Ohio State Football: Did Braxton Miller Just Start a Heisman Campaign?

David RegimbalFeatured ColumnistSeptember 1, 2012

After Ohio State's dominating 56-10 victory over Miami this afternoon, one could not help but be impressed by the dominating performance of Ohio State's quarterback Braxton Miller.

The sophomore threw for 207 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 161 yards and another score in Ohio State's season opener.

So here's a question—did Braxton Miller just start a Heisman campaign?

As the first quarter came to a close, Miller had completed just one of his seven pass attempts for six yards. His Buckeyes were down 3-0 to the lowly Miami RedHawks, and despite rushing for 35 yards through 15 minutes, he looked rattled and unsettled.

That changed in a big way when the second quarter began.

On Ohio State's first possession of the second quarter, Braxton marched the Buckeyes right down the field with a four play, 84-yard touchdown drive. Miller completed passes of 38 yards and 23 yards on his way to the end zone.

Their second drive of the quarter was just as successful as Miller guided the Buckeyes down the field for another touchdown. The drive—seven plays and 57 yards—was capped by a five-yard touchdown pass from Miller to Corey Brown.

It didn't stop there. Miller and the Buckeyes poured it on in the second quarter, scoring three straight touchdowns before a goal-line stand by Miami's defense at the end of the half prevented a fourth.

In that fifteen-minute period, Miller completed 11 of 14 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 64 yards rushing in the second quarter. 

Miller came out after halftime and continued his dominance by taking the first play from scrimmage 65 yards on an option run for a touchdown. It was the cherry on top of a performance that ended shortly thereafter since the game had turned into a blowout, and Miller started getting cramps in his left leg.

It's a silly practice to name favorites for the Heisman Trophy this early in the season, but that's not the question being proposed here. It's easy for any quarterback to have an incredible performance like this against a bad MAC team, so it's common for people to overreact to great performances in September (looking at you, Denard Robinson fans).

Braxton Miller's performance does spark this question though: Can he maintain this level of play against the better teams on Ohio State's schedule?

Frankly, this wasn't just a good performance—it was an historic one.

His 161 yards rushing set an Ohio State record for rushing yards in a game by a quarterback. And when you take away the first quarter, when he and the rest of the team were shaking off their nerves, plus the entire quarter and a half he didn't play in the second half...Miller produced 310 total yards of offense and three touchdowns in about 16 minutes of game time.

Read that last sentence again, because it is crazy.

With his incredible performance today, do you think Braxton has what it takes to have a legitimate shot at winning the Heisman Trophy this year?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section.