- Austin Ward, ESPN Staff Writer
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Ohio State hardly needs motivation thanks to the chip on its shoulder already firmly in place after sitting out the postseason with a perfect record. But just in case any players required any extra fuel heading into workouts or wanted a little help putting together some goals, BuckeyeNation is here to lend a hand with some records that could be in reach with another productive offseason.
Who owns it: Braxton Miller already has officially taken the crown after putting up 3,310 yards as a sophomore, sneaking past Bobby Hoying's single-season mark of 3,290 despite not getting the chance to play in the Big Ten title game or a bowl. The true bar Miller has to clear, though, no longer shows up in the record book for the Buckeyes -- and there's still some work to be done to surpass the 3,526 yards Terrelle Pryor rolled up in 2010 that have since been erased from existence.
Who wants it: Might be pretty obvious, but Miller will be chasing down this record and plenty more heading into his third season as the starting quarterback. Individual numbers and awards don't seem to matter much to the humble leader of the Ohio State offense, but he should be in line to post more video-game statistics as he continues to develop his game and get more comfortable in Urban Meyer's system.
Relevant number: Miller just barely topped 2,000 passing yards last season, and while that represented marked improvement for the Buckeyes through the air, Meyer is clearly expecting that total to go up next fall. Miller only would have needed to throw for 18 more yards per game to tie Pryor, a reasonable amount that could come fairly easily if improved mechanics and ability to read defenses bumps up his completion percentage a few more points from the 58.3 he turned in as a sophomore.
Offseason checklist: The Buckeyes clearly had no problem getting production out of Miller during the perfect season, and at times he looked like the only consistent threat on the field. But there have also been regular reminders from Meyer and the coaching staff that the multitalented star has only scratched the surface as a quarterback, with his footwork on top of the list of things to focus on during offseason throwing sessions, spring practice and training camp. Everything starts from the ground up with Miller, and while his happy feet make him electrifying as a rusher, they can throw off his delivery as a passer in the pocket and mask his arm strength, making them a top priority over the next few months.
Attainable goal: The record is officially already his, so there's not much question Miller is capable of reaching it. But with the possibility of two more games next season and an offense loaded with experienced playmakers around him, from an offensive line with four returning starters to two established targets at wide receiver and a full stable of running backs, Miller and the Buckeyes should have no problem piling up offense.
9hMitch Sherman and Dan Murphy
2dDan Murphy and Mitch Sherman
6dDan Murphy and Brian Bennett