An Ode to the Former Quarterback: Braxton Miller's Ten Best Plays

By Mike Young on July 27, 2015 at 10:10 am

In his three seasons as a quarterback, Braxton Miller was the most electrifying athletic talent to ever play the position at Ohio State. His array of jukes, spin moves and general open-field wizardry made him the nation's most exciting player to watch. 

That won't change with his switch to the H-Back and receiver role. However, the amount of playmakers around Miller will limit the opportunities for him to showcase the skills that once made him a Heisman front-runner. 

As long as Urban Meyer continues dominating on the recruiting trail, it will be a while until we see a one-man highlight reel quite like the one Miller produced in his first three years. Fortunately, we can always look back at what he accomplished as a quarterback. 

First, the plays that didn't quite make the cut:

Honorable Mention

10. A Philly Flip

Considering how many times Purdue threatened to upset Ohio State – including Kenny Guiton's heroics while filling in for Miller in 2012 – it was nice to see a blowout.

In a forgettable, 56-0 game in West Lafayette, Miller improvised this touchdown flip to Philly Brown. He didn't often get credit for his ingenuity while throwing the ball but Miller should on this:

9. Igniting the Revenge

The 2011 matchup with Nebraska might be the most frustrating Buckeye game I've ever seen. After washing away the stain of that loss with several whiskeys, I found the only good thing to come out of it: Joe Bauserman's passing chart.

Miller's sprained ankle was the only reason Bauserman even entered the game. A year later, a healthy No. 5 and OSU sought to avenge that poor performance in Lincoln. The Huskers led 17-7 early in the second quarter but Miller ripped off this long run to set up a momentum-changing touchdown: 

8. A Glimpse at the Future

The 2013 home game against Indiana was memorable for the swirling snowfall at Ohio Stadium, maybe not so much for this play. Miller's looming position change might make this end-around stand out a little more. 

Split out wide with Guiton taking the snap, Miller ran towards Guiton and received a pitch. His first notion was to find someone to throw it to, but he ended up taking it in himself. We should see plays similar to this one during the 2015 season:

7. Miller Dices Up Cal

The day was indicative of that season's offense, as Miller accounted for nearly 80 precent of Ohio State's total yardage against California in 2012. While the aforementioned 72-yard bomb to Devin Smith was the bigger play in terms of the game's outcome, this was the more dazzling play from Miller:

6. The Record Setter

The 2011 Buckeyes struggled with a one-win Indiana team. That season will not go down in the history books – in a positive sense – but this one did.

Up until J.T. Barrett topped it with an 86-yard touchdown against Minnesota, last season, this was the longest run by a quarterback in OSU history:

5. Miller Delivers the Stiff Arm of Justice

In a game filled with iconic moments in the history of the rivalry, this one isn't necessarily among them. It was no Marcus Hall double-bird salute nor did it equal the importance of Tyvis Powell's interception at the end of the fourth quarter.

However, this run is among Miller's most electric plays:

rogram Around

4. Turning the Program Around

A year after finishing 6-7, the Buckeyes slogged through the early part of the 2012 season. They didn't look particularly impressive in the three weeks leading up to the Big Ten opener at Michigan State. 

It was still ugly against against the No. 20 ranked Spartans, but Meyer consistently pointed to it as the turning point to their undefeated season. This bullet, from Miller to Smith, was the decisive play in the game:

3. Did I Stutter?

Miller certainly brought the explosives in Meyer's debut as head coach. 

Giving us a taste of what life would be like in an offense perfectly suited to his talents, Miller ran for 161 yards and accumulated three touchdowns while blowing out the Miami RedHawks. Smith's one-handed catch was the highlight of the game, but this Miller run was spectacular in its own right:

2. A New Nickname

As a collective fan base, we could and should have come up with a better nickname for Miller than "XBrax360." It's already outdated since the XBox One is Microsoft's top console.

Regardless, this play deserved all the hyperbole. It was quintessential Miller. He spent a tremendous amount of energy to gain only one yard:

1. An Unforgettable Play in a Forgettable Season

Ohio State's upset over No. 15 Wisconsin was the one redeeming moment during the 2011 season. 

Both teams lit up the scoreboard in the final five minutes and the Buckeyes did it almost entirely on the ground. Nearly half of Miller's total passing yards for the game came on this one play, undoubtedly his signature moment:

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