Tag Archives: braxton miller

It’s Miller Time In Columbus

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4 years ago I sat in the north end zone row AA at a night time tilt between Ohio State and Penn State. It was the kind of game that would’ve made Bo and Woody proud, it was a 10-6 ugly defensive struggle that drained every ounce of energy and alcohol from my body.

The lasting memory of the game was watching Terrelle Pryor, the overhyped freshman sensation from just outside of Pittsburgh, PA hoist a bomb in the end zone only to have it intercepted right in front of me.

Pryor was a cocky cat who wasn’t used to failure much in his high school days and the end result had him crying with his helmet on as he sat on the OSU bench as time expired.

Pryor never did match his hype at OSU. Sure he won two BCS games and went 31-4, but in the big games when we needed a boost Pryor couldn’t provide it. He was a great numbers QB but you couldn’t count on him in the clutch (ahem Purdue game).

Fast forward to this past weekend. Same scenario for the Buckeyes but different situations. These Buckeyes were not a top ten force like they had been in the Pryor era. They were a 4-3 team trying to make something out of a season that started with scandal and morphed into a nightmare. They were facing a Wisconsin team that was coming off of a heartbreaking loss to Michigan State yet still had a shot to win the Rose Bowl.

The game was reminiscent of the Bucks loss to Nebraska earlier in the year, they looked better than their opponent but had allowed them back into the game thanks to poor defensive breakdowns that led to two Wisconsin scores in two minutes and a 28-26 deficit.

As the offense took the field for the last time I finally got a look at Braxton Miller the much ballyhooed QB from southwest Ohio who was a four-star recruit but lacked the national appeal that Pryor had. I had heard a little bit about him but hadn’t really seen him due to my work schedule (not having saturdays off sucks). He seemed decent but his stat sheets showed that he wasn’t a good passer at all (hence that 1-4 classic versus Illinois that OSU somehow won). Yet here he was taking the field trying to salvage what little bit of a season OSU had left.

With under a minute left Miller guided OSU into Wisconsin territory and set us up with a first and ten with under 40 seconds left. Miller took the snap dropping back deep, he felt the pressure collapsing around him and spun out and began to run for the first down as he approached the line of scrimmage Miller slowed up and right before he crossed the line of scrimmage he tossed a perfect bomb into the end zone that landed in freshman wide receiver Devin Smith’s hands. To say it was nuts at the bar I watched the game at would be an understatement. Pandemonium ensued and OSU was back on top for good thanks to a defensive stop in the last 20 seconds.

Miller saved our season but he did so much more than just that.

Miller did something no OSU QB since Craig Krenzel of all people could do, he came through in the clutch and in the process gave the Buckeyes hope for the future whether it’s next week or two years from now.

Miller came of age under the lights as a freshman and began his legacy. Unlike Pryor who was made off of his name alone Miller has done something to warrant the hype that is about to surround him at one of the biggest football schools in the country.

He put the team on his back for the final drive of the game, made a dazzling play and gave the Buckeyes a win and if they play their cards right the Buckeyes can still find themselves in Indianapolis for the Big Ten title game and Pasadena for the Rose Bowl. Not bad for a kid who I wasn’t even sure was able to run an offense two days ago.

Honestly I like Miller more than Pryor, and not because of the scandal and backlash. He’s quicker, has a better arm and doesn’t seem hesitant in his decisions where as Pryor likes to take off at the first sign of danger. Miller seems like a natural at the position. If he can put the passing together next year then Miller could find himself as a darkhorse Heisman trophy candidate.

He has a long way to go interns of production numbers before he starts dreaming about awards but after this past Saturday he’s off to a great start.

Miller did what Pryor couldn’t do under the lights at The Shoe. He led the Buckeyes back from the dead and gave us all a reason to party until four in the morning.

Pryor got his hype from his name, Miller is about to get his from his play. The stories have already begun too. Just before he took the field Miller apparently looked at embattled coach Luke Fickells and winked at him before leading the winning drive.

Did it happen? Who knows. But with the result of the game it’s a hell of a story to tell people and a great way to begin a career.

I wish I was in the south end zone this time to see it.


Higher Learning Week 6

Saturday was too much fun for Oklahoma.

So here’s what we learned this week:

  1. Either Oklahoma is being undervalued or Texas was overrated. Either way last Saturday’s Red River beat down was very telling any way you look at it. after being leapfrogged in the polls by both LSU and Alabama Oklahoma had its nerve tested as people began touting the two SEC powers as the best in the land, then the Sooner defense made life a living hell for Case McCoy and Connor Ash by forcing five turnovers and scoring three touchdowns. Add  on Landry Jones typical monster day and Texas never stood a chance in their 55-17 loss. The Longhorns close wins over Rice and BYU may have gotten them a little more hype than they deserved and this loss puts their accomplishments into a more realistic perspective. They are a young team still trying to grow into a contender. As for Oklahoma? They are a contender, one that LSU or Alabama should keep a close eye on.
  2. Nebraska had their nerve tested. They were on the verge of starting 0-2 in the Big Ten and their two losses would have been disastrous. Then they received a blessing in the form of a Braxton Miller ankle injury and stormed back from a 27-6 deficit and added to Ohio State’s  awful season by beating them 34-27. Once Miller went down and Joe Bauserman entered the tide turned for the Huskers. Taylor Martinez rebounded from a miserable week in Madison by throwing two scores and racking up 300 yards of offense and the Husker defense buckled down and stopped the OSU offense in their tracks. Instead of looking at an embarrassing start to their Big Ten tenure the Huskers can now look at beginning their trek to Indianapolis for the Big Ten title game and a trip to the Rose Bowl.
  3. To say that Steve Spurrier’s decision to start Connor Shaw over embattled Stephen Garcia is an understatement. The fun-n-gun days of Florida came back in a big way for Spurrier as his Gamecocks ran up 639 total yards and pounded Kentucky 54-3. Shaw chopped up the Wildcats for 311 yards and 4 td’s. Maybe Spurrier has found the cure for his ailing offense. We shall see over the next few weeks.
  4. Wake Forest is 4-1 after a 35-30 win over Florida State and is looking to return back to the glory days of Riley Skinner from a few years ago (yep I just wrote that… just keep reading). Head coach Jim Grobe has his Demon Deacons back in contention for the ACC title but this time instead of being lead by a stout defense it is a potent offense lead by running back Josh Harris  who ran for 136 yards against the Noles and QB Tanner Price who threw three scores. Save for a close loss to Syracuse the Deacons would be 5-0 right now and ranked. If they beat Virginia Tech at home this week they might be.
  5. Kansas has the worst defense in the FBS. You can throw on them, pass on them, anything you do will get you a ton of yardage. After getting mangled by Oklahoma State 70-28 the Jayhawks now hold the crown for allowing the most points per game in college at 45 a game… and they still have to play Oklahoma coming up. Maybe Turner Gill should’ve stayed at Buffalo.

THE GOOD

Connor Shaw might make Steve Spurrier's Qb quandry and non-issue.

 

Boise State sent a message to Fresno State by forcing 4 turnovers and stomping them 57-7. So much for a tough trip to California.

THE BAD

The state of Florida has no teams in the top 25 for the first time since 1982 after the Gators 41-11 loss to LSU and Florida State’s 35-30 downer in Winston-Salem.

THE UGLY

Texas A&M beat Texas Tech 45-40 then the Red Raider faithful smeared their bus with manure. Sore losers much?

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

The Oklahoma defense. They allowed 256 yards had 8 sacks, forced five fumbles, five turnovers and scored three touchdowns versus Texas.

EMBARASSMENT OF THE WEEK

How disappointing has Arizona’s year been so far? They lost to Oregon State on Saturday (who hadn’t won all year including a loss to FCS Sacramento State) and that cost Mike Stoops his job Monday. Yikes.

TOP 5

  1. LSU
  2. Alabama
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Boise State

HEISMAN TOP 5

  1. Russell Wilson, Wisconsin
  2. Kellen Moore, Boise State
  3. LaMichael James, Oregon
  4. Andrew Luck, Stanford
  5. Trent Richardson, Alabama

Lots of big games this weekend including #11 Michigan vs. #23 Michigan State, #20 Baylor vs. #21 Texas A&M, #6 Oklahoma State vs. #22 Texas, and #18 Arizona State vs. #9 Oregon.


Higher Learning Week 3

It wasn't pretty but Oklahoma is still perfect.

So it’s been a hectic work week, sorry for the delay but here we go!

What did we learn this weekend?

  1. Oklahoma deserves to be number 1 after a hard-earned victory in Tallahassee this past weekend. Oklahoma’s 23-13 victory was brutal for the normally offensive minded Sooners as they struggled to move the ball past a Seminole defense that was looking for payback from a brutal 49-17 drubbing in Norman last year. Landry Jones overcame two interceptions to find Kenny Stills for the go ahead score while the Sooners defense did the rest including 2 interceptions by Javon Harris. The Sooners defense evoked memories of their national title days a decade earlier as Florida State had trouble moving the ball with or without E.J. Manuel who left the game in the third quarter with a shoulder injury. 3 of the next four games should be pieces of cake for the Sooners except their annual Red River Shootout with Texas in three weeks. If they get past that matchup then the Sooners have nothing to worry about until Texas A&M and Oklahoma State come calling.
  2. Stanford is the forgotten team amongst the top 10 and they seem just fine with that title. After an efficient 37-10 win in Arizona the Cardinal sit at #6 in the rankings and are patiently waiting for the crowd to get smaller. Andrew Luck has been his normal spectacular self and he’s been aided by Stepfan Taylor who emerged last week as a threat running the ball adding a new dimension for the Cardinal. Their next five games should be winnable even a matchup in L.A. versus USC. Their true challenge comes November 12th when Oregon comes to Palo Alto.
  3. Staying in the Pac-10 its starting to look like Rick Neuheisel will be out of a job at the end of this year. His UCLA Bruins lost 49-20 to Texas a team that hadn’t scored 20 points in a game this season and looked like a mess. That is until Case McCoy ran on to the field and Texas ran up almost 500 total yards of offense. These are virtually the same two teams from last year’s game at Austin that saw UCLA come away with a victory. Ever since that game the Bruins are 3-8 and it looks like Neuheisel is headed for the chopping block.
  4. It doesn’t matter who is under center for the Ohio State Buckeyes, they just aren’t good. Their 24-6 loss to Miami was embarrassing as Joe Bauserman and Braxton Miller combined to go 4-18 for 38 yards… yep, that’s the entire game total. Even when they get all of their suspended players it’s hard to see the Buckeyes playing for anything more than 4th in the Big Ten.
  5. This conference realignment stuff is going to get messy. With Syracuse and Pitt going to the ACC, West Virginia and UCONN looking to move and the entire Big 12 in limbo it’s hard to tell just what the landscape will look like soon. The worst part of all of this is that it makes no sense geographically. Syracuse in the ACC? Texas in the Pac-16? TCU in the Big East? Can’t we just bring back the Big 8, SWC and leave tradition alone?

THE GOOD

South Florida racked up 745 total yards and dropped 70 on FAMU including B.J. Daniels 382 and 4 TD tosses.

BYU and Jake Heaps would like to forget about this weekend.

THE BAD

Maryland’s black uniforms… yeah they’ll be on here all year trust me.

THE UGLY

You expect a FCS team to have a BCS team run it up on them like FAMU, BUT KANSAS ALLOWING 738 YARDS INCLUDING 600 ON THE GROUND IN A 66-24 LOSS TO GEORGIA TECH? C’MON SON!!

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

The Brooklyn Buckeye favorite Kellen Moore. He went 32-42 for 455 yards and 4 TD’s in Boise’s 40-15 win over Toledo.

EMBARASSMENT OF THE WEEK

On their third play from scrimmage versus Utah, BYU center Terence Brown snapped the ball high over QB Jake Heaps head. Heaps then tried to throw the ball away but lost it. Utah defensive end Derrick Shelby recovered it and Utah led 7-0… you figure out the rest of the game.

The top 5 remains the same as last week while Andrew Luck jumps ahead of Landry Jones in the Heisman top 5.

Big games next week include LSU traveling to Morgantown to take on West Virginia, Florida State taking on Clemson coming off of a big win over Auburn, Arkansas takes on Alabama, and the game of the week features Oklahoma State taking on Texas A&M.