First posted by Stephan, at Inside The Shoe
In an otherwise very ugly game for Ohio State against Purdue, Braxton Miller showed at times what has made him so special. Miller escaped pressure time and time again to make a play, none seemingly more important than on 4th down on what should have been the game-winning touchdown. Miller was pressured, but showed great composure to keep his eyes downfield to find Jordan Hall behind the defense.
Miller definitely was not perfect on Saturday, but at this stage in his career, you cannot expect him to be. He overthrew several open receivers deep down the field throughout the game. His accuracy is something that needs to improve. Miller was 8-18 against the Boilermakers for a career-high 132 yards, but the low completion percentage brought his season average to exactly 50 percent.
One has to wonder if this stage is getting to Miller, as he was hailed out of high school as being a “true dual-threat that is advanced as a passer in comparison to most,” according to ESPN. His accuracy has been off almost all season, but his legs and his ability to make the big play have overshadowed this a bit. Hopefully this is just a result of growing pains, coming from high school to college football.
There is no question that Miller has the skills necessary to become a very good (maybe great, I won’t say it yet, it’s too early) quarterback for the Buckeyes. Some put the blame on the play-calling (looking at you, Bollman), considering the amount of talent on this football team. But it is a lot of young talent. Of the top seven receivers, four are freshman, two sophomores and Jake Stoneburner is the veteran of the group as a junior. It is a group that could have used the experience of DeVier Posey to lead on game day. The experience that this group has gained this season will be invaluable over the next few years.
With Posey returning for Senior Day against Penn State this week, I think it will open up more options for Braxton Miller and the passing offense. It would have been nice to have him back for the Nebraska game, like originally scheduled, but like most of this Buckeye football season, nothing has happened as it was supposed to. Hopefully Posey and Miller have established a connection in practice that will let them get together on the field, and let the Buckeyes open up the offense a little bit.
Even in a bit of a down year for Ohio State, the Buckeyes still have a chance to get to 8-4, and most importantly, beat That State Up North for the 8th consecutive time. Braxton Miller’s play will be vital in the final two games of this season, the possible bowl game and the next three years. He must prove that being a top-level quarterback is his destiny, and I'm excited to see how it plays out.