Throwing for a personal-best four touchdowns and 249 yards plus scoring one on a dazzling, 55-yard run in the win over California has earned sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller the Big Ten Conference offensive player of the week award. This is Miller’s first offensive player of the week honor from the Big Ten. Last year he was named its freshman of the week two times on his way to winning the conference’s Thompson-Randle-El Freshman of the Year award.
Miller led two fourth-quarter scoring drives of 75 yards each to quell Cal’s comeback attempts at victory after being down at one point, 20-7. Miller hit Jake Stoneburner with a three-yard touchdown pass with 8:31 left to play after Cal had taken a 21-20 lead. Miller ran the two-point conversion in himself to put the Buckeyes up by a touchdown.
Then after Cal tied it at 28-all, Miller connected with Devin Smith on a career-long – for both players – 72-yard scoring strike down the home team sidelines that Smith carried into the south end zone.
Ohio State had built its 20-7 halftime lead off Miller’s 55-yard touchdown run – the 17th run of his career over 20 yards – and touchdown passes of 25 yards to Smith and 1 yard to Stoneburner.
“He’s a wonderful player, one of the best in the nation,” Cal cornerback Marc Anthony said after the game. “He came through when they needed him to.”
Miller leads the Big Ten and is 10th nationally in rushing with 125.7 yards per game. He ranks fourth in the Big Ten in passing efficiency (151.83) and he is second in the Big Ten and 12th nationally in total offense (329.3). So far this year Miller has also…
§ Rushed for a school-quarterback record 161 yards vs. Miami;
§ Rushed for the most yards in two games by an Ohio State quarterback (302);
§ Scored touchdowns from 65-, 37-, 6-, 8- and 55-yards out;
§ Set a school record for quarterbacks with five career 100-yards (or more) rushing games;
§ Rushed more times in one game – 27 vs. UCF – than any OSU quarterback in history;
§ Scored three times in on game (UCF) to tie Art Schlichter (Wisconsin, 1978) for what is believed to be the school record for touchdowns scored by a quarterback;
§ Had 20-or-more yard rushes six times (65, 55, 37, 33, 24 and 23); and
§ Completed nine passes of 20-or-more yards (72, 44, 40, 38, 35, 25, 23, 21 and 20).
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Fox Sports, MSN, Walter Football and Yardbarker
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