Starting role awaits Braxton Miller

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Braxton Miller's spot in the starting lineup is safe, and the Ohio State quarterback could be ready to reclaim it after a one-week absence.

A sprained left knee forced the junior to miss Saturday's win on the road against California, but coach Urban Meyer upgraded his status to probable for this week's final nonconference tuneup against Florida A&M.

"We've still got a lot of work to do," Meyer said during his news conference Monday. "If he's ready, he'll play this week."

Meyer indicated he knew as early as last Thursday that Miller, who sprained an MCL early in the Buckeyes' 42-7 win over San Diego State on Sept. 7, wouldn't be able to play against Cal.

The Buckeyes survived just fine without Miller, beating the Bears 52-34. Backup Kenny Guiton piled up 368 yards of total offense and accounted for four touchdowns, including a 90-yard toss to Devin Smith -- the longest play in program history. Guiton earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors for his breakout effort, again validating the faith Meyer has in his second option at quarterback.

But Meyer reiterated that his pecking order won't change when Miller is healthy.

"I don't think so," Meyer said. "I'll know more. [Miller's] actually working out pretty soon, and I would say there's a pretty good chance. He's probable to play this week.

"He wanted to be in there last week, but he knew it wasn't the right thing to do."