Monday, September 17, 2012
Player of the Week: Big Ten
By Adam Rittenberg
You'll hear this a few times in the coming seasons: Ohio State's Braxton Miller is the Big Ten's Player of the Week.
Miller continued his brilliance in Ohio State's new offense Saturday as the Buckeyes faced adversity for the first time this season against a plucky Cal team. After a strong start, the Buckeyes fell behind 21-20 early in the fourth quarter. Miller immediately responded by leading an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive that ended with a touchdown strike to Jake Stoneburner. After Cal again responded to tie the game, Miller shook off an interception and found Devin Smith for a 72-yard touchdown strike that proved to be the game winner.
The sophomore finished with a career-high 249 pass yards, 75 rush yards and five touchdowns (4 pass, 1 rush). If Miller wasn't on the early Heisman Trophy radar before Saturday's game, he undoubtedly put himself there with the performance against Cal.
Miller has carried Ohio State in the early going, accounting for 12 of the team's 16 touchdowns (7 pass, 5 rush). He ranks 12th nationally in total offense (329.3 ypg), 10th in rushing (125.7 ypg) and 36th in pass efficiency (151.8 rating).
Much tougher challenges await Miller in the coming weeks, particularly the Big Ten opener against Michigan State, which boasts the league's top defense. But he has so far backed up the hype and looks more than comfortable in Urban Meyer's system.