First posted at Inside The Shoe, by Stephan
What a game. What a finish. What an effort. The Ohio State Buckeyes showed tremendous poise under pressure after surrendering a 12-point lead to Wisconsin with less than four minutes on the clock. Braxton Miller did not play like a freshman, he played like a man who knew he had a job to do, and that job was to win a football game. Much like Terrelle Pryor did back in 2008 against Bucky, Miller led a late 4th quarter drive to win the game for Ohio State.
The second half of the game was the Braxton Miller show, rushing for two touchdowns and, of course, throwing a 40-yard strike to Devin Smith to win the game. Miller showed excellent composure on his first touchdown run to give the Buckeyes their first lead of the game early in the 3rd quarter. On 4th-and-goal, Ohio State needed a touchdown to cap their opening drive of the half, a drive kick-started by Boom Herron’s 57-yard dash. A fake to the running back, a nifty move on a Badger defender and Braxton Miller walked into the end zone.
Miller’s second touchdown run of the game seemingly put the game out of reach when Braxton kept an option play and ran 44 yards untouched to the house. However, two Russell Wilson touchdown passes to Jared Abbrederis gave Wisconsin a 29-26 lead with 1:18 left in the game.
An excellent return by Jordan Hall gave the Buckeyes the ball just outside midfield, then Braxton Miller and the offense went to work. Three plays later, the Buckeyes were on Bucky’s 40-yard line. As the clock rolled after the chains were set for the first down, the Buckeye receivers looked confused, as they first lined up on the wrong side, causing a few more seconds to run off. There was no need to worry, since a scrambling Braxton Miller would find a wide open Devin Smith in the end zone. That sparked a wild celebration from the 105,511 in attendance, myself included.
From my seat in Block O South, I didn’t initially see Devin Smith running free behind the Badger defense. I was cued in on Braxton Miller, thinking he was going to scramble and at least get the Buckeyes into field goal range. Once I saw him release the pass, I looked up and saw Smith wide open and hoped that he would hold on to the pass that took five minutes to come down out of the air. At least that’s how long it felt like. As soon as I (and everyone around me) realized Ohio State had scored, we went crazy. I hugged complete strangers. I ended up three rows up from where I was originally standing, simply because I kept going up and celebrating and hugging more and more people. Without a doubt, that was the best sporting event I have ever attended. I’m not even sure there is a close second. This game was Secretariat, all the others are lining up behind it like it is the 1973 Belmont Stakes.
I cannot say enough about how impressed I was with Braxton Miller’s play in the second half. The kid has ice water in his veins. He showed no signs of being scared of Wisconsin and no sign of being scared by the situation. I think it is safe to say that Ohio State has got itself a fine quarterback for the next four years. It is, indeed, Miller Time.