Freshmen aren't supposed to rise to the occasion in the most-pressured situations. Teams don't normally turn to freshmen with the game on the line, and young quarterbacks hardly ever possess the confidence to make the big plays down the stretch.
Braxton Miller didn't get the message.
Time and time again, the freshman quarterback has shown the ability to come up big in the biggest moments and seems to get better as the game goes on and the situations become tighter.
Against Wisconsin, Miller's 44-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter would have probably been enough to prove his clutch gene. However, the freshman out of Huber Heights wasn't done, as he pulled his team out of the jaws of defeat with a miraculous, gutsy and flat-out breathtaking touchdown pass in the final minute to defeat the Badgers. This single play impressed football fans all over the country and solidified the fact that Miller was a gamer.
A week later, Braxton Miller and the Buckeyes shockingly found themselves down 10-0 to an inferior Indiana team. Then Miller busted an 81-yard touchdown run that instilled confidence back into the team and set the tone for a 34-20 win in Columbus.
Again the week after their win over Indiana, Ohio State found themselves down 10-0 to another subpar Big Ten opponent in Purdue, and again Miller made the necessary plays to keep his team in the game. Although he certainly didn't play perfectly and struggled throwing most of the day, he got better as the game went on and rose to the occasion on the game's biggest stage.
With 55 seconds left and the Buckeyes down 20-14, the Ohio State offense faced a 4th-and-4 on Purdue's 13-yard line. Miller dropped back, scrambled to the right, and hopped over a fallen offensive lineman, and the play seemed like a huge bust. Out of nowhere, Miller turned to his left and lofted a pass off his back foot to semi-open running back Jordan Hall, who snagged it for the game-tying touchdown. Unfortunately, the extra point was blocked, and Purdue won in overtime.
This is what Braxton Miller does. When all hope seems lost, and this team needs someone to make a play, he comes up big in the clutch. In the post-game interview, Miller said, "My mind said you've got to win. You've got to do what you've got to do to get the W."
The clutch gene is rare in athletes and is a product of talent and confidence. Miller certainly has these two and also has that "it" factor.
No matter where this team goes this season, Buckeye Nation can look forward to Braxton Miller making big plays in the toughest spots and getting the W against all odds.