Life Without Braxton Miller Will Be Challenge, But Meyer, Ohio State Remain Optimistic

By Patrick Maks on August 20, 2014 at 1:17p
Urban Meyer discusses life without Braxton Miller.
37 Comments

Life without Braxton Miller began in a crowded team meeting room at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center Wednesday afternoon. 

Days after the Ohio State star quarterback re-injured his surgically-repaired throwing shoulder and less than 24 hours since being officially ruled out for the season, head coach Urban Meyer met with the media to answer the obvious: where do the No. 5-ranked Buckeyes go from here? 

"I really haven't given it much thought," Meyer, who confirmed Miller torn his right labrum during practice Monday, said. "Just worried about the moment."

Right now, that moment is a cocktail of different emotions, different feelings and it comes from different vantage points. On one hand, a season wrapped in championship hopes takes a major hit without arguably its most important player. On the other, it's apparently served as a rallying point for a team that feels slighted for already being written off in the national picture. 

"I still like our team after today's practice," Meyer said after calling the morning's session perhaps the best since coming to Columbus. "I really, really like our team." 

Still, it's hard to imagine losing Miller does Ohio State more good than harm. 

The senior and Heisman hopeful was the crux of an offense that was among the best in the country last season. For three seasons, Miller's been the centerpiece of the Buckeyes and the face of the Urban Meyer era as we know it. 

"It shatters your heart," Meyer said. "But you have to move on and get the next guy ready."

Charged with the sizable task of replacing the two-time Big Ten Player of the Year is redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett.

"He's kind of Guiton-ish," Meyer said, referring to former backup and fan-favorite Kenny Guiton. "That's a term we have around here." 

It's a lot of praise for a player who has yet to take a collegiate snap of football, but Meyer said Barrett is a "meticulous" player who schematically gels with the offense. "The best quarterbacks are great distributors," he said. 

To be fair, Ohio State won't just casually replace the void of leadership, experience and talent left in Miller's absence with Barrett. But the "quiet kid," as Meyer called him last week, from Wichita Falls, Texas, might give the Buckeyes their best shot at still contending for a spot in the inaugural college football playoff and beyond. 

Notes:

  • After sustaining considerably damage against Clemson in the Orange Bowl, Miller had surgery in February and missed spring ball to recover. As such, Meyer, like most people, expected Miller to be healthy by summer. "I believed he'd be ready to go in the summer, in my heart, i believed he'd be ready to go."
  • The notion of Miller re-injuring his shoulder was even further from his mind. "Did I have any thought that this would happen? No."
  • Meyer on team mood after Miller went down: "Devastating."
  • Meyer said he'll consider using both backup quarterbacks in Barrett and Cardale Jones. "Sure."
  • Meyer said it's important for Ohio State to operate its offense around Barrett's skill sets. Barrett's a distributor so the Buckeyes will tailor their approach to that compared to the more dynamic, explosive Miller. "Braxton's got a very unique skill set, has one of the quickest releases I've ever seen." 
  • Meyer said Barrett has roughly 300 competitive snaps compared to Guiton (who replaced Miller for the better part of three games last season). Meyer said Guiton had significantly less experience prior to assuming a starting job. 
37 Comments

Comments

dwcbuckeye's picture

"Braxton's got a very unique skill set, has one of the quickest releases I've ever seen."

Was Meyer talking about Braxton on the quick release or Barrett?  I never noticed Braxton had a super quick release

+3 HS
lsjSnail's picture

Really? Miller slings that thing like a crazed man.

+10 HS
Mortc15's picture

Braxton has a cannon, sure. But that doesn't equal quick release. I've heard others say JT has a quick release. 

Buck-I4Life

-1 HS
Clinger76's picture

Pretty sure he meant JT. He's been confused lately with names! Must be preseason jitters or could be, star Qb just went down with season ending injury.....has him on his mind.

"If you take no risks, you will suffer no defeats, But if you take no risks, you will earn no victories."

+2 HS
Dmac3212's picture

He is talking about Braxton. 

+3 HS
IH8UOFM's picture

I said the same thing when I read that earlier.

+1 HS
HotSauceCommittee's picture

I like the last statement. Basically says who would have thought Kenny could play such sweet smooth jazz.

+5 HS
JohnnyKozmo's picture

I'm ready to see the long awaited return of the slant and crossing pattern.  You get the ball in the hands of Wilson, Marshall, Dixon, etc., and let them do the work.  No defense in the country will be able to consistently cover those guys zigzagging across the field.  Then, just when you thought it was safe, BOOOM- there goes Heureman or Vannett streaking down the seam.

+11 HS
Chark's picture

Yes. I was struck by how open lots of players were in the recent Spring Game footage of J.T. on this fine site.

As long as he doesn't make big mistakes, we will be better than fine. The offense was more balanced when Kenny Guiton was starting in place of Miller. I see more of the same, except with a lot more weapons and a much better defense.

Alcohol will not solve any of your problems, but then again, neither will milk or water.

+1 HS
Shangheyed's picture

I think we will see mistakes, which will make for closer games.   But should be better than Braxton's Freshman year as Barrett is a Red Shirt... so has one more year of learning the system, and WAY more play makers.  Excited to see the future of the Buckeyes a little earlier than expected.

Barnsey69's picture

Win one for the Miller!

Edit: Win 15 for the Miller!

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes!

+12 HS
VintonCountyBuck's picture

There was a former Buckeye, that at one time, was asked to perfor the monumental feat of replacing Jonny Unitas. His team was able to rally around him and make it all the way to the Championship game.
If this team gels like it should..it could go a long way into the playoffs, no matter who is playing Quarterback.

“Right now, Michigan is not at the pinnacle of college football, and that’s all Urban Meyer cares about...He’s been there and knows what it takes to get there.” 

+5 HS
causeicouldntgo43's picture

Tom Matte - and he was really a running back!

+4 HS
dubjayfootball90's picture

Very optimistic and very excited. Tough pill to swallow, but the future still looks bright as hell!

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

+1 HS
SHAKENBAKE68's picture

Didn't know where to post this but I just got this email that Veteran Tickets Foundation has 1800 tickets for the Navy Game. They are for Veterans only.  So Buckeye Vets...check it out!

http://www.vettix.org/e/197867/T34w9p9pk231

Go Bucks!!

There is no such thing as "friendly fire"..

+11 HS
BuckeyeChief's picture

Thank you for the link; is it 1 ticket per vet? (As in,no families?).

 

"Damn I miss El Guapo"

Patriot4098's picture

I'm not a member. How much are the tickets and are they limited to 1 per person?

"Evil shenanigans!"     - Mac

Killer nuts's picture

Charged with the sizable task of replacing the two-time Big Ten Player of the Year is redshirt sophomore J.T. Barrett.

Isn't Barrett a redshirt freshman?

+4 HS
DCBuckeye33's picture

I cant imagine how a kid could talk to urban Meyer and not commit every single time. I am just reading snippets of an interview and I am totally over the grieving and READY TO GO with J.T. at the helm. Love our coach

GO BUCKS

+4 HS
JohnnyKozmo's picture

I was thinking the same thing today.  Even when he was at Florida, I obviously didn't have many good things to say about him, but every time he spoke, I was ready to sign up.

+1 HS
tOSUperiour's picture

The ones who didn't or don't commit are too intimidated. With someone like Urban Meyer, you either follow him or fear him (or both). No gray area with the man. Except the kind that pairs with Scarlet.

We don't give a Da*n for the whole state of *ichigan cause we're from OHIO!

+1 HS
Mortc15's picture

He's got the psychology background. Definitely helps in situations like this. 

Buck-I4Life

Fowle13's picture

Braxton or Barrett has unique skill set and quick release?

+1 HS
JBuckeye's picture

Still, it's hard to imagine losing Miller does Ohio State more good than harm. 

The senior and Heisman hopeful was the crux of an offense that was among the best in the country last season.

No it's not hard to imagine for exactly what you stated.  Miller was the keystone of the offense, and when he was hurt or didn't come to play it showed how pathetically the rest of the offense and coaching staff had mentally and physically failed to prepare for that eventuality.  The only thing that remotely saved tOSU going from title contender to laughing stock was Mr. Smooth Jazz himself.  

I'm not saying that Braxton isn't going to be missed, because he is a once in a lifetime type of player, but I'm kind of excited to see a TEAM instead of just Braxton. That is why Urban is excited and saying that this has been the best practice since he got here.  It's human nature to throttle back a bit when you know that you have a lifeline in a player like Braxton. You don't have to run your route as perfect or as fast because you know he is magic and can make something happen from nothing.  How many times did his freakish ability to scramble save plays? You get used to that kind of thing. Now that the safety net is gone, they are all going to have to show up and finally give that 30-40 seconds of all out effort that I've heard about but have yet to honestly see from anyone other than Braxton or El Guapo on the offensive side of the ball the past two years.

+2 HS
TUNBUCK89's picture

finally give that 30-40 seconds of all out effort that I've heard about

 I think you mean 4 to 6 seconds of relentless effort going from point A to point B.

+2 HS
ibuck's picture

4 to 6 seconds of relentless effort going from point A to point B.

Provided you know where Point B is. Not sure all the members of the defense knew that last year.

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

+2 HS
JBuckeye's picture

Thanks for keeping me on my toes!

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I think he got the best practice since he has been there because the team is fucking furious that they're already being pronouced dead for this season already!  THIS is the type of fire that will burn red hot all season long because the coaches and the media will keep bringing it up.  THIS is the type of event that allowed Urban to field a team of old lady punching, puppy kicking, lollipop stealing angry pissed of Gators and unleash them on our Buckeyes!  I am saddened to lose Braxton this year but I am elated that the team has responded with this venom and determination to prove the world wrong!  I'm actually starting to feel sorry for Navy and Virginia Tech at this point in time!

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

+4 HS
Buckeyejohn's picture

Thank goodness we have two awesome Tight Ends in Heurman/Vannett. With teams blitzing like crazy to rattle Barrett, he is going to need some legitimate safety valves. I expect the Barrett to Heurman connection to flourish and Heurman to appoach 500-600 yards receiving. Ohio State TE will finally be relevant again. JT is in good hands. 

+4 HS
gobucks96's picture

Why do I have a feeling Jalin Marshall, Curtis Samuel, and Dontre Wilson will see the ball a lot more? 

+5 HS
bigbadbuck's picture

Wasn't Guiton also from Texas?.........Maybe I'm over optimistic but I really think special things are going to happen in Columbus this year.....

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here its a war room

+5 HS
swainpm's picture

Guiton was from GA.

-3 HS
Oldschoolbuck's picture

Smooth Jazz is from Houston

+5 HS
swainpm's picture

Thanks for the correction Oldschoolbuck. Sad to say I was confusing him with Antonio Henton. My apologies Kenny!

+1 HS
gridironguy's picture

This makes me feel better? Maybe?

"Print is dead"

+2 HS