An expanded version of today's Ohio State End Zone on the way-too-early Heisman campaign of Braxton Miller.
My foresight is legally diagnosed as 20/400. I am not the best at predictions, having once bet against the Globetrotters, then tried to break even by betting for the Rapture. But here goes one anyway: Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller will be among the Big Apple-bound finalists for the Heisman Trophy.
Can you imagine where the Buckeyes would be without their dynamic sophomore? Neither can anyone else. ESPN.com voted Miller fourth on its latest Heisman watch list while the Heismanpundit/CBSSports.com straw poll of 11 national writers has him at second behind only West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. (SI.com pegs Miller fourth; Yahoo! Sports has him fifth.)
Miller is averaging 329 yards per game of total offense, has thrown seven touchdown passes and is the nation’s leading rusher at quarterback (126 yards per game). He will have to evolve as a passer as teams at times cram approximately 16 players in the box to stop him.
“I've seen defenses in the last three weeks that I've never even dreamed of in my mind to try to stop the quarterback from running the football,” offensive coordinator Tom Herman said. "It's an interesting quandary to be in when you have such a dynamic player back there that defensive coverages tend to be completely skewed and opposed to what you grew up knowing. ... Teams now are trying to get eight, nine guys in the box to be sound against him running, so the variety of coverages that we see on first and second down is absolutely mind-boggling."
1. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia -- 24 (8 first-place votes)
2. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State -- 10
3. De'Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon -- 8
4. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State -- 5 (1)
5. (tie) Marqise Lee, WR, USC -- 3 (1)
Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford -- 3 (1)
ESPN Heisman Watch
1. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia -- 72 (12 first-place votes)
2. De'Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon -- 50 (3)
3. Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA -- 34
4. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State -- 17
5. Matt Barkley, QB, USC -- 14