COLUMBUS — With Ohio State set to take the field in less than three weeks against Buffalo, junior quarterback Braxton Miller may be in prime position to help secure the Buckeyes’ eighth Heisman trophy.
While other high-profile players such as Jadaveon Clowney, Aaron Murray, Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel are all likely to be considered heavy favorites, the 6’2 215-pound Miller has the tools to ensure a trip to New York City’s Downtown Athletic Club.
With a rare ability to run and pass, Miller is perhaps the top dual-threat quarterback in the country outside of College Station, as he rushed for 1,277 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground and passed for 2,039 yards and tossed 15 touchdowns thru the air.
While some may question his arm and whether he is ready to develop into more of a pure pocket passer, Miller’s legs and ability to make plays on the edge are what separate him from his peers.
With Manziel, Murray and Clowney all playing in the top-heavy SEC against each other and Bridgewater playing in the watered-down remnants of the former Big East in the newly named American Athletic Conference, Miller has his Heisman destiny in his own hands–or feet, depending on your view.
Going into his second year in head coach Urban Meyer’s spread-shotgun, zone-read offense along with senior tailback Carlos Hyde, wide receiver Philly Brown and a stacked defense led by Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington and linebacker Ryan Shazier, Miller and the Buckeyes have the talent to go undefeated–again–and play in the BCS Championship Game in Pasadena.
With the annual grudge match against the arch-rival Michigan Wolverines on the road and the pesky Wisconsin Badgers at home, a possible trap game for Miller could come in a night game in Berkeley against the Cal Golden Bears, who will be looking to avenge a 35-28 loss in Columbus.
While Cal may not be circled as a big game on Ohio State’s calendar, new Cal head coach Sonny Dykes will be sure to have his underdog Golden Bears fired up and ready to give the top-ranked Buckeyes all they can handle under the lights of a rocking and very loud Memorial Stadium.
If Miller can emerge from Berkeley unscathed and manage to run the rugged and physical Big 10 gauntlet unscathed, don’t be surprised to hear Miller’s name called in the Big Apple and bring the Heisman back to the banks of the Olentangy.