Friday, September 23, 2011
Frosh Miller to start for Ohio State - Week 4 College Football TV Schedule -
Fickell pulls the trigger, will start true frosh at QB for Buckeyes
by John Taylor
Many fans — and some people around these parts you may know — had been calling for true freshman Braxton Miller to start at quarterback for Ohio State even before the season start.
After watching Todd Boeckman Joe Bauserman start the first three games and morph into the dictionary definition of the word “pedestrian”, those calls grew louder. Thursday, those calls were heard. And answered.
During his radio call-in show on 97.1 The Fan in Columbus earlier today, head coach Luke Fickell confirmed that Miller will start Saturday’s game against Colorado for the 2-1 Buckeyes. The move was first reported by Tim May of the Columbus Dispatch prior to Fickell’s official radio announcement.
In explaining the move from Bauserman — 69th in the nation in pass efficiency — to Miller, Fickell said that the first-year player possesses a lot of ability and needs to be given the opportunity to display it. The decision was something the coaching staff had considered during the week leading up to each game of this season.
While Miller will start, Bauserman is expected to get playing time against the Buffaloes.
There have been many comparisons made between Miller and former OSU QB Terrelle Pryor since the former became an official member of this year’s recruiting class, and the symmetry at this point in time is undeniable. In the fourth game of the 2008 season, and with the Buckeyes coming off an embarrassing 35-3 loss to USC, Pryor made his first career start as a true freshman. Fast-forward three years, and coming off an embarrassing 24-6 loss to Miami, Miller will make his first career start in the fourth game of the season.
In Pryor’s starting debut against Troy, the top-rated player in the Class of 2008 accounted for all four touchdowns — with each coming through the air — in a 28-10 win. Fickell and the Buckeyes can only hope for a similar performance from Miller — on the field only, of course.
Frosh Miller to start for Ohio State
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- An 18-year-old true freshman is being given the keys to the Ohio State offense.
Interim coach Luke Fickell made it official on Thursday when he announced that Braxton Miller would take over as the starting quarterback against Colorado on Saturday.
Fifth-year senior Joe Bauserman had started the first three games for the Buckeyes (2-1), but the passing game - with Bauserman and Miller splitting time - was almost nonexistent in Saturday night's 24-6 loss at Miami. The two quarterbacks combined to hit just 4 of 18 passes for 35 yards with an interception (by Miller), with all four completions going to running backs.
"It's a 'give him a shot,"' Fickell said moments after disclosing the decision on his weekly radio show. "The reality is it is a big thing. But we need both of them. The way we handle it is key. But it's time to give him a chance."
The switch comes at a symbolic crossroads for the Buckeyes, who climbed as high as No. 15 before stopping a late Toledo drive to pull off a narrow 27-22 win and then falling flat in their first regular-season game ever in Florida.
Ohio State fans have been clamoring for more of Miller - a five-star recruit from just an hour down Interstate 70 in suburban Dayton - since he enrolled at the school last January.
Earlier this week, Colorado coach Jon Embree said far too much emphasis is put on who starts at the position.
"I hate cliche, but too much credit is given to the quarterback when it is good and too much blame when it goes bad," he said. "It takes a lot of people. I don't think it is just a one-guy problem with the passing game (at Ohio State). The other games they were doing OK with it, so I'm not buying the sky is falling in Columbus."
Miller, listed as 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, received one-quarter of the snaps in spring ball, with Bauserman, redshirt freshman Taylor Graham and third-year sophomore Kenny Guiton also getting equal playing time in workouts.
Shortly after preseason camp opened in early August, Bauserman and Miller were separated as the top two and they've been dueling ever since. The depth chart has listed them as co-starters all season.
Bauserman had spent the last two years watching from the sidelines as Terrelle Pryor played almost every down for teams that went 11-2 and 12-1.
But everything changed during a tumultuous few months during which decade-long coach Jim Tressel was forced out, several players were suspended and Pryor gave up his senior season to jump to the NFL. All or much of that was a result of an NCAA investigation that found that players had accepted cash and tattoos from a local parlor.
With Pryor suddenly gone, the Buckeyes were left with inexperienced quarterbacks who had seen almost no action under pressure.
The 25-year-old Bauserman had a banner opener, hitting on 12 of 16 passes for 163 yards, while Miller was 8 of 12 for 130 yards in the second half of a rout over Akron. Even though Fickell and offensive coordinator Jim Bollman asserted Bauserman and Miller would share the job, Miller curiously never left the sidelines against Toledo while Bauserman did just enough (16 of 30 of 30 for 189 yards and a touchdown passing) to get the Buckeyes a victory.
But in high heat and humidity against an active Hurricanes defense on Saturday night, nothing went right. Bauserman hit on just 2 of 14 passes for 13 yards, while Miller had his only two completions (in four attempts, for 22 yards) on the final two plays.
Bauserman and the offense were booed by Ohio State fans during the Toledo game because he elected to throw the ball away rather than chance a turnover. Ineffective at times, he still had no interceptions and no fumbles this season.
Miller, however, has lost two fumbles and thrown an interception in far less playing time.
But with the offense stuck in neutral during the Miami game, Fickell - whose job is not guaranteed beyond this one season - began thinking the time was right to test a young player.
"I've said it a million times - we have a plan," Fickell said. "But this is where we are right now. And we know that Braxton is the guy who's going to start this game."
Complete College Football TV Schedule for Saturday, September 25th (9/25/11)
12:00 ET North Carolina @ Georgia Tech (ESPN, ESPN3.com)
12:00 ET Central Michigan @ Michigan State (ESPNU)
12:00 ET Toledo @ Syracuse (ESPN3.com, ESPN Game Plan)
12:00 ET Eastern Michigan @ Penn State (ESPN2, ESPN3.com)
12:00 ET Notre Dame @ Pittsburgh (ABC)
12:20 ET Georgia @ Ole Miss (ESPN3, ESPN Game Plan)
12:30 ET Temple @ Maryland (ESPN3.com, ESPN Game Plan)
1:00 ET Massachusetts @ Boston College (ESPN3.com)
1:00 ET Bowling Green @ Miami (OH) (ESPN3.com)
2:00 ET Ohio @ Rutgers (ESPN3.com)
2:00 ET Army @ Ball State (ESPN3.com)
3:30 ET Oklahoma State @ Texas A&M (ABC)
3:30 ET Florida State @ Clemson (ESPN, ESPN3.com)
3:30 ET Tulane @ Duke (ESPN3.com)
3:30 ET Colorado @ Ohio State (ABC, ESPN2, ESPN3.com)
3:30 ET Southern Miss @ Virginia (ESPN3.com, ESPN Game Plan)
3:30 ET Kansas State @ Miami (FL) (ESPNU)
3:30 ET Arkansas @ Alabama (CBS)
4:00 ET New Mexico State @ San Jose State (ESPN3.com)
4:30 ET Middle Tennessee State @ Troy (ESPN3.com, ESPN Game Plan)
5:00 ET Fresno State @ Idaho (ESPN3.com, ESPN Game Plan)
6:00 ET Connecticut @ Buffalo (ESPN3.com, ESPN Game Plan)
6:00 ET Louisiana Lafayette @ Florida International (ESPN3.com)
7:00 ET Vanderbilt @ South Carolina (ESPN2, ESPN3.com)
7:00 ET Florida @ Kentucky (ESPN, ESPN3.com)
7:00 ET UTEP @ South Florida (ESPN3.com)
7:00 ET Florida Atlantic @ Auburn (ESPN3.com, ESPN Game Plan)
7:00 ET North Dakota State @ Minnesota (Big Ten Network)
7:00 ET Indiana @ North Texas (ESPN3.com)
7:00 ET Lousiana Tech @ Mississippi State (ESPNU)
7:30 ET Nebraska @ Wyoming (Versus)
8:00 ET Missouri @ Oklahoma (FX)
8:00 ET LSU @ West Virginia (ABC)
8:00 ET Colorado State @ Utah State (ESPN3.com, ESPN Game Plan)
8:00 ET Central Arkansas @ Arkansas State (ESPN3.com, ESPN Game Plan)
10:15 ET Oregon @ Arizona (ESPN2, ESPN3.com)
10:15 ET USC @ Arizona State (ESPN, ESPN3.com)
12:00 ET UC Davis @ Hawaii (ESPN3.com, ESPN Game Plan)
Dolphins at Browns
Florio’s take: The Dolphins already have their backs to the wall in the AFC East, two games behind each of the other three teams, after only two games. The good news? They’re not playing at home. The better news? The Browns’ still-evolving 4-3 defense may not be able to deal with the improving Miami offense, which is led by a former Browns offensive coordinator who likely would love to stick it to his old team.
Florio’s pick: Dolphins 23, Browns 20.
Rosenthal’s take: No team has had an easier early slate than Cleveland, which is why they have a good shot to go 2-1 despite playing blah football. It wasn’t a great sign they couldn’t run on the Colts. For Miami, it’s already desperation time. Desperate teams usually play well. Both of these teams just look like 1-2 squads.
Rosenthal’s pick: Dolphins 24, Browns 20.
Miami Dolphins (0-2) at Cleveland Browns (1-1)
I remember a long time ago -- like, back in August -- when I picked the Dolphins to finish fourth in the AFC East, and I got 4,519 tweets from Dolfans telling me how preposterous that was. The general tenor of the messages was that even if Chad Henne struggled mightily, the D would hold them in games. Well, through two weeks, Miami is dead last in defense, and has allowed 30.5 points per game. Not good.
Posted by just BS at 6:52 AM