Player Spotlight: Braxton Miller
After suffering a possible season ending hit last week against Purdue, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller has returned to practice and is expected to start this weekend against Penn State.
Miller lay motionless on the field for several minutes after he was tackled late in the third quarter. He was carted to the locker room and brought to the hospital, where he was treated and released. Doctors said that Miller showed no symptoms of a concussion or of a serious neck injury.
Returning to practice early this week, the sophomore quarterback is ready to take on a Penn State team that has been hard to contain in the past few weeks.
Miller stepped into Ohio State’s starting quarterback position in the fourth game of the 2011 season, starting the last ten games of the season. He threw for 1,159 yards and 13 touchdowns and threw only four interceptions throughout the season.
Miller showed that he was more than just a passing threat; he also led the team in rushing with 715 yards and seven rushing touchdowns. He had 100-yards rushing games in three of the last four regular season games.
Miller’s most notable games of the 2011 season were against Michigan and Indiana. Against Michigan in the regular season finale, Miller threw for a season high 235 yards. He set a school record for a quarterback against Indiana with an 81 yard touchdown run. Miller also had an impressive performance against Florida in the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl, where completed a season high 18 of 23 passing attempts.
His offensive versatility earned Miller many accolades during and after the 2011 season. He earned the Big Ten Conference’s Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year award and was named the 2011 National Freshman Performer of the Year by the College FB Performance Awards. Miller was also named Big Ten Freshman of the Week twice, after games against Wisconsin and Michigan.
Now in his second season with the team, Miller is a major component in the Buckeyes offense and he has led the team so far to an undefeated season. Approaching Ohio State’s ninth game of the season, Miller has already passed for 1,384 yards, completing 105 of 179 passing attempts. Miller has also thrown for 11 touchdowns.
Miller’s best passing games have come against Miami of Ohio, California and Indiana. In the season opener against Miami, Miller passed for 207 yards and two touchdowns. Against California, Miller passed for a season high 249 yards and four touchdowns and against Indiana, he passed for 211 yards and two touchdowns.
Miller has also rushed for 959 yards so far this season and has scored ten rushing touchdowns. His best rushing games have been against Miami, UCF, Nebraska and Indiana. Against Miami, Miller rushed for 161 yards and one touchdown. In the game against UCF, Miller rushed for 141 yards and scored three rushing touchdowns. Miller rushed for 186 yards and one touchdown against Nebraska and 149 yards and one touchdown against Indiana.
Heading to Happy Valley this weekend, Miller is feeling healthy and is ready to present a challenge for the electric Penn State defense. Miller is a very agile and athletic quarterback, and he will use his passing and rushing skills to try keeping the Buckeyes undefeated.
Miller and the Buckeyes will travel to Penn State on Saturday to take on the Nittany Lions at 5:30 p.m. at Beaver Stadium.
Breanna Jacobs is a junior majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact her, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.