Wisconsin vs. Ohio State: Braxton Miller Proves It's Still Very Much His Team

Andrew CoppensContributor ISeptember 29, 2013

Sep 28, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller (5) looks to pass during the fourth quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State Buckeyes defeated Wisconsin Badgers 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The final score may have read 31-24 Ohio State at home, and the stats may question exactly how Ohio State won on Saturday night in Columbus, but one thing became very clear in the win for the Buckeyes—this is Braxton Miller's team. 

In his return to action as the starter for the Buckeyes, Miller, once again, put the team on his back and came out with a hard-fought win. 

Kenny Guiton may have won the Buckeyes three games in Miller's absence, but Miller is the one who took every punch a Top 25 team had on Saturday night in his house and came back with the knockout punch—time and again.

Sep 28, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller (5) is tackled by Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Ethan Armstrong (36) during the fourth quarter at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State Buckeyes defeated Wisconsin Badgers 31-24. Mandatory
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Miller finished Ohio State's Big Ten opener with 198 yards and four touchdowns through the air, while adding 83 yards on the ground. 

However unimpressive the yardage was, it was the TD total that mattered most for Miller.

Sure, Miller's counterpart, Joel Stave, may have outperformed him through the air (295-198), but the ultimate mark of a winner is not in the number of yards but rather in the points put on the board and when those points are put up. 

Miller hit Evan Spencer to open the scoring in the game, but what happened after the Buckeyes got the initial 7-0 lead is what proved to be most important on Saturday night.

Wisconsin would come back and tie the game, at 7-7, but Miller would have the answer, hitting Devin Smith from 26 yards out to make it 14-7 Buckeyes.

That theme would continue throughout the game as the next two touchdowns would come off the arm of Miller, the final of which would put OSU up, 31-14, with 2:18 left in the third quarter, to nearly seal the victory for the Buckeyes. 

Did Miller have help on Saturday night? You bet he did, but if it wasn't for his arm the Buckeyes would've been without a touchdown. 

His performance may not have been flawless, but he made one of the better defenses in the country look silly at times, and most importantly, he had the resolve and vision to make sure the Buckeyes wouldn't lose. 

That's been the theme of his career at Ohio State, especially against the Badgers—a team he has never lost to. 

So far in his career against Wisconsin, Miller owns a last-minute TD for victory in his freshman season, an overtime win on the road at Camp Randall and a seven-point win at home to go 3-0 against the Buckeyes' Leaders Division rivals.

Most importantly though, the Buckeyes are now 17-0 since the start of last season, and if it were not for Braxton Miller's ability to put his team on his back, that record wouldn't be standing. 

Whatever your thoughts on Guiton vs. Miller may be, the latter guy just showed the world why he's the Buckeyes starter—he's a winner.


*Andy Coppens is the Lead Big Ten Writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter to continue the discussion.