but) how prepared is he to throw?" Meyer said. "So we're going to work on that this week as well, and get him ready to go."

Receiver depth still a concern

Miller has helped provide depth at receiver, but the position is still being stretched.

Meyer said Dontre Wilson underwent a surgical procedure on an ailing foot during the off week and won't be available for a couple of weeks.

He also said Parris Campbell, who started the first game of the season against Virginia Tech, is still hampered by a knee ailment. And Johnnie Dixon continues to be bothered by knee problems after having undergone a surgical procedure last year to relieve chronic tendinitis.

Wrapping up

The regular-season finale at Michigan on Nov.28 will kick off at noon, the Big Ten announced. … Tickets for the 2016 home game against Michigan are expected to cost a record $195 each under Ohio State's variable-pricing model, according to Columbus Business First. The Ohio State Board of Trustees will consider the athletic council's recommendation for 2016 ticket prices, as well as a move to make variable pricing a permanent policy. The Buckeyes have seven homes games in 2016 and five prices - Bowling Green and Tulsa ($70); Indiana and Rutgers ($80); Northwestern ($90); Nebraska ($135) and Michigan ($195).


tmay@dispatch.com

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