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ESPN article on contenders fatal flaws(Braxton Miller)

shortbus20's picture
May 21, 2014 at 9:12am
59 Comments

I read this article on ESPN Insiders on fatal flaws for championship contenders. I found it interesting that they named Braxton as our flaw.  Yes I copied and pasted a small part of the Insider article.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Fatal flaw: Fourth-quarter/overtime performance of Braxton Miller

Miller led all Big Ten quarterbacks with a Raw Total QBR mark of 75.3 last season, but his performance in that category has shown a dramatic decline over the course of his career in the fourth quarter and overtime of games.

Last season, Miller ranked ninth among Big Ten quarterbacks in fourth-quarter/overtime Raw Total QBR (43.1) and 10th if the study is limited to contests against teams from BCS-caliber conferences (35.5).

This is not a short-term trend, as Miller has had 16 career starts in which the game ended with the teams within one score of each other. In six of those games, Miller posted a fourth-quarter/overtime Raw Total QBR of 78 or higher, and Ohio State went 5-1 in those contests. In the other 10 games, he posted a Total QBR of under 46; the Buckeyes' record in those matchups was a dismal 4-6. 

What makes those figures even worse is that they look to be tied to competition level. The combined win-loss record of the opponents in the six aforementioned games where Miller had a Total QBR of 78 or higher was 38-39. The win-loss record of the teams in the games where he played poorly was 90-42.

This means Miller tends to play well in close games against mediocre opponents but falters in crunch time against strong opposition. If Ohio State is to make the playoff (and win once it gets there), Miller must improve significantly in this area.

OSUStu's picture

Just a friendly reminder:  11W does not permit copy and paste of paid articles (or much content of any type of article for that matter).

http://www.elevenwarriors.com/help/commenting-policy

You may want to summarize this in your own words.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

+11 HS
danbrown7665's picture

no offense dude but who made you the commenting police. Let them handle it if they choose. This isn't your place.

"limitations, like fears are often just illusions"
-Michael Jordan, the greatest athlete of all time
 

-10 HS
OSUStu's picture

Nobody made me the commenting police.  As I said, it was a friendly reminder.  But hey, thank you for policing my comment.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

+24 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

Don't be so hasty...I kinda like the uniform!

 

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+5 HS
Gametime's picture

Brutal honesty. It's not saying something that anyone should be able to disagree with. That's what separates good teams from great teams and good QBs from great QBs. It's not just athletic ability or a live arm, but it's the ability to make quick, sound decisions, and EXECUTE when the pressure is on.

Braxton has yet to be able to put the team on his back in crunch time and march down the field. Perhaps some of that is the WRs, but we can't pretend like EVERYONE on his board didn't scream at the TV when Philly beat Clemson's safety on that double move and all Braxton needed to do was put some touch on the throw (perhaps he was too injured to make it).

However, if we look at what NCG QBs did in the title games in close contests, Vince Young against USC, Cam Newton against Oregon, Jameis Winston against Auburn, it's been proven time and again - being clutch in the pocket/throwing is what ultimately wins the close games and against caliber competition.

Hopefully it clicks for Braxton like it did for Troy & Pryor later in their careers. 

Between goals and achievement is discipline and consistency. That fire you have inside to do whatever you love is placed there by God. Now go claim it. ~ Denzel Washington

+16 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Vince Young against USC,

Young won the game with his legs.

Cam Newton against Oregon

Cam didn't exactly light the world on fire against Oregon. If not for Dyer's play, Auburn might have lost.

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

+1 HS
Gametime's picture

Young won the game with his legs.

Young was 30/40 - 75% for 267 yards and if not for 3 screens that went for negative yards, his average per attempt is 11.1. They had to respect his ability to throw which allowed him to hurt them with his legs - something Braxton still needs work on.

Cam didn't exactly light the world on fire against Oregon. If not for Dyer's play, Auburn might have lost.

Very true of Dyer's fluke-ish play, but that was only after Cam got injured. His 2nd Qtr he torched Oregon for completing 14 of 18 passes for 174 yards & 2 TDs. 

Between goals and achievement is discipline and consistency. That fire you have inside to do whatever you love is placed there by God. Now go claim it. ~ Denzel Washington

+1 HS
Groveport Heisman's picture

Shhh folks get all upset and don't know how to act when you bring out facts and logic.

Mark my words..I don't need acceptance. I'm catching interceptions on you innocent pedestrians.

-1 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Young was 30/40 - 75% for 267 yards and if not for 3 screens that went for negative yards, his average per attempt is 11.1. They had to respect his ability to throw which allowed him to hurt them with his legs - something Braxton still needs work on.

Despite that, he didn't throw a single TD in that game. To me, 50-75 yards on the ground = hurting them. 200 yards rushing and 3TDs(including the game winner)? He eviscerated USC with his legs.

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

-1 HS
DCBucki's picture

I would have to disagree, I think Braxton has been clutch late in the game. He fueled the comeback against Iowa this year (yes the ended the year terrible, but they were ranked and on a roll when we played them). He put us on his back last year against Penn State to score the final touchdown where he juked about 5 guys in 5 yards for a diving TD. He put us into scoring position for the go ahead TD with a 32 yard rush late in the 4th against ttun! He may not be the elite passing QB that we want him to be, but thats not entirely on him. There were a lot of drops and times when he's running for his life. Sure they will be a lot better with the influx of new talent, but to say that Braxton isn't clutch, thats absurd. We need to stop using him as an every down running back, and utilize the NFL caliber RB's we have on the field. The run sets up the pass... and I'm not talking about the QB run. Hyde was rolling most of the time, so let Braxton pass! Shouldn't be too many QB draws up the middle, unless its wide open! Braxton isn't no Troy Smith yet, but if you remember it was like light and day for him! Something just clicked and he bacame an elite college passing QB! He also had several amazing NFL caliber recievers! Pryor, he was just an athletic freak! He made plays and was hard to tackle. Can't imagine what his Senior year would've been like had "Tatgate" not occured!

"The deadliest weapon in the world is a MARINE and his rifle!"
GEN. PERSHING, US.ARMY
 

+1 HS
Gametime's picture

I'm not really saying Braxton doesn't make plays, because he does, but the references I'm making are more to the line of being clutch as a passer in the pocket. Being able to gash a defense scrambling is great, but I'm talking about being surgical, completing 3rd downs, running an efficient 2-minute drill, etc.

Beyond that I'm in total agreement with you about Braxton as a runner. We've got too many skill guys who can run the rock not spread the ball around that stable and simply use Braxton as wrinkle rather than a go-to play. They've got to keep him healthy to have any kind of shot this year.

Between goals and achievement is discipline and consistency. That fire you have inside to do whatever you love is placed there by God. Now go claim it. ~ Denzel Washington

kramalanj's picture

Their analysts have it sounding like this should have been on " Numbers Don't Lie " . I will throw out his first year, and would like to see how other players performed, just for some overall perspective.

Furious George 27's picture

Can he play better? Sure, but the fatal flaw would be more on the D. They are close games because 30+ points were barely enough in some games to win.  Miller was pretty much the whole offense  when he was a freshman and in Meyer's 1st season was the go to player so I would also expect his performance to go down late in the game because he's tired. With the record being 4-6 with the QBR below 46 is most likely from his freshman year when he had little to no QB coaching. So take it for what its worth which is ESPN presenting stats that don't paint the whole picture to bring the trolls out.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

-1 HS
CincyOSU's picture

You're absolutely right that our defense last year(and even the year before) was our fatal flaw...but that doesn't make what the writer said about Braxton was incorrect. Stats are stats and even the eye test will show you that Miller had issues when it came time to close out games. The defense may have put him in a difficult position, but it's his job to overcome that adversity.

+2 HS
Jack Fu's picture

I agree that the article's points on Miller's play late in games is 100% correct. That being said, if we were to assign "blame" for OSU's losses and close calls against inferior competition last year, I think there would be significantly more weight on the "defense" side of the scale than the "Miller's 4th quarter performance" side of the scale.

+2 HS
Furious George 27's picture

My only argument was that you could make a case that fatigue and injury could have had more to due with declining 4th Qtr production. Being that Miller is a dual threat his game is not solely on passing which the writer is only looking at.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+1 HS
DCBucki's picture

You hit it right on the spot. I would guess that if you looked at Braxtons rushing yards, he probably has more yards in the 2nd and 4th quarters than any other times in the game. The defense is tired and out of position, and the best athlete on the field is coming at you. I would also say that you need to discount Braxton's Freshman year b/c there are too many variables there. That team was depleted most of the year due to the suspensions and he was thrust into the lineup before he should have.

So, he has two losses in the last two years to two really good teams. If it wasn't for our defense, we probably would've won both games. I wouldn't say that either loss could be blamed on Braxton.

"The deadliest weapon in the world is a MARINE and his rifle!"
GEN. PERSHING, US.ARMY
 

+2 HS
rock flag and eagle's picture

DC, I agreed with your guess that 2nd and 4th quarters would be his most productive times.  I thought you were making an interesting point, so I looked it up.  Turns out we were off.  Here are Miller's stats:

1st Quarter 43 attempts in 2013 (3.9 per game) 358 yards, 8.33 ypc
2nd Quarter 47 attempts in 2013 (4.2 per game) 291 yards, 6.19 ypc
3rd Quarter 39 attempts in 2013 (4.3 per game) 200 yards, 5.13 ypc
4th Quarter 42 attempts in 2013 (4.6 per game) 219 yards, 5.21 ypc

He was by far his most effective in the 1st quarter, when he was fresh, or before the defense had time to adjust. 

-2 HS
hodge's picture

True.  And Meyer's reliance on Miller late in games in lieu of Carlos Hyde also resulted in him getting banged up and trying to force the ball.

Cases in point: MSU and Clemson.

+6 HS
DCBucki's picture

I still don't understand Urbans logic in that play calling. Hyde is chewing up yards, he has only been stopped for a loss two or three times ALL YEAR and you only need 1-2 yards for a 1st down. Instead of giving it to your bruising running back, you do a QB draw. I'm a firm believer that Braxton shouldn't be doing QB draws more than once, twice a game. QB sweep, or scrambling (not called obviously) is one thing, but keep those DL off his legs.

"The deadliest weapon in the world is a MARINE and his rifle!"
GEN. PERSHING, US.ARMY
 

Furious George 27's picture

What makes the writer incorrect is using the most negative stats from primarily from his freshman year as a basis of judgment against him now. Unless you believe Miller is the same QB now as he was then? And once again passing stats do not  tell the story of him making plays with his legs to close out games because his WRs drop easy passes or don't get open. I am not sure what your examples are for passing the eye test besides maybe MSU and even then I can attribute that to poor WR play just as much. Also, in no way do I believe he does not need to improve. Just tough to lay the majority of the fault on the QB who leads his team to 30+ pts and 500yds a game in which would also make the writer wrong.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

-1 HS
Hovenaut's picture

I remember bitching more about the non-use of Carlos Hyde.

Or that little issue with pass defense.

Those points said, do I hope see Braxton elevate his game? Absolutely.

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I am not very smart.

+3 HS
luckynutz's picture

Spot on. Against party, hyde had them softened up by the end of the third. They were just throwing their bodies at him hoping to knock him down by then. So much was said about their physicality on D and ability to tackle. But after 3 quarters of being punched in the mouth by hyde and the o line, they were worn down. And then Herman inexplicably lets them off the hook.

+3 HS
toad1204's picture

Good Find.  Interesting take on Brax's 4thQ.

I hate to say it but you really should link to the article if there's a whole section copy and pasted. 

 

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

+2 HS
causeicouldntgo43's picture

I'm not quite sure what a 'Raw Total QB" rating is composed of, but I assume it has some usefulness. When you invest in a stock portfolio, they do say "past performance is no guarantee of future performance", so I wouldn't equate this years "fatal flaw" to Miller based on the 2011 season's games, or last year's heavy reliance on Miller running a ton of inside zone and getting beat up as the games wore on.

This year will offer up a very different offensive scheme, so I wouldn't put too much reliance on his prior "Raw Total QB numbers". I would suggest the Buckeye's biggest fatal flaw is if Brax gets hurt for an extended period of time, especially later in the season, 'cause we ain't got no Kenny G. 

+2 HS
shortbus20's picture

It is an Insider article and I was on a fine line with what I took from the article already.  Here is the link but it is a pay wall article.

http://insider.espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10956184/college-...

And for  OSUSTU    I stated up front what I did and I know the rules which is why I didn't copy the whole article.

  • shortbus20
+2 HS
OSUStu's picture

I wasn't trying to bust your balls Shortbus.  I just don't think you are supposed to copy any "premium" content according to the commenting policy.  It was always my understanding, from what staff has said on previous occasions, that there can be consequences for the website if this happens.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

+1 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

100% true. Even with a bad defense, Miller could have won those two games with solid 4th quarter play. 

+8 HS
Furious George 27's picture

Isn't saying despite a bad defense, Miller could have won with better 4th Qtr play an aknowledgement the D is the major flaw and Miller didn't do enough to get past it... If you are looking at your QB to have to lead you to 30, 40 & 50 points just to put a team away then the flaw is the D.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+6 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

I guess you could argue both sides. If the team averaged 15 points per game, I think the D could be the fatal flaw. Truth is, we knew the defense was bad heading into the games. We just thought the offense could overcome the struggles of the defense. 

+3 HS
Furious George 27's picture

But if you know the D sucks then thats the #1 flaw, now its asking another unit to play near perfect to overcome their deficiency. Had the D been holding teams to 15pts a game and OSU was losing games then it would make sense to blame offensive players. The offense did overcome many of the defensive struggles, but sooner or later you knew it couldn't last. If Miller was soley a pocket passer then the article would make some sense, but he makes plays in so many other ways you cannot measure it in passing alone.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+1 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

I guess we have different definitions of "fatal flaw".  If the D was a fatal flaw, in my opinion, we'd lose every game that the defense struggled in. 

+2 HS
Furious George 27's picture

The defense pretty much struggled in every game, the only difference was that in those games, the other team was so horrible they couldn't stop our offense. Winning by 20+ often made you overlook the D making an average offense/QB have a break out game by their standards. The offense set records at OSU, the D was ranked 117th against the pass.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+1 HS
GVerrilli92's picture

You are correct sir.

You can't hold the two units to different standards, and then call the one you hold to a higher standard as possessing a fatal flaw. That's a systematic flaw. It's like admitting that your plan is to win with bad defense.

How many cheeseburgers are you gunna drive into that dirty old cheeseburger locker Brady Hoke?

+1 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

I think the plan was to win with bad defense. 

+4 HS
GVerrilli92's picture

Don't right the ship!! Just make it to land before we sink, captain!

It's just tough to swallow. My OSU pride refuses to let me believe that any defensive coach at any one point last year said to another, "We have a bad defense." But then again, there will be two defensive coaches not joining us this fall..

btw Brandon, that literally made me burst out laughing in class. Thanks for that.

How many cheeseburgers are you gunna drive into that dirty old cheeseburger locker Brady Hoke?

+1 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

You have to assume these coaches are normal guys like us. They won't say anything in public, but behind closed doors there had to be some honesty. Too many people are scared to be honest about the Buckeyes. A lot of people get worked up when you say anything that paints the Buckeyes in a negative light. Sometimes the shoe fits. 

+2 HS
GVerrilli92's picture

Seriously.

Fans who have never done a single successful thing in their life holding coaches to insanely unfair standards of ethics and morality. Yeah sure, with great power comes great responsibility, but I'm not gonna get mad that Urbs smoked a J in high school.

People who experience little personal success will latch onto anything that allows them to brag. And then hold those people in charge of their happiness unfairly accountable. What the hell is that??

These guys are under so much pressure to succeed. It might not be enough to some, but they do their best. Maybe you should learn to not hinge so much of your own happiness on the actions of another person. Just a suggestion for overall life enrichment.

How many cheeseburgers are you gunna drive into that dirty old cheeseburger locker Brady Hoke?

jamesrbrown322's picture

The same kind of fatal flaw (playing well against poor opponents, but poorly against good opponents) got JaMarcus Russell drafted #1 overall...

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

CincyOSU's picture

That statement doesn't make any sense. Russell and Miller are two VERY different types of QB's. In college, Russell was a completely different player than he was for the Raiders and a much more polished passer than where Miller is at right now.

 

-2 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

My statement was intended to convey that Russell was ALWAYS mediocre to poor against good competition, and destroyed mediocre to poor competition, which is pretty much what the ESPN article is alleging about Brax.

The truth is that I think Brax tried to put far too much on his shoulders and tried to make too many plays in the the 4th quarter of close games, rather than being willing to make safer plays, and rely on Hyde. I am hoping that it changes this year, as he appears to have more play makers around him.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+2 HS
allinosu's picture

The only way Braxton is our fatal flaw this year is if he gets injured. I do worry about that. He doesn't get hit until the first game from the year prior and it seems he goes through a period to adjustment before he toughens up.

+3 HS
GVerrilli92's picture

Who gave this a DV? Thought it was one of the truer statements in this discussion.

Our QB has a toughness issue, whether it's tied to his personality or his type of ability, it doesn't matter. He gets hurt often and that's not true of all running QBs, but you take the good with the bad.

We have a better chance to win when he's in the game, so you're much closer to being spot on than completely wrong.

How many cheeseburgers are you gunna drive into that dirty old cheeseburger locker Brady Hoke?

+2 HS
Furious George 27's picture

LOL, I noticed that too.... If you disagree, post the opinion and create a discussion rather than DV.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

-1 HS
The Rill Dill's picture

The coaching in the last two games was far worse than Braxton or the defense.  Michigan State's defense was NOT the 85 Bears.  They were gifted the win.  A win, no less.

+1 HS
GVerrilli92's picture

I don't think you understand the meaning of the terms opportunity cost or hindsight.

Who's to say that MSU doesn't stuff Carlos Hyde every single time you would have him run when Herman didn't?

Their scheme is built to beat us, they have to worry about beating the rest of their schedule with a scheme geared towards beating us. We have to worry about beating them with a scheme that's geared towards beating the rest of our schedule. So as the OSU coaching staff you have to pick your poison - do what you do best even though they're prepared to stop it, or design something new to catch them off guard. At the end of the day, you have to pick one and execute. We picked one, we didn't execute.

Is the familiarity of a play going to contribute to how well players execute it? Definitely. But I'm never going to get mad at an OC for over-adjusting because of being afraid to run into the wall. It's a harsher criticism of Herman to say, why did you do exactly what they wanted you to? Instead of, why didn't you do what we are best at?

Bollman vs. Herman

The irony is too good.

How many cheeseburgers are you gunna drive into that dirty old cheeseburger locker Brady Hoke?

Furious George 27's picture

You can even look at the Rose bowl, MSU stuffed Gaffney on a 4th and 1 up the middle and they have a very good OL as well... That could have happened just as well to Hyde who knows.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+1 HS
logamaniac's picture

C. Hyde 18 118 6.6 0 18   against MSU

T. Gaffney 24 91 3.8 1 47  against MSU

 

To compare Gaffney to Hyde is absurd.  I would also take the risk with a guy thats averaging nearly 7 yards per touch to gain you 2 yards.  However you are right in that nobody knows exactly what an outcome would be that hasn't had a chance to exist.  Just as you say he could have been stopped at the line its theoretically likely he's still running as I type this.

+1 HS
Furious George 27's picture

The comparison was that Gaffney and Hyde had very good lines. Both are NFL drafted RBs so the major difference is the style of offense they played in college. MSU was not worrying about a QB to pull the ball down to run it in Stanford. My point being was that they could have loaded the box against OSU like they did against Standford and make the stop because everyone thought Hyde was going to get it. Just because Hyde averaged 6 yds in the game, does not make the play a guranteed success. And trust me, I would have rather seen Hyde touch it. Either way, I gave an example of MSU stopping that play with a back up LB no less.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

logamaniac's picture

ok then i offer back to you that disregarding each backs longest run as an outlier to be more indicative of average Gaffney has 23 rushes for 44 yards or an average of 1.91ypc.  Hyde would have had 17 rushes for 100 yards or 5.88 ypc, showing an ever greater disparity of both power running and blocking.  So assuming that they both had very good lines then the most great difference must be in the talent of the back, further illustrating the inability to compare the two as equals.  

Also they couldn't have loaded the box due to tOSU having a much more dynamic offense as showcased by their choice not to do so, managing to stop braxton on the edge.

Ha its just semantics and friendly arguing because its not football season but at least we both agree Hyde should have been given the chance either way, GO BUCKS.

daveyt11's picture

The old "DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS" quote applies here

 

 

+4 HS
Groveport Heisman's picture

Wasn't 4 of these close game losses "Fickells fault"? They need to redue their whole metric with Miller under Meyer and Hermans offense. I bet it would look a tad difference.For Christ sakes Meyer came in and took a team that loss 7 close games the year before and turned it around into a team that WON every close game.

Mark my words..I don't need acceptance. I'm catching interceptions on you innocent pedestrians.

+1 HS
Furious George 27's picture

They are also losses with half the key starters out due to suspension. So many variables held against him from his fresman year that no longer hold true.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+3 HS
kareemabduljacobb's picture

Good article, it does have some truth but remember most of those 4th Q's they're referring to besides last season was his true freshman year, when our whole team as a whole was pretty young...  lots of true freshman and first year players playing a lot.  We'll need a good Braxton this year though.  I feel like our WR corps will improve thus helping Miller... I'm just worried how our OL will hold up. 

+2 HS
Buck Commander's picture

And ESPN's Most Fatal Flaw was Hiring that Piece of Shit Mark May!!!!!!

Every time I set my DVR to record Biggest Loser......It always records Wolverine Football Games!

+4 HS
BroJim's picture

While some of this may be true you cant really count Braxton's 1st year. ..

I season my simple food with hunger

+2 HS
Groveport Heisman's picture

Browsed Espin earlier for College Football Live and they picked Nebraska to win the Conference. They had Nebraska losing to MSU in the regular season then beating them in the B1G title game. They ripped tOSU and Braxton a new one and really seem like they are already in midseason form with the hate fest. I wonder if Brax tears it up this season if they will run a anti-Heisman campaign against him. Only thing Brax and tOSU can do to silence them is win the big games and we will be plenty battle tested this year.

Mark my words..I don't need acceptance. I'm catching interceptions on you innocent pedestrians.

-1 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

I know a lot of people have said this in so many posts before but it's hard for me to stomach their (espin) agenda - they constantly push push push their own crap and sell it like it's worth something!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

rekrul's picture

Not sure if this has been said but I think by the 4th quarter he is running on fumes and sometimes banged up.  He takes allot of hits and he runs allot, more than he needed to last year with our line and RBs.

Out Work, Out Think, Out Play!!!

+1 HS