It was mid-way through the third quarter when Nebraska lineback Lavonte David forced a fumble on Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller.
The fumble led to a touchdown for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, closing the gap to 27-13 on the Ohio State lead. All the momentum was still in favor of Ohio State however, and Braxton Miller was still having a great game.
During the very next drive for Ohio State, the entire game changed after a hit on Miller. Suffering a high ankle sprain, Braxton was helped off the field by two Ohio State trainers, then collapsed on the sideline writhing in pain.
After that injury, the Ohio State offense was never the same, and led to 28 unanswered points for the Cornhuskers.
While the Nebraska offense was being led by quarterback Taylor Martinez on touchdown drive after touchdown drive, all Braxton Miller could do was stand and watch from the sidelines. Unfortunately, Ohio State's replacement quarterback, fifth-year senior Joe Bauserman, completed just 1-of-10 passes.
Miller did everything that he could to get back into this game. The ABC cameras caught trainers trying to tape the QB's ankle, they caught him trying to run on the sideline to loosen it up, and the sideline reporters said that Braxton Miller was taking Tylenol to help with the swelling.
But, nothing could help the freshman QB get over the pain and return to the game. Ohio State allowed Nebraska to come back, eventually losing 34-27 Saturday night.
Although his ankle injury wasn’t the sole reason Ohio State couldn’t stop the bleeding, it will surely be analyzed in “what if?” hindsight. What if Braxton Miller didn’t get hurt? Would Ohio State have been able to hold on for a big upset against Nebraska?
We’ll never know.
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