Monday, October 8, 2012
Player of the Week: Big Ten
By Adam Rittenberg
Stop me if you've heard this before: Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller is the Big Ten Player of the Week for Week 6.
While the league had several peak performances, no star shined brighter Saturday -- or for the entire season -- than the Buckeyes' sophomore signal-caller. Miller broke his own single-game team quarterback rushing record with 186 yards and a touchdown on just 16 carries, translating to an insane 11.6 yards per rush. He also completed seven passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. And the most surprising part about Miller's night against Nebraska is that he didn't show up until the second quarter.
Like the rest of the Buckeyes' offense, Miller stumbled out of the gate, finishing the first quarter with minus-9 rush yards and 7 pass yards, completing 1 of 4 attempts. Then, on Ohio State's first offensive play of the second quarter, Miller wrong-footed several Huskers defenders en route to a 72-yard run, his longest of the season. "Braxton obviously changed the game," Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. Ohio State scored two plays later, its first of six consecutive touchdowns against the Huskers to blow the game wide open. Miller racked up 217 yards of total offense in the second quarter, eclipsing his average game total (199.1) through the first five contests. He recorded his fourth 100-yard rushing performance this season and now ranks 11th nationally in rushing average (127.2 ypg) and second in the Big Ten in rushing yards (763).
Miller deserves to be on every Heisman Watch out there. In addition to his brilliance as a runner, he ranks third in the league in pass efficiency (145 rating). Although he's far from a finished product, he's well ahead of schedule in a system that suits him to perfection.