Through nearly three full seasons as the starting quarterback at Ohio State, Braxton Miller has thrown for 5,292 yards and 52 touchdowns. He completed 63 percent of his passes and was the 14th-highest rated quarterback in the country in 2013.
According to one anonymous coach, though, the Buckeyes’ senior Heisman contender doesn’t scare opposing teams as a passer.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 13, 2014
Today, SI.com released its annual college football preseason top 25 poll. Urban Meyer’s squad came in at No. 4 in the ranking, which included a “Team Preview” for each program included in the top 25. Part of the preview was an “Opposing Coach’s Take,” which featured a couple paragraphs of analysis from an anonymous college football coach.
The anonymous coach had this to say about Miller’s passing:
He’s a hard guy to get down. But he doesn’t scare you as a passer. We’d bring six guys and he still couldn’t find anyone to throw it to. Most of their yards are on broken plays where he runs for 40 yards. If he figured out the passing game, he would be very scary. I wouldn’t want to see that.
Fair? Unfair? Ohio State apologists and fans will likely claim that this coach is wrong, but if you judge Miller on the games he played in 2013 against top defenses, he’s not.
Miller, in a loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game: 8 for 21, 101 yards, one touchdown.
Miller, in a loss to Clemson in the Orange Bowl: 16 for 24, 234 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions.
Grading Miller on two games isn’t good practice. So, let’s look back at Miller’s freshman and sophomore seasons, when he completed only 54 and 58 percent of his passes, respectively. Again, not impressive.
What makes Miller so great a college player is his ability to combine his running ability with his arm, and that’s led to a lot of big plays in Columbus in recent seasons. He’s certainly one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. But, when it comes to the passing game, there’s still work to be done.