Miller Surpassing Expectations in Sophomore Season

By Kyle Rowland on November 5, 2012 at 8:20p

Much was expected of Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller this season. After a sporadic freshman year, Miller entered his sophomore campaign as the no-doubt-about-it starting quarterback. Not only that, he would do so under the tutelage of head coach Urban Meyer and offensive coordinator Tom Herman. 

Braxton Miller is rewriting the OSU record book.

Those expectations have been surpassed. Miller has the Buckeyes on the cusp of an undefeated season. Ohio State enters its bye week at 10-0 and ranked No. 5 in the country with Wisconsin and Michigan as the remaining hurdles.

In the first game of the season, Miller established a new single-game rushing record for an Ohio State quarterback with 161 yards against Miami (Ohio). He broke it one month later against Nebraska with 186 yards in a game Ohio State won, 63-38.

Miller has 1,166 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns on the season. He is the first player under Meyer to reach the 1,000-yard mark in a season. Miller ranks 15th in the country with 116.6 rushing yards per game and is averaging more than six yards per carry.

Antwaan Randle El and Denard Robinson are the only other Big Ten quarterbacks to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

But what makes Ohio State’s rushing attack even more potent is the addition of running back Carlos Hyde. Together, Miller and Hyde average 36 carries and almost 209 yards per games, second-most in the country for a run tandem. They’ve scored 26 touchdowns.

It isn’t just running that has defenses off balance, however. Miller has thrown for 1,753 yards and 14 touchdowns against six interceptions.

He has accounted for 27 touchdowns, four shy of the Ohio State record shared by Troy Smith and Bobby Hoying. Miller’s 292 total yards per game is 22nd in the nation and on pace to best Joe Germaine’s OSU single-season record of 270.6 set in 1998.

All told, that’s why Miller is among the handful of players being seriously considered for the Heisman Trophy. It’s also why he was on a conference call with national media Monday night.

  • Despite being banged up repeatedly, Miller said he’s “absolutely healthy” and is continuing to get healthy for the November stretch run. He ices his arm daily after practice and says it isn’t bothering him.
  • Footwork is the part of his mechanics that needs the most improvement, Miller said. He said at times his individual work in practice is lacking because the offense needs to get better as a whole. Miller said he felt more complete as a quarterback against Illinois.
  • In practice, Herman is the coach who works most with Miller. He said Meyer jumps around to each position but does spend some time with the quarterbacks.
  • On the bowl ban, Miller said things happen. Meyer and the rest of the coaches have kept the team focused throughout the season, according to Miller. Sending the seniors off the right way has been a central theme.
  • The polls aren’t a focus of the team. They just go out every week, play their game and take it one at a time, Miller said.
  • Miller said he watched the Alabama-LSU and Oregon-USC games, said they featured a lot of playmakers and athletes.
  • The spread offense (obviously) has been a good fit for Miller. He said he knew it would be exciting not only for him but other positions on the team.
  • He’s having a Heisman-esque season, but Miller said he hasn’t paid attention to his own stats. He said he only hears about it when people tell him. “OK, that’s cool,” he said.
  • Troy Smith said Miller could be the best quarterback in school history over the weekend. Braxton said it means a lot to him because Smith was an all-around quarterback. Braxton called Troy “complete,” said he watched him all the time.
  • When the two talk, Miller said Smith told him to make sure he completes his passes, gets everyone involved and is a leader on the field and in the huddle.
  • Miller said Carlos Hyde and others playmakers are stepping up now because they’ve been in the system for so long now. Everyone is getting comfortable and the offense is clicking.
  • Having Hyde and Rod Smith in the backfield is great, Miller said. “With those two guys in the backfield, nothing will go wrong,” a chuckling Miller said. He said he’s comfortable with the triple-option.
  • USC wide receiver Marqise Lee is the one player that has caught Miller’s eye. His production at so many different positions is the reason.
  • Miller is not comfortable being in the spotlight and he doesn’t like to talk about himself. “Man, it’s tough. I try not to talk about it,” he said.
  • The most memorable play of the season for Miller was his run at Penn State. It wasn’t a designed QB-read. He was supposed to hand off to Hyde, but Miller pulled the ball after a bull-rush collapsed on Hyde.
  • Leadership is the spot where Miller believes he has improved the most. Last year as a freshman, he said he didn’t know how to take that role. Miller said he has to be vocal being the quarterback.

Comments Show All Comments

swank427's picture

The difference in a years time is amazing

Mi.Buckeye's picture

Having a non conservative offense is more amazing!

razrback16's picture

Just having someone running the offense who knows what they're doing, and having competent coaches coaching the offensive line and the quarterbacks are paying huge dividends now. This offense is basically the same personnel as last year, just a totally overhauled offense was installed with good coaches running it. Night and day difference. Exactly what most of us have been clamoring for. I'm loving every minute of it!

BeijingBucks's picture

What a difference next year will make! We entered this year with no o line and no WRs.

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

cbusbuckeye's picture

The future is so bright for this team. This year has been great and the next two seasons Braxton Urban and the boys are gonna take it to a whole nother level!

nickma71's picture

I have to admit being disappointed that his primary offensive coach last year was the walrus. This could have been his freshmen season.

Codeezy's picture

I understand your viewpoint, but in the same vein, I would be ecstatic of this were our QBs SENIOR year, let alone his first as a starter. I'm thankful for every game and every play we have with him. Would you rather have Braxton as a soph or Denard as, anything? Lol

Codeezy's picture

First full year as starter*

cbusbuckeye's picture

Haha is that even a question?!

Mi.Buckeye's picture

^ Like. I am not at the level to up vote comments yet.
You can help me!

gbdawg's picture

Steve Everitt (ex SCUM player) is eating crow after saying OSU would be stuck with Braxton for the next 3 years. MORON

CowCat's picture

Actually, it's TTUN that is stuck with having to defend Braxton for the next few matchups.

Good luck with that! Lol

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

ODEEZ330's picture

What a great read. He'll definitely be in new york. Love this guy so humble. Love what he said abt smith n hyde in the backfield with him. I love r triple option with smith on the pitch potential bigplay or touchdown everytime

stark county football

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

I think Marqise Lee has caught everyone's eye. That boy is something special. I keep saying to myself "what if he and Woods were on this team with Miller and Hyde".

It's also great hearing that Troy and Braxton are communicating.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

cbm 1929's picture

R.I.P. Video Coordinator Coach Sic / Decided Schematic Dis-advantage Coordinator Coach Walrus Bollman

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I would to see how many ankle breaking moves Braxton has made this year!  I know of at least 10 in the PSU game alone.

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

AllDay028's picture

And yet we still have morons within the buckeye faithful that call for Brax to be sat for Kenny G.

AC1972's picture

I'm hoping some creative dubster puts together an XBrax360 highlight video. Get I out before next game.

Doc's picture

I have to remind myself that Braxton is just a sophomore.  He is such a dynamic qb it is easy to forget.  This offseason is going to do wonders for his mechanics and leadership.  2013 + 14 are going to be really fun.  Not that this year hasn't been, but damn is the future bright.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

IBleedSandG's picture

If we are averaging 40 ppg (39.9) this year, we might average 50 ppg next year. The offense is gonna be really explosive next year with practically all the starters returning.


timdogdad's picture

i hope we have a bowling average season next year.  meaning we keep up our average of scoring 49 and allowing 14.    a season where winning the game will barely be an issue, but keep up a 35 pt win average.   this teams potential is amazing. imagine braxton improving his throwing, reading the option better,  better special teams play, a better defense.   all kidding aside, averaging 49-14 is basically expected.  

buckeyeEddie27's picture

Speaking of eating crow, after the scum game and Gator Bowl losses last year my Dad had some serious doubts about Miller.  Try as I might, he wouldn't get on board with him.  He's terrible, he can't pass, he takes too many sacks blah blah blah.  So I put a 20$ bet down that by the same time next year he'd be singing a diffrent tune. 
Fast forward to right now. 
Would you like some told ya so with that crow there Dad?  lol 
He's since come around and repented for his doubting thomas sins against Brax.   
But I don't expect to see the 20 bucks.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

osubuckeye4life's picture

One word I think best describes XBrax360: