Braxton Miller Injury Changes Big Ten Race

Braxton Miller had the third best odds in Vegas of winning the Heisman trophy this season, up until yesterday.  Ohio State enjoyed a preseason ranking in the top five after two straight undefeated regular seasons.  Now both his Heisman and the top five ranking are in serious doubt, because Miller may be out for the season with an injury.  That also improves the odds for every other Big Ten team hoping to win the conference championship.

 

Even trying to imagine the rosiest scenario for Nebraska this year, it was hard to picture the Huskers winning the Big Ten Championship game against a healthy Braxton Miller.  Miller led his team to a three touchdown lead over NU in just over two quarters in 2011, before a fumble as he fought for yards followed by a hit that knocked him out of the game allowed the Huskers to score four unanswered touchdowns to win the game.  In 2012, he continued to shred the Huskers with 186 yards rushing and 127 yards passing to go with a pair of scores in the Buckeye rout.

Taking such an experienced and explosive dual-threat weapon off the field changes the outlook considerably were Nebraska to face Ohio State.  The Huskers are not set to face a team that they couldn't beat.  At the same time, there are several games that NU could lose.  Still, with Miller out of the picture, it now appears the Huskers could contend with any team in the conference. 

The odds are still pretty low for the Huskers to navigate a difficult schedule with question marks at quarterback and on defense.  But they now look a bit better with such a formidable opponent out of the picture.

 

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Comments 39 comments so far

Actually, there has been no confirmation on his injury…he still has to have an MRI and the team has not commented on this.

So, he’s not out yet.

I am still trying to find a news outlet that has anything on the severity of the injury.

Nothing is known for sure just yet.

CN says he possibly dislocated his already gimp shoulder.  Would hate to see him out for the season.

7,

Yer boy Mixon out, what did he do?

And to remind, Aaron Curry supposedly transferring to OU as the newbies seem to be burying him in the depth chart.  Not sure how he thinks he’ll do better on a currently top 5 team over a #22 team(NE).

Shit and damnation.

I need to know what he dislocated - the A/C joint or the G/H.  If it’s the G/H, he is done as a QB and probably a football player.  Also hearing he has a torn labrum, which goes along with a G/H dislocation. 

The injury happened with just the throwing motion - didn’t get hit.  That’s bad.

The Buckeyes will have a RS frosh QB behind a green offensive line, but you play the hand you are dealt, and injuries are a big part of the game - as you guys well know.

I wouldn’t count on Curry at OU. From what I read there is no scholarship for him. He is looking at 5 other schools closer to his home.

Mixon punched a girl in the face causing severe injuries. Self defense (weak motive) or not, never should he touch a female.

His growing pains cost him dearly and wouldn’t be surprised to see him transfer to a div. 2 school who will take him in.

Too bad about Miller if it’s true.

That kid is a phenom.

You can bet his backup is no slouch, whoever that is.

Feel badly for him and the Buckeye faithful.  They had a promising year ahead, schedule looked good and they looked to run the table.  We will see what Urbz can do with a redshirt freshman at the helm.

OSU

It’s a horrible loss. Hate to see it and at a key position it really hurts the team. Hopefully the young kid behind him grows up in the non-conference games. I always like to see backups get reps so when this happens they are ready but seems to be rare nowadays and in this case he is a RS and the backup last year is gone.  If it’s true you’re dead in the water - no way around it.

Johnny Football and Jameis Winston were RS frosh. :)

JT Barrett (6-2, 210) is a duel threat QB out of Houston.  I believe he was rated 3 stars.  He hasn’t played in a game since his junior year of HS.  He tore his ACL before his senior year.  He enrolled early at OSU and re-habbed his knee last year. 

The only action I have personally seen him in was the spring game.  He has a strong arm and is a good runner.  He is not Braxton Miller in terms of running the ball, but few are.  Urban has said he is a natural leader, and OC Tom Herman says he has full ownership of the offense.  But how that translates to actual games will have to be seen.

If he falters, they will turn to Soph Cordale Jones (6-5, 250) - who is famous for complaining on twitter about studying: “We didn’t come here to play school.”  Urban says he has grown up a ton.  Has a big, strong arm and can run with a bulldozer type of style.

We’ll see what happens.

Win- thanks for your insight.  Good Luck dude - meet you in Indy!

Peeve.
Any good QB is duel threat.  Only a few are dual threat. :-)

It’s interesting.  With Brax you are thinking a better version of last year, and if the OL gets solid, and the defense is improved, we are talking B1G Championship possibilities, and, therefore, the CFB playoffs.

Take him out of the equation, and there are so many unkowns that the Ohio State outllook is somewhere between 6 wins and who knows? 

My head tells me that Braxton is worth 2-3 wins in the few tight games we would expect to have.  Without him, no one, including me, knows.  It depends on JT Barrett, the OL, and the defense - all of which are complete guesses at this point.

I’ll go out on a limb and say that JT will have significant growing pains, the OL will be at least serviceable, and the defense will be modestly improved, allowing for OSU to have a 9 or 10 win regular season, but not a B1G or national championship season. 

But I need to see what they put out there the first month of the season before I solidify anything in my mind.

OSU

That’s one of the head scratchers for me because freshman come in here all the time and light the place up against the Huskers but it seems like our guys fall to even the slightest pressure and can’t figure the schemes out until they are 1/2 way through their senior seasons. Everything finally slows down for them about then. Well the word is it’s supposed to be simpler this year—maybe now they’ll catch on by the time they are juniors. Hopefully Urbz’ schemes are simple enough for your guy or he is bright enough to catch on fast.

BF78,

Christian Hackenberg has legs, so he can run, but no DC on PSU’s schedule is losing sleep over whether he will beat them with his legs.  Dual-threat QB’s, like Braxton, can throw on you, or, more likely, break your heart by taking off.  That difference between pro-style/statue passers and runner/passers is necessary.

All that said, you do have a point - and the right to your peeve.  :)

WinOSU,

I wouldn’t worry too much about the situation. OSU has lots of studs and it may just be a knee jerk reaction. Just because a QB is second string doesn’t mean the end of the world.

I see lots of handoffs and safe passes until he shows enough confidence.

Except that the QB is the most important position in today’s game.  I’m not worried because football is not at the center of my life, but how much I will enjoy Aug 30-Jan is at stake.  :)

Understood.

“Don’t worry”?!  You lose the best player in the country, but ,” dont worry”.  Uh, I took the opportunity to check ouf OSU’s QB recruits the past few years and, uh, hmmmm, well, it’ll probably be alot like our last year for them this year:  breaking in a TA dual type guy not nearly of Brax’s skill set.  Just means they’ll probably win 9 or so.
I just like watch Brax play, he has the Tommie Frazier electric thing going on.  Few like him come along every now and then.

Yo 7,

I also noticed yer Sooner boys are kinda lagging in the recruiting dpt as of now, sittimg around 50ish w like 9-10 recruits.  Cant say as Ive ever seen them that slow out of the gates.
NE has dropped to 30ish.

PSU @ about 5th in recruiting right now, which surprises me.

PDiddyTrumpDogg ~ Your QB assessment at OSU is right on.  Without the big Brax attack, OSU will drop a notch.  New starting QB’s, no matter how talented, are usually a work in progress.  Only a few exceptions on that learning curve we have seen in recent times.

It will likely be MS in the B10 C game against the Wiz kids.  If NU makes it to Indie, they will have to have defeated MS, Wiz and the Chicken Hawks, or at least two out of three.  If NU has to play MS twice this season, that would suck, unless NU loses to MS in the first match up.  If NU goes to the C game, I’d prefer they play Ohio State, rather than MS twice.

There’re probably a handful of svemarios that could put us in Indie, but Sparty is the game we can most likely afford to drop in tje reg season.

I was just listening to Sirius 91 with Mark Packer and Dan Hawkins. It is their college football ‘camp tour’ at Michigan.

The question was put up to Devin Gardner and some other player, where is the toughest place in the Big 10 to play and both players said “Iowa”.

Are you kidding me?

OU

In recent years Iowa has had the Wolverines number. Uncanny wins. Freaky—like Tx over the Huskers.

Wow!
Let’s get on with the season before some more suspensions and meaningless injuries happen.

Yes, T-Dogg,
Stoops and company are behind in recruiting. It’s been down for about 3-4 years, I’d say. Don’t know why but Texas is still our number one recruiting ground.

IA= grass, and they let the cows trample it beforehand.

There are 3 teams in the B1G that historically or currently can recruit at the highest levels: OSU, PSU, and scUM.  MSU is trying to move there, and Nebraska used to be there (would like to see them get back there).

Then you have programs who recruit 3’s and try to develop them into 5’s.  Iowa is one of those programs.  Wisconsin is another, and Nebraska is there until they can, again, attract top talent to Lincoln. 

Iowa has to wait for the stars to align where they have players who have developed, they have experience, and they have a QB who can make timely completions.  It happens every decade, give or take a few years, and it always results in Kurt Ferentz being COY.  But one thing you can count on is that Iowa is going to try to beat the shit out you in the trenches - no matter where they are on their trajectory. 

No matter how football changes, the game is won down there where the big uglies bang heads, and win or lose, Iowa is always willing to bang heads.  That’s Ferentz’s philosophy and he does it well.  They get creative on offense and find something that helps them move the ball.  Against Ohio State last year, they used 3 TE’s and killed us in the first half with completing passes to them.

You may beat them by 2 or 3 scores, but you know you have been in a football game.  For that, I respect the heck out of them.

Trenches, what trenches?  You kind of said it:  IA may beat you up some in the trenches whilst losing by 3+ tds to the hi tech spread teams.
Well, the latest deal is that the recent “pop option” passes added to the zone reads, etc, are going to make the game even .ore like basketball with helmets and shoulder pads.  So, enjoy your trenches for now, what little remain, but the O game is going to get even more spread out crazy than it already is:

http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2014/8/20/6044003/read-option-pass-play-football-xs-os-diagrams

Dont get me wrong, I like old school smash mouth as much as anybody, but its not the way its going and not even Bama can stop it.  Problem is, while your methodically eating up clock for 3, 4, or 5 TDs, teams like Baylor have scored 50 by halftime.  I dont know how theyre gonna stop this zone-read-pop-pass thing once it really gets going.

I don’t know.  Michigan State, Stanford, Alabama, and a few others are playing what Ohio State fans always called “Tressel-ball”: play nasty defense, run the football, pass when you have to, and be happy to punt or kick a FG.  Those teams have been pretty successful lately.  Alabama has more talented players than anyone else who does it.

Ohio St now has the spread thing going and they have won a fair share of games with that.  I gotta say, I prefer to watch Urban Meyer’s teams than Tressel’s.  I got pretty frustrated with the 2RIPP offense: 2 runs, incomplete pass, and punt. 

But those Tressel-ball teams are tough if you allow them to get the game going their way and tempo.  If you are behind, they are like anacondas that just squeeze you to death.  Which is better?  Whichever one wins a title for you.

The ‘guy’ seems to think Malzahn’s pop option pass thingy is going to revolutionize the game.

I doubt it.  I just put it out there for something to talk about, ha ha.

I think most teams are spreading it out some and smashing some, like NU or OSU or OU, etc etc

Aaaand, the big prob w too much read option is that the QB inevitably gets beat to crap.  That guy for Aub is great, but when they wack his knee or shoulder he’ll be just like the rest:  riding the pine.

So I’m thinking if Brax graduates this yr maybe Nebby can bring him in nxt yr ala the ‘Russell Wilson program’.

How can we make this happen?

Braxton is taking a medical redshirt and will be back next year.

Maybe he’ll just go pro and cash in a bit before his shoulder completely prohibits him from playing.

TDogg,

That’s funny that you would bring up the “Russel Wilson Program”. When he announced that he was coming back as a grad student, I swear that was one of my first thoughts: “What if he would transfer?”

Not likely, but here is a scenario.  JT Barrett is Johhny Football-esque, is a Heisman contender, and leads Ohio State to a national championship.  Fans and media start talking about how much superior of a QB Barrett is to Miller, and a huge QB controversy begins at the end of the year.  Urban pulls Brax aside and asks him to not put them both thru that.  Brax announces that he is transferring to Nebraska (or somewhere) because it’s JT’s time and he doesn’t want to be a disruption to the team.

Sounds like a win/win to me.

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