Buckeyes QB is steady as it goes

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 27, 2013 - 7:57 AM

An improving and calm Braxton Miller has Ohio State poised for big things in 2013.


Quarterback Braxton Miller led Ohio State to an undefeated season in 2012, and now the Buckeyes are eligible to play in a bowl again.

Photo: Jay LaPrete, Associated Press

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he Big Ten’s reigning offensive player of the year couldn’t stop yawning.

Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller wasn’t trying to be rude. The questions focused on his Heisman Trophy candidacy and Ohio State’s national championship aspirations, and he gave some thoughtful answers.

But the multitalented junior yawned as if this whole late-July morning was going in slow motion.

“I’m hungry,” Miller said, smiling. “I missed breakfast.”

For all the hype being bestowed on Ohio State after last year’s 12-0, bowl-ineligible season, the Buckeyes' highly decorated leader doesn’t seem overly amped. That’s not his style.

“I think Braxton’s best quality is his humility,” Buckeyes offensive tackle Jack Mewhort said. “He doesn’t let things go to his head. He was brought up the right way. … He doesn’t have that superstar mentality.”

Maybe that’s because Miller knows that for all his success, he still has a long way to go. He set an Ohio State record for total offense last year, with 2,039 yards passing and 1,271 rushing.

But Miller also completed only 58.3 percent of his passes. Last month, when NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah released his list of top 50 NFL prospects, Miller ranked 12th among college quarterbacks.

The quarterbacks atop that list were Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, UCLA’s Brett Hundley, Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Alabama’s AJ McCarron. There were six more ahead of Miller, who finished fifth in the Heisman voting last year. The reasoning: Miller, for now, lacks the necessary downfield accuracy.

Miller pushed himself to improve over the offseason. Without a bowl game for which to prepare, he spent Christmas break in San Diego, getting specialized instruction from George Whitfield Jr., who has tutored such quarterbacks as Manziel, Cam Newton and Andrew Luck.

“My fundamentals got a lot better,” Miller said.

Challenges ahead

The rest of Ohio State’s offense struggled early last season, and coach Urban Meyer wondered aloud where his team would have been without Miller. Eventually, running back Carlos Hyde, wide receiver Corey Brown and others picked up their performance.

All the returnees should be more comfortable this year, in their second season under Meyer. His second-year success at previous schools speaks for itself — 9-3 at Bowling Green, 12-0 at Utah, 13-1 at Florida.

With Buckeyes fans clamoring for their first national title since 2002, Ohio State went back in the news for the wrong reasons in July, as Hyde (three games) and standout cornerback Bradley Roby (one game) were both suspended from the team for incidents at bars.

Are the Buckeyes focused enough for the challenges that lie ahead? The biggest nonconference hurdles will be games against San Diego State and at California. Wisconsin comes to Columbus for the Big Ten opener Sept. 28, a game that could end up determining the Leaders Division title.

Another test comes Oct. 5 at Northwestern, and Ohio State closes the regular season at Michigan on Nov. 30. Of course, there’s a chance Ohio State and Michigan could meet again one week later in Indianapolis in the Big Ten Championship Game.

Miller said all that talk is nice, but for now, the team doesn’t want to look past Saturday’s opener against Buffalo. Meyer has been in the quarterback’s ear, keeping him focused on the process, not results.

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Tennessee 13 4th Qtr 2:00
Jacksonville 21
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
New York 97 FINAL
Chicago 103
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Houston 90
Milwaukee 57 3rd Qtr
Sacramento 54
Oklahoma City 40 1st Qtr 1:08
Golden State 27
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
St. Louis 2 1st Prd 4:52
Los Angeles 0
Edmonton 1 2nd Prd
San Jose 0
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 53 FINAL
South Dakota 55
UAB 70
Ohio 69 1st OT 2:09
Evansville 75
CS-Dominguez 17 2nd Half
Cal State Fullerton 30
Walla Walla 18 2nd Half
Idaho 49
DePaul 28 2nd Half
Oregon State 48
Nevada 19 2nd Half 18:40
Pacific 37
Portland State 22 2nd Half 15:40
San Francisco 52
CS-Bakersfield 18 2nd Half
Utah State 20
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
Samford 56 FINAL
Tulane 57
New Orleans 55 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Incarnate Word 61 FINAL
TX-Pan American 65
Ark-Little Rock 42 FINAL
South Dakota St 67
CS-Northridge 77 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
(19) Oklahoma St 55 FINAL
Weber State 49
Washington 69 FINAL
San Diego State 48
Cal Poly 68 FINAL
New Mexico 84
(10) Louisville 65 FINAL
Grand Canyon 51
Santa Clara 76 1st OT 0:02
Oregon 76
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Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon




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