COLUMBUS - Ohio State backup quarterback Kenny Guiton and wide receiver Chris Fields are close.
"We're brothers from a different mother," Fields said, with a smile, after Ohio State's 29-22 overtime win over Purdue on Saturday.
Guiton reiterated his friend's assessment of their closeness.
"Chris and I are real good friends. We hang out a lot," he said.
Where they hung out together when Urban Meyer became OSU's coach last November was near the bottom of his list of players he thought were buying into his system.
They might have been close to being ex-Buckeyes if they hadn't gotten on the same page as their coach, according to Meyer.
Earlier last week, Meyer said Guiton once was dangerously close to getting a one-way ticket back home to Texas. And Fields has been so far off the radar that he hadn't caught a pass this season coming into Saturday's game.
But here they were, holding court with the media, after Ohio State's stunning come-from-behind win over Purdue.
Guiton was forced into action when Braxton Miller went out of the game with an injury late in the third quarter and Fields, who had played in the first half, got his big chance when OSU's No. 1 receiver Corey Brown also was knocked out of the game.
Guiton responded by leading a 69-yard touchdown drive in the final minute that ended with a diving catch in the end zone by Fields and a two-point conversion pass to Jeff Heuerman. Then he quarterbacked OSU to the game-winning touchdown in overtime.
After Miller went out, Guiton completed 6 of 11 passes for 77 yards. Fields caught three passes for 44 yards, including 35-yard reception and the touchdown catch in the endzone.
Guiton quickly convinced Meyer he was a team player last spring. But it took Fields quite a big longer.
"Three or four weeks ago, he wouldn't have been on the field,' Meyer said about Fields. "But he just changed his whole dynamics, the way he works, his practice habit and his performance."
Fields said he'd spent the last few weeks "just working on special teams, working my but off and waiting for my moment."
He said he doesn't plan to return to the background.
"The opportunity doesn't stop here," he said.
Guiton had to go all the way back to high school to remember anything that compared to what he did Saturday. As a high school sophomore, he threw an interception in the fourth quarter of a game for a touchdown, but his team came back to tie it, then won in overtime.
He said he never considered leaving Ohio State.
"I was never discouraged. I was just trying to keep my head up," he said.
Meyer's biggest issue with Guiton when he took over was that he wasn't showing the type of leadership he expected from quarterbacks.
"I don't think I stood out enough," Guiton said.
"When they (OSU's coaches) came in, I was just one of the guys going through the motions."