Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State football narrowly escaped disaster on Tuesday, when quarterback Braxton Miller came out of spring drills after taking a hit. The Associated Press reports Miller sustained his second hit to the ribs in a week, but head coach Urban Meyer said the quarterback was fine.
Miller led the Buckeyes to the only undefeated finish in all of Division I football last season. He will enter 2013 at the forefront of Heisman contention, but keeping him on the field is a top priority for the Buckeyes.
As happens with rushing quarterbacks, Miller is susceptible to punishing hits. He was removed from an Ohio State win over Purdue last October after taking a devastating collapse onto the turf. The injury looked much worse than it actually was — Miller was back in action the next week — but that is a risk he takes every time he leaves the pocket.
Kansas State Wildcats
The Post-Collin Klein era gets underway in Manhattan on Wednesday with the opening of Kansas State’s spring practice season. K-State won the Big 12 Conference championship in 2012 and a combined 21 games in the last two campaigns with Klein at the helm. However, replacing the Heisman Trophy finalist may not be the most arduous task venerable Wildcats coach Bill Snyder faces this off-season.
Jug Of Snyder examines a Kansas State defense replacing a whopping starters from last year’s unit, which allowed 22.1 points per game in the offensively explosive Big 12.
Oregon State Beavers
Oregon State’s surprise, nine-win 2012 came despite a quarterback controversy that lingered much of the season. That controversy appears no closer to resolved at the start of spring football.
The Oregonian reports OSU head coach Mike Riley joked with reporters about the competition between Sean Mannion and Cody Vaz.
Mannion was Oregon State’s starter for much of the 2011 season and registered some of the Pac-12 Conference’s most impressive passing stats. Vaz supplanted Mannion midway through 2012 when the latter struggled, but Mannion worked back into the lineup by season’s end.
Both have had struggles, but each has been effective. Choosing between two productive quarterbacks is an enviable position for a coach to have, though neither has Markus Wheaton to throw to this season. The Beavers’ star receiver is headed to the NFL draft later this month.
Kent State Golden Flashes
Darrell Hazell led Kent State to its first bowl game in four decades and an appearance in the MAC championship game. Hazell parlayed his success into the head coaching gig at Purdue, but the Golden Flashes are not
KSU opened practice on Tuesday with Paul Haynes at the helm.
Haynes was eager to get started, per the official Kent State athletic website:
I didn’t sleep at all last night. I kept getting up because I couldn’t wait for this day to get here … It was an awesome feeling to finally get out here on the game field. I haven’t been back out there in a very long time.
The 2013 Golden Flashes return electrifying running back Dri Archer. Archer garnered All-America honors for his kick returning, and is handling punts in off-season workouts.