Braxton Miller is No. 1 in Game-Winning Drives

By DJ Byrnes on June 11, 2014 at 12:55p
49 Comments

Braxton Miller is good, but with Ohio State's two-game skid to end last year's season, people may have forgotten just how good he is, especially with the game on the line.

It turns out, he's led more game-winning touchdown drives than any quarterback in the country.

drives player school
6 Braxton Miller Ohio State
Keenan Reynolds Navy
Shane Carden East Carolina
3 Brandon Connette Duke/Fresno State
3 Terrell Hunt Syracuse

Here's Urban Meyer on his young dynamo:

I think Braxton having the most game-winning drives reinforces what we have believed about this young man all along: that he is a fierce competitor and one of the most valuable players in the country.

Per a release from Ohio State, here's a walk down memory lane of Braxton's heroics:

  • 2011 vs. No. 15 Wisconsin: Miller, a freshman in his fifth collegiate start, connected with Devin Smith on a 40-yard touchdown pass with 40 seconds left to play to give Ohio State a 33-29 victory.
  • 2012 vs. California: Miller rallied the Buckeyes twice in the fourth quarter, hitting Jake Stoneburner with a touchdown pass when trailing, 21-20, and then producing the game winning score – a 72-yard strike to Smith with 3:26 left to play – to secure the 35-28 win.
  • 2012 at Wisconsin: Miller rushed for 12 yards in overtime, including an eight-yard gain to set up a first-and-goal from the 2, in the 21-14 overtime victory.
  • 2013 at No. 16 Northwestern: Trailing 30-27 inside of 10 minutes to play, Miller completed four-of-four passes for 64 yards to spark an eight-play, 81-yard drive for the winning touchdown in the Buckeyes’ 40-30 win. 
  • 2013 vs. Iowa: Miller finished off a 10-play, 75-yard drive for the game-deciding touchdown with just over 13 minutes to play and, on Ohio State’s next series, he led an 11-play, 64-yard drive for a field goal. The Buckeyes won, 34-24.
  • 2013 at Michigan: Miller’s 32-yard rush on first down was the big play during a six-play, 65-yard scoring drive that put Ohio State in front of its rivals for good, 42-35, with just 2:20 left to play.

 For my money, it's the 2011 drive against Wisconsin that will always be my favorite:

49 Comments

Comments

MN Buckeye's picture

While I hope we are never in a position to need game-winning drives this season, it is good to know that we have a proven quarterback, possibly the very best overall player in the nation.

+3 HS
0therion0's picture

I dunno. Never needing a game-winning drive probably would speak more to a weak conference than a strong team. We play MSU and PSU on their home turf this year. If #5 needs to lead a game-winning drive in those games, call me a happy fan when he does. It's pretty excellent that the young man can get the job done when called on.

I stopped being cool before it was cool to not be cool. #TrendSetter

+1 HS
Dillon G's picture

Know why John Elway had more 4th quarter comebacks than Joe Montana? Montana took care of business in the first three quarters.

+2 HS
DJ Byrnes's picture

Braxton Miller is 22-2 as a starter. I think he takes care of business in all quarters.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

blocko330's picture

Can't argue with you on the fact that he takes care of business but he had two losses alone just last year - Lost to Mich St. in 2011 plus one or two others I believe....

+1 HS
cw823's picture

I'm assuming your "330" is your IQ x 3.

He also lost to Clemson.  A simple google search would've helped you here.  Not sure how you can be a Buckeye fan and not remember that game.

-10 HS
blocko330's picture

Are you actually stupid CW823?? I was simply correcting DJ as he stated he's 22-2 as a starter.... he lost two games last year (MIch St. and Clemson) and I was also saying he had a couple losses in 2011 -- re-read my comment and get off my d***

Do I remember the Clemson game?? uhhh they played Clemson last year....

+3 HS
blocko330's picture

By the way, I used this "google" you speak of and using your math it appears my IQ is 110 which falls in the "high average" category so I thank you.

+5 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

Braxton is 22-2 as a starter under Urban Meyer. Did you completely wipe your memory of 2011, DJ?

+4 HS
DJ Byrnes's picture

What's 2011, Brandon?

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

OSU069's picture

Are you serious? Braxton has had a great record as the starting QB the last 2 years. I would say that he gets it done in all quarters. 

+2 HS
AndyVance's picture

I get Dillon's point about not being in a position to need a game-winning drive, but in our case one could (and probably should) note that the need for game-winners in our case these past few years has been a symptom of defensive deficiencies rather than a lack of offensive production.

+12 HS
DrSpaceman's picture

I never realized that B. Miller went four for four on passes at the end of the Northwestern game. Guapo's performance really distracted me from what Braxton was doing, especially when he wasn't doing so hot the first couple quarters (that overshot wide open receiver in the first half will forever be etched in my memory).

"Medicine is not a science" - Leo Spaceman

+2 HS
chirobuck's picture

I think what El Guapo was doing at the end of the game probably distracted the entire NW defense and was probably a big reason why Miller was able to complete those 4 passes.....that guy will really be missed Zeke and the other RBs have some big shoes to fill

 
^ best post ever ^

+1 HS
hit_the_couch's picture

Maybe tOSU will hire a defense this year and not need game winning drives, especially seeing as 5/6 of those teams had 5 or more losses on the season. They were also up 2 or so TDs on '11 Wisky when 'I don't know what the F happened' and the lead slipped; this one can slide seeing how bad overall the Bucks were in '11 and probably weren't supposed to win that game. 

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

cw823's picture

How does one "hire a defense" in NCAA football?

BroJim's picture

I remember that pass against Wisconsin, I watched it on my phone. That night I was at a G. Love concert and my buddy and I started celebrating in between sets, everyone was confused and we looked like fools but we didn't care. 

I season my simple food with hunger

+2 HS
Mr Soul's picture

I was in 20AA, row 10.  When Brax steps on the "40" and throws, he's right in front of me.

 

Keep the change, ya filthy animal!

+1 HS
Hovenaut's picture

The guy knows how to close.

Seems like he's prime for a helluva final season at Columbus.

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

+2 HS
AndyVance's picture

Get that man a cup of coffee:

 

+2 HS
rock flag and eagle's picture

I don't think the 2013 Iowa game is an example of clutch play from Miller.  That quarter was all Hyde.  The game was tied 24-24 with 2:30 left in the the 3rd quarter.  Iowa never scored again.  Ohio State had the ball at the end of the third quarter and the score is still tied.  Then 90 seconds into the 4th quarter, Hyde breaks a long run to score the game winning touchdown.  I guess Miller's handing off ability was clutch.

Anybody disagree with me?  Ohio State was in clock killing mode the entire 4th quarter. (well, the last 13:24)  Miller was 3/5 passing, for 12 yards in the 4th quarter.  Also, on his last "real" run of the game when all OSU was trying to do was run out the clock, Miller fumbled and Evan Spencer recovered.  Miller rushed for 35 yards that quarter.  Hyde rushed for 70 and scored the only OSU touchdown. 

-1 HS
theopulas's picture

QBs always get credit for the 2 yards plunge for the game winning td....why now deny Miller....he surely has won some with his talents....

Theopulas

+2 HS
hspbuy1's picture

Love watching Braxton compete. He has that desire to win at all times.

hspbuy1

+1 HS
Nutinpa's picture

These were cool stats and a story line to read, but until Braxton Miller leads a game-winning drive against an elite team in an elite Bowl Game, his legacy is still TBD in my opinion.  The "heroics" described in this article were against, at best, better-than-average teams (and I am being kind).  That said...the pass vs. Wisky in 2011 will stand as one for the ages...no argument there!

Against the two most season and career-defining games this past season  (Sparty and Clemson) Miller, his offense, and its coaches came up small.  It's true he played hurt against Clemson and arguably should have been replaced by KG in the last few minutes.

But for my money....with this year as his last, but great chance to be considered among the best of all time at OSU or maybe anywhere else, Miller has a lot to prove with everything on the line.  We will also see how he performs without Carlos Hyde to carry this offense and give opposing D's something else to worry about besides Miller's running ability.  And we'll see how he performs in the clutch against teams beyond the comfortable confines of the Big Ten.

I don't expect my opinion to be popular in this fan forum, but there is another side to the flattering piece that was written -- and a legacy yet to be etched in stone.

+3 HS
Furious George 27's picture

I would hold the D more accountable for those losses than Miller not doing enough to win the games.  Although I will agree if he was hurt you had KG to step in. 35 points should always be enough to win a game and MSU did not have an offense that should have scored 34pts with such ease.

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

+1 HS
Nutinpa's picture

Fair points.  No argument. 

Nonetheless, even with a crappy D, sometimes you have to carry the team. 

The 4th quarters of both games were painful to watch in terms of our Offense...but you are right, the D was of little help.

Put the 2005 D with last year's O....and think of what could have been.

ibuck's picture

35 points should always be enough to win a game 

Always? The offense doesn't have to perform after getting 35 points?  By this thinking, the D can shut out the opponent for 3 qtrs, then let the other team score at will? What if the O only has 6 points?

To me, if the offense is on the field, they must be trying to score, except when they are ahead and can run out the clock. 

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

-2 HS
theopulas's picture

i totally agree....only a special year from Miller will get us to the playoffs....

Theopulas

GH_Lindsey's picture

Brax really seems to thrive under the pressure. He has also been killer on half-ending drive to get us a score before we go into the locker room throughout his time here.

+3 HS
Nutinpa's picture

No better illustrated than the bullet he through to Philly Brown to end the half last year vs. Wisconsin.  'Won the game for us imo.

+5 HS
Knarcisi's picture

Pretty enlightening info, as I would not have openly said he's been a winning drive kind of QB.  He was called into crap plays vs. Sparty, and was obviously hurt vs. Clemson, so those are the games that stick with me and haunt me this offseason.  Here's to 2014 being the cherry on top for Braxton and Buckeye Nation.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Would be 7 if not for the blocked FG against Purdue. :/

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

+2 HS
chirobuck's picture

There is no doubt Braxton has put a very nice resume together here in Cbus.....while I still question him as a true QB to take over big games against elite teams using his arm and his mind, it is nice to know that we are going into this season with a QB who has the experience, desire and athleticism to take the ball down the field on a given drive to win a game, hopefully we won't need that too often though

 
^ best post ever ^

+1 HS
cw823's picture

He wins games because he's a talented athlete, not necessarily because he's smart.

He needs to be smart this year for OSU to have a chance in the playoff.

-1 HS
BuckeyeGrownFloridaLiving's picture

Really wished to have the 7th at the Orange Bowl. But alas, we have been very blessed over the last 2 (3) years.

+1 HS
ODEEZ330's picture

If the guy had half of a silver bullet defense opposite of him he'd have 0 losses past 2 yrs imo and we'd be saying best osu qb ever only if lol

O'Deez330
stark county football

+1 HS
BenArazi4's picture

Shouldn't be called game winning drives when you almost blow huge leads and then hold on to win the game.  Braxton is about as clutch as Tony Romo

 

 

 

-4 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

What huge leads has Braxton blown?

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

+1 HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

Could he be referring to the Wisconsin game in The 'Shoe last year?  We did have them down big, but I don't think it was Braxton to blame for UW coming back.  The offensive play calling went into conservation mode, in my opinion.  Just eat up the clock and run time off so the Badgers couldn't use more...

Marc Pocock (a.k.a NuttyBuckeye)

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Pretty interesting that the season opening showdown of Ohio State and Navy features a matchup of the two QBs with the most game winning drives amongst active QBs.  Hopefully neither QB ups their total in Baltimore...meaning OSU win and comfortable win.

Class of 2010.

+1 HS
GVerrilli92's picture

Some of us have definitely become desensitized to Braxton's awesomeness.

He could be better, but we're only allowed to say that because of the standard that's been set for dual-threat QBs at tOSU in the last 15 years and the expectations moving forward. Simply put, the cat can ball.

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

+1 HS
Nutinpa's picture

Nobody is doubting whether he can ball. 

The question is whether he can put the team on his back and carry them to greatness....in the clutch.....in huge games....against great teams....not Northwestern, Iowa or Wisconsin. 

Now it's about Miller's legacy.  Does he belong in the same breath as Vince Young, Tim Tebow and other QBs of the modern era who put their teams on their backs and carried them to a National Title -- dual threat or otherwise?

Your description of awesomeness is one way of looking at it.  Mine is the other.  It has nothing to do with being desensitized.

We'll see what Miller's legacy winds up being...either with the help of a stout Defense or without one. And yes, to be fair, so far he hasn't had one to bail him out.

GVerrilli92's picture

"It has nothing to do with being desensitized"

Your first three paragraphs suggest otherwise.

I'm just saying, if we have an Ohio State defense last year we'd be talking about how much better Braxton is than Troy. Imagine last year's offense with even more opportunities off of defensive stops.

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

RedStorm45's picture

It's kind of sad looking at some of those opponents that a late-game drive was NEEDED to win.  It's great that we have Braxton to do that, but look at those games that were in jeopardy in the 4th quarter?  Yuck.  Oh well, better those turned out as W's than the alternative.

nickel beer's picture

"For my money, it's the 2011 drive against Wisconsin that will always be my favorite."

That was around halloween, right, whata halloween and my favorite, too.  The guy has to stay healthy--and that means he's got to get the ball to other playmakers a lot mo'.  If he does that, it's heisman time.

nickel beer