Ohio State Football: 5 Things Braxton Miller Does Better Than Terrelle Pryor
Braxton Miller is the dual-threat phenom quarterback some Ohio State fans wish Terrelle Pryor had been.
That's not a knock at all on Pryor, who despite being the most polarizing player among Buckeye fans since Maurice Clarett, led his team to three straight Big Ten Championships (until the 2010 title was vacated).
Miller, in just his sophomore season, is more of the big-play quarterback people thought the Buckeyes were getting with Pryor.
Comparing the two as far as who's better has to be done under a careful microscope because of the offense Miller plays in. We still wonder what Pryor could have done under Urban Meyer's offense.
Leaving the obvious off-field discrepancies out of the argument, here are five things that Braxton Miller does better than Terrelle Pryor.
Make Defenders Miss
It's almost unfair at times how well Miller cuts and jukes on the field. His biggest gift as a runner is the ability to stop, cut and accelerate back to full speed in a very short time.
Pryor was a good runner because he was an athletic freak: 6'6", 235 lbs. and a 4.4 40-yard time, not to mention he had one of the most lethal stiff-arms ever.
But Pryor did most of his damage running to the perimeter and getting to the marker.
Miller has more game-breaking runs, cutting to the outside and making defender after defender miss.
Quicker, More Authoritative Decision-Maker
This is something you can chalk up a little bit to the offense Miller runs. But Miller just has a stronger trigger finger than Pryor does when it comes to making decisions.
Pryor did become a better decision-maker towards the end of his Buckeye career, but there were plenty of times when he got in trouble by hesitating and not making a decision right away.
Miller commits to what he wants to do 100 percent and goes full speed. Sometimes, as it usually is in football, it may be the wrong choice. But there is plenty to be said about being a decisive player and not hesitating.
Better Intermediate/Short-Route Passer
Again, this is more indicative of the offensive system Miller runs, which is more reliant on slants, quick outs and short-to-intermediate routes than the offense Pryor ran. And Pryor was a more accurate deep-ball passer than Miller is at this point.
But Miller is more refined at making the short throws for six or seven yards, using the whole field, which is a mainstay of the spread offense.
He is improving on throwing the deep ball, but it's inconsistent at this point, as is his passing game from a mechanics standpoint.
If you need him to throw short or get the ball out quick, he's become so much better at doing that even from the start of the season.
Making the Big Play
Braxton Miller has made an early living of producing at least one highlight-reel play every week, starting with his incredible touchdown pass in last year's win over Wisconsin.
This season, he has broken so many big runs and created so many big plays through the air that it's hard to tell which was the best—from his big run in the second half against Miami in Week 1 to his perfect deep throw to Devin Smith to lead the Buckeyes over Michigan State in Week 5.
The big plays Miller seems to produce with ease are a reason why he has a chance to get the invite to New York City for the Heisman Trophy presentation in a month.
The biggest difference between Miller and Pryor is that, when the game is on the line, Miller can shut the door.
He's done that several times throughout his career, including against Wisconsin last year and at home against Cal this year—each with his arm.
That's not necessarily a knock on Pryor, who made some big plays late in games, including the game-sealing TD pass to DeVier Posey in the 2010 Rose Bowl.
But Miller has done it with regularity and at times effortlessly. Nothing seems to faze him, and he lives for the moment.
It's only going to be more fun to watch next season when the Buckeyes have a chance to play for a Big Ten Championship and a shot at the national championship.
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