To get this out of the way, as a fan, I’m pretty optimistic for this season coming up for Ohio State. But most importantly, I’m most excited for Ohio State’s sophomore Quarterback Braxton Miller.
One can’t help but think of the things new head coach Urban Meyer did with Tim Tebow and not ponder how Miller could be a possible replica in Meyer’s spread offense.
Not that Braxton Miller will put up 30 passing, 20 rushing touchdown numbers, but with his size (6’3", 210 lbs.), throwing and running skill, expectations are high.
Because Luke Fickell was cut from the same cloth as Jim Tressel, Braxton Miller’s freshman season was similarly played out the way Terrelle Pryor’s was during his freshman year in 2008.
Both were restricted in fully expressing their potential, although Jim Tressel allowed Pryor to improvise on many occasions, as Fickell did for Miller last season.
With the Tressel era completely over, Urban Meyer may utilize Miller’s talents to make him the center piece of an offense that is (rather surprisingly) lacking play-makers.
But with that said, can he be the run/pass big-time dual threat his talents seem to suggest?
Before the Buckeyes went on a four game losing streak to end their season, Miller threw no more than 13 pass attempts in a game.
In that losing streak he averaged 20.75 attempts a game and had a pass completion rate of just 54.9 percent, eight tenths up from his season average.
On the bright side of that stretch, he had seven passing touchdowns and only one interception—not to mention the stellar passing game he had against Florida in the Outback Bowl.
For rushing, he had three 100-yard games during his last five games. But as a quarterback in the spread, he must show he can be the man who can run and throw 20-plus times a game and be effective.
A lot of games were lost and wins could have been handled better had there not been poor quarterback play from Miller, and I’m not going to even get into the play of Joe Bauserman—not worth it.
A lot of the dominant spread QBs, from Tim Tebow to Cam Newton and even Denard Robinson, enhanced the talent around them to be better, and Braxton Miller has the skill set to do just that in Urban’s spread attack.
Hopefully this season everything will come together for the Buckeyes, and we shall get our first look September 1st against Miami.