Smith will start in place of fellow sophomore Justin Zwick, who suffered a mildly separated shoulder in Ohio State's loss at Iowa last week.
Quarterbacks coach Joe Daniels announced the decision after consulting with head coach Jim Tressel. It will be Smith's first collegiate start. Daniels says Zwick will be available if an emergency should arise. The Buckeyes also have third-string quarterback Todd Boeckman on their depth chart.