Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Buckeyes' Guiton doubling as Masoli
By ESPN.com staff
Kenny Guiton was an eleventh-hour commitment to Ohio State, which needed a quarterback after losing targets Tajh Boyd and Austin Boucher to other programs.
Ohio State's quick courtship of Guiton in January sparked plenty of curiosity about the Texas prep star, who ran some option in high school before transitioning to a spread system. Guiton hasn't seen the field this season as the third-stringer, but he's playing a crucial role in the Buckeyes' preparation for No. 7 Oregon in the Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi.
See, until Jan. 1, Guiton is Jeremiah Masoli.
Masoli, the dynamic Oregon quarterback, is the trigger man for a Ducks offense that ranks sixth nationally in rushing (236.1 yards per game) and seventh in scoring (37.7 points per game). For Ohio State to keep pace with Oregon, it must slow down the 5-foot-11, 220-pound junior quarterback.
That's where Guiton and the scout team come in.
"He's done a great job of executing all year," Ohio State safety Anderson Russell said of Guiton. "He's probably not as big as Masoli is. Kenny's like 6-4, but he doesn't weigh as much. He's doing a great job of executing their fakes, and he's been watching film on those guys to give us great looks."
Many will point out that Ohio State's defense could get its best taste of what's to come from Terrelle Pryor, the Buckeyes' starting quarterback. Pryor, who strongly considered Oregon in recruiting, still is seen as a prototypical spread-offense quarterback.
Though Ohio State's offense has some parallels with Oregon's, Russell and his fellow defenders will get more out of facing Guiton and the scout team.
"There are some similarities," Russell said, "but Oregon's run game is more complex than ours is as far as a lot more misdirection. It gives us somewhat of a look, but it's still different."