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Opinion: Braxton Miller should be starting quarterback for Ohio State in 2015

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OSU redshirt-senior quarterback Braxton Miller (5) is set to compete with J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones for a starting spot in 2015.  Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Lantern photographer

OSU redshirt-senior quarterback Braxton Miller (5) is set to compete with J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones for a starting spot in 2015.
Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Lantern photographer

When Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller went down with a season-ending shoulder injury last fall, my first thoughts weren’t about how the Buckeyes would do without him during the 2014 season, but how good they would be with him coming back in 2015.

Heading into the 2014 campaign, Miller was to be the senior leader of the team and was a Heisman hopeful. What he was able to do with the talent he had around him in his first three seasons as the signal caller was quite impressive.

Play-calling from coaches, the lack of talent at wide receiver and multiple turnovers that were out of Miller’s control led to missed opportunities. And that was just in the 2013 Big Ten Championship game against Michigan State.

Last year’s OSU team wasn’t supposed to be as good as they were without Miller; they definitely weren’t supposed to win it all. With a year of young players getting a chance to develop, such as wide receivers and the offensive line, things couldn’t look better for the 2015 team.

You get your best player back on the field and everyone else around him ­­— who once slowed him down — all had the chance to improve. And boy, did they ever.

Miller is currently rehabbing his shoulder after surgery to repair a torn labrum, so for me to say he should be the starter at this moment would be foolish, but if he is 100 percent healthy by the first game, I believe there is no better option.

He has gone against and beat out redshirt-sophomore J.T. Barrett and redshirt-junior Cardale Jones consistently and I don’t think the experience they gained is enough to take the starting job — although you couldn’t ask for better experience. Miller hasn’t gotten any worse and I don’t think it would be wise to sit him out before he is given the chance to lose the job on his own.

Before the Big Ten tile game in which OSU beat Wisconsin, 59-0, Jones didn’t appear to be very good. We knew he had an arm and could run, but every time we saw him get reps or in a spring game, he was unimpressive to say the least. They say practice makes perfect, but I’m not convinced that a year of second-team reps all of a sudden made him a better quarterback and player than Miller.

Not to mention Jones couldn’t beat out Barrett for the job when Miller went down, so although what he did in the final three games of last season was pure greatness and he will forever hold a place in my heart as a fan, I would bet he comes back down to earth during a full season of constant hits and maybe after the defense lets him down a little.

Barrett is a guy that has all the mechanics, but lacks the “wow” factor. He can manage the offense very well, but when it’s time to go out and win a game for his team, I believe he lacks that instinct. At this time he would be better suited watching another year of the explosiveness Miller brings on every play.

The younger quarterbacks will only benefit from another year of developing, and as the more experienced man, Miller should be the one starting in the fall.

Either way, OSU should have no problem running the table in the Big Ten with whomever coach Urban Meyer chooses to be the signal caller. Although with Miller, games might be over a little faster.

7 comments

  1. Barrett lacks instinct to win a game? Did you watch the end of the PSU game or the MSU game?

  2. ^that’s exactly what I was thinking. JT closed out both of those games with a killer instinct. If JT is fully healthy and not the starter next year I’ll be extremely disappointed

  3. I tend to disagree with Braxton being the best option to start. I think he is a great player who has done so much for the program, but he hasn’t stayed healthy any of his years as a starter. I also think peolpe really forgot how sergical Barrett was this past season. He always made the right adjustments at the l.o.s., never took unessasary hits, always keeps the chains moving, and most inportantly was his accuracy. I guess I just feel like Barrett is the future and he should be our starting signal caller

  4. A little more evidence for Miller that didn’t make it in due to space.

    The younger QB’s thrived off of what Ezekiel Elliot was able to do and without him I don’t think they would’ve had as much success. Miller was blessed with Carlos Hyde, but the lack of good play calling far too often, diminished many chances of offensive success.

    The defense and special teams also played a big part in how well these two were able to play. The way they turned the ball over in many games went unnoticed because the defense was that good. If you put the 2013 defense out there, I don’t believe this team would have had a chance at the same success.

    The 2013 defense gave up 115 points in its final three games compared to the 55 points totaled in the final three of 2014. Miller’s offense put up 106 points while Jones’ had totaled 143. Elliot accounted for eight rushing touchdowns (48 points) in that span, while Hyde had just two.

    Games like the Big Ten championship and bowl game against Clemson, Miller had to get the team back in it by himself. He had to get the offense to outscore the opponents and we saw how that worked out. Put Miller with last years defense and I don’t think OSU loses a game or is even close to losing at Penn State.

    Coming into this year, Miller would have a very talented defense behind him, a top notch running back, and one of his favorite targets from his sophomore season in Michael Thomas in which that combination lit up the stat sheet in their first spring game together.

    This year the Buckeyes don’t have a guy like Devin Smith who will catch only deep balls when sprinting past the defensive secondary. The offense will need to be more balanced running the football and a tandem of Elliot and Miller running the option will look like pure genius. Miller has shown he can pass the ball downfield when needed to and if a receiver happens to break free from coverage, he will be able to hit him.

  5. Miller never “beat out” JT. JT had to redshirt in his first year because of hurting his knee his senior year and not being fully healthy yet. The coaches have said JT runs the read option the best and that’s when this offense is at its best, not running straight qb runs all the time. I think if Braxton is healthy he will start barely solely on more experience, but I think JT makes this offense better.

  6. People kill me saying Braxton didn’t have the talent or receivers around him yet whenever Kenny Guiton came into the game he ran the offense as efficiently as J.T. And Cardale

  7. Wow 59-0 42-35 against bama and Natl championship vs Oregon 42-20 wtf did anybody see cardale Jones run over a nose guard huh?? Jones won it all and not even close braxton lost to Mich st and Clemson his year and people say start him wtf and Barrett lost to v tech and barely beat Penn st Michigan what are we talking about here smh let’s fix something that ain’t broken yea take jones out will be the dumbest thing ever least let him start and make braxton a slot receiver or wildcat and barret second string and if jones slips or starts crackin in any game automatically take him and put barret in wow jones was amazing something wrong with this picture why mess up what we had last year??? And all the team is back to can’t fail wow people think

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