Thomas Bradley / Campus editor
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Braxton Miller’s name was repeatedly spelled incorrectly on the Michigan Stadium video boards during the Ohio State football team’s 40-34 loss to Michigan.
For the record, it’s “Braxton,” not “Braxston.”
Despite Michigan’s victory, Wolverines fans likely won’t forget Miller, or the proper spelling of his first name, after the freshman quarterback’s debut in the UM versus OSU rivalry at the Big House Saturday.
Miller helped open the scoring for the Buckeyes when he found sophomore wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown on a 54-yard touchdown pass less than three minutes into the game.
That was just the opening act for Miller in a game that featured six lead changes.
OSU fell behind Michigan at several points in the first half, but Miller helped OSU overcome one deficit with a 19-yard touchdown run that put the Buckeyes up, 17-16.
The freshman collected 100 rushing yards on 16 carries, and averaged six yards per carry.
With the Buckeyes trailing, 23-17, with 1:21 to play in the first half, Miller connected with senior receiver DeVier Posey on a 43-yard touchdown pass to retake the lead at 24-23.
Miller finished the game with a career-best 235 passing yards on 14-of-25 passing.
One pass that Miller didn’t connect on was a deep ball intended for Posey that was overthrown, but even that elicited complimentary remarks on Miller’s command of the offense by Posey.
“That was a call that (Miller) made. I just felt that was a grown-man call that he made,” Posey said. “I was like, ‘Let’s go,’ and he just missed it by a little bit.”
Miller also went toe-to-toe with Wolverines’ junior quarterback Denard Robinson, whose five touchdowns and 337 total yards of offense were just enough to upend the Buckeyes.
Miller said he wasn’t focused on the matchup against Robinson.
“I wasn’t paying attention to that. I was just trying to win the game,” Miller said. “I was doing my best to help my team win the game. I had fun doing it.”
Despite several overthrown balls by Miller on the day, Posey said he spoke to Miller after the game and offered words of encouragement.
“That’s one thing about that kid that I admire so much — at such a young age, (Miller) is such a fighter,” Posey said. “No matter what it is, he’s going to make some plays. He’s a hell of a player.”
First-year Michigan head coach Brady Hoke agreed.
“Miller threw the ball well,” Hoke said. “With his ability to run the dual threatness that he presents, we got distracted a little bit with our eyes.”
Miller led the offense onto the field with less than two minutes to play and a final shot at victory in “The Game.”
The Buckeyes’ last-ditch effort to notch a come-from-behind victory was thwarted by Michigan as a Miller pass was intercepted by Wolverines’ sophomore cornerback Courtney Avery.
“I was just trying to get the job done,” Miller said.
Then the celebration began as Michigan took to a victory formation and downed the ball on its ensuing possession, which brought an end to its seven-game losing streak to the Buckeyes.
By the time he addressed the media after the game, Miller had already begun to focus on the 2012 season, though.
“I’m just going to go watch film and fix my mistakes,” he said. “I’m just starving for next year.”
OSU (6-6, 3-5) will now wait to see if it receives a bid to a postseason bowl game.