Braxton Miller Injury: Buckeyes Won't Go Undefeated If QB Can't Play
At 8-0, the Ohio State Buckeyes are turning heads in the Big 10 conference. Fortunately for the rest of the league, they aren't eligible to win the Big 10 or make a postseason bowl.
Urban Meyer has this team clicking on all cylinders, and that was apparent after they were able to overcome a fourth-quarter deficit and defeat the Purdue Boilermakers 29-22 in overtime on Saturday.
While the win is a great turning point for the program and a statement to the rest of the Big 10 for next season, the big story of the day was the loss of quarterback Braxton Miller, who was carted from the field and to a local hospital (per ESPN.com).
The details on his injury haven't emerged.
As Miller carried the ball down the right sideline, he was dragged down and on to his left shoulder by the Purdue defense. Any number of injuries might be in play, including a concussion, a shoulder injury or maybe something in the rib region.
When more details emerge, we'll have all the latest updates on his injury right here.
For now, we'll look ahead to the rest of the season slate for Ohio State, who have four games remaining to go undefeated in a year they aren't bowl eligible. If Miller can't play, it will be too tall a task for this Buckeye team to finish the job that he started.
Don't let Kenny Guiton's heroics fool you. While the junior came in and led the comeback over Purdue, he isn't the accomplished runner or passer that Miller's turning out to be.
If he was, he'd be in the starting lineup. That's not to say this young man doesn't give Ohio State a chance to win. He proved he knows Urban Meyer's offense on Saturday, and the comeback win over Purdue is one of the best wins in recent program memory.
Can Ohio State finish the season undefeated without their Heisman candidate?
But if you look ahead to the rest of the schedule, losing the running element in Ohio State's offense will prove to be too much for the offense to overcome.
Road games at Penn State and Wisconsin, two tough defensive teams, highlight the rest of the relatively easy schedule. Although Illinois will be no problem, a rivalry game against Michigan then awaits the Buckeyes at the end of the season.
With a target on their back, Purdue was almost able to knock Ohio State off today. Now that Miller's status is in doubt going forward and the remainder of the gauntlet features rivalry games, it's hard to project this team finishing the magical run they've started.
Since the team isn't bowl eligible, it doesn't make much sense to bring Miller back if he has any kind of significant head injury. He'll live to fight another day as a junior next season.
As such, the team will suffer, but the building blocks Meyer has laid down will come in handy sooner rather than later for Ohio State football.
For all the latest college football news, injury reports and analysis, keep checking back with Bleacher Report's College Football page, as we wind down this Week 8 slate of games.
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