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Miller has come long way since freshman year

Published: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 @ 5:55 PM
Updated: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 @ 5:55 PM

OHIO STATE SPRING GAME

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Paul Brown Stadium

TV/Radio: Big Ten Network (7 p.m. tape delay)/none

Tickets: Available through Ticketmaster or at stadium on game day

Even though he graduated from high school early and enrolled at Ohio State in time for spring practice, quarterback Braxton Miller was supposed to spend a redshirt freshman season under Terrelle Pryor and have time to get acclimated to college football.

It didn’t work out that way.

Because of an NCAA scandal, Pryor bolted for the pros after his junior year instead of serving a five-game suspension, ultimately thrusting Miller into the starting lineup as a pup.

Although he’d like to believe those early experiences accelerated his growth, Miller admits the challenges he faced were sometimes overwhelming.

“Nobody showed me how to be a leader like I should be,” he said.

The Buckeyes finished 6-7, their most losses since 1897, and their passing attack was ranked last in the Big Ten and 115th out of 120 FBS teams nationally.

Asked to pick the most difficult part of the job that year, Miller said, “Just taking snaps in front of all them fans.”

Going into his junior year, though, the Wayne High School product is percolating with confidence. He was named the 2012 Big Ten offensive player of the year after leading the Buckeyes to an undefeated season and spearheading a unit that led the conference in scoring at 37.2 points per game and was third in total yardage at 423.4.

The passing game still needs attention after climbing to only eighth in the conference and 101st nationally, but Miller finished second in the Big Ten and 34th in the nation in total offense (105.9 yards rushing, 169.9 passing). He was 10th and 95th, respectively, as a freshman.

“He’s becoming more vocal,” receiver Corey “Philly” Brown said. “Everyone knows how smart (back-up) Kenny Guiton is and how Kenny can yell out a (defensive) coverage before we even get out of the huddle, but Braxton is starting to get a little Kenny Guiton swag to him as far as pre-snap.

“He’s locating coverages before they’re even getting into them. And as far as getting us into the right play, he’s doing everything perfect so far in the spring. He’s also being more of a leader. When he got here, he was a shy person. If he continues on that track, Braxton is going to have a heckuva season.”

Brown said by the end of last year, the Buckeyes had one of the top-five offenses in nation, which probably isn’t too much of a stretch given how far the running game progressed. They have to replace only right tackle Reid Fragel and third-leading receiver Jake Stoneburner.

“It really does help that we have a lot of veterans coming back, 10 or 11 starters,” tight end Nick Vannett said. “We’re just trying to gel out there. Braxton is doing a lot better with his reads and growing as a quarterback. We’re all growing at our positions.

“Defenses are going to throw some crazy stuff at you with stunts and blitzes, and we’ve just got to be ready,” Vannett added. “We’ve got to know what to do. Braxton is maturing as a quarterback. He knows exactly what to do when he sees something, and our receivers and tight ends are picking it up too.”

The Buckeyes return six of their top seven pass-catchers from last season and will be bolstered by a 2013 recruiting class that includes three blue-chip receivers and a hybrid back in Dontre Wilson of Texas who’s expected to line up all over the field.

But the returning wideouts aren’t threatened by the competition.

“My view is the more the better,” junior Evan Spencer said. “We’re striving to be the best receiver group in the country — point blank, period. The more people we can add to be more explosive and make more plays, hey, I’m all for it.”

Joe Tiller, former Purdue football coach, dies at 74

Published: Saturday, September 30, 2017 @ 1:35 PM



Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Former Purdue football coach Joe Tiller died Saturday. He was 74.

Tiller's death was announced on the Purdue football program’s Twitter account.

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Tiller set the record for most wins in the school's football program. He coached the Boilermakers from 1997 to 2008, where his overwall record was 87-62, ESPN reported. Tiller began his head coaching career at Wyoming. 

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees released a statement to offer his condolences. Brees attended Purdue from 1997-2000 and led the Boilermakers to a Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl appearance during the 2000 season, according to the quarterback’s official website.

Thousands of college football fans wave to patients at new children's hospital

Published: Saturday, September 02, 2017 @ 3:20 PM

IOWA CITY, IOWA- AUGUST 31:  General view as fans settle in to watch the match-up between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Northern Illinois Huskies during the first quarter on August 31, 2013 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. Northern Illinois won 30-27. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
Matthew Holst/Getty Images
IOWA CITY, IOWA- AUGUST 31: General view as fans settle in to watch the match-up between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Northern Illinois Huskies during the first quarter on August 31, 2013 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. Northern Illinois won 30-27. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)(Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

When the new University of Iowa Children’s Hospital was built, overlooking Kinnick Stadium, officials suggested that Hawkeye fans wave to patients.

Hawkeye fans did not let the kids down.

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At the end of the first quarter of Saturday's game against the Wyoming Cowboys, thousands of Hawkeye fans turned to wave at the young patients looking out the windows of the hospital.

The Hawkeyes and the University of Iowa are participating in a "Touchdowns for Kids" campaign, in which fans can donate a dollar or more for every time the Hawkeyes score a touchdown, KWWL reported.

Sooners coach Bob Stoops announces retirement

Published: Wednesday, June 07, 2017 @ 10:19 PM

FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2016, file photo, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops answers a question during an NCAA college football news conference in Norman, Okla. Stoops has decided to retire as Oklahoma’s football coach after 18 seasons that included the 2000 national championship and 10 Big 12 Conference titles.(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
Sue Ogrocki/AP
FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2016, file photo, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops answers a question during an NCAA college football news conference in Norman, Okla. Stoops has decided to retire as Oklahoma’s football coach after 18 seasons that included the 2000 national championship and 10 Big 12 Conference titles.(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)(Sue Ogrocki/AP)

Bob Stoops will retire as head football coach of the University of Oklahoma Sooners after 18 years, according a release from the university on Wednesday.

The university said Stoops is "the winningest coach in Oklahoma history" and has an overall record of 190-48.

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He led the Sooners to the national championship in 2000.

Stoops will remain as special assistant to the athletics director.

University officials said Stoops is the only coach to win the Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl and national championship. They said he accumulated more wins in his first 18 seasons than any coach in the game's history.

According to a statement from the University President David L. Boren, he will be succeeded by current offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley.

The statement said Stoops, 56, believed it was the appropriate time to conclude his time coaching in Norman, Oklahoma.

Below is an excerpt of a statement from Stoops, obtained by the Associated Press and provided by OU:

“After 18 years at the University of Oklahoma, I've decided to step down as the head football coach. I understand there has been some speculation about my health. My health was not the deciding factor in this decision and I've had no incidents that would prevent me from coaching. I feel the timing is perfect to hand over the reins. The program is in tremendous shape. We have outstanding players and coaches and are poised to make another run at a Big 12 and national championship. We have new state-of-the-art facilities and a great start on next year's recruiting class. The time is now because Lincoln Riley will provide a seamless transition as the new head coach, capitalizing on an excellent staff that is already in place and providing familiarity and confidence for our players. Now is simply the ideal time for me and our program to make this transition. ...

“I'm especially thankful for being able to coach so many talented young men over my 18 years here. It has been so rewarding to see these players come to OU and mature over a four- or five-year career, and not just on the field. To play a small part in their growth is what I will always cherish the most. None of my success would have happened without the best fans in the country. I can't tell you how much I appreciated the 110 consecutive home sellouts. The passion of our fan base is unmatched, and their support has played a huge role in not only home games, but road games and all 18 of our bowl games, as well. ...

“The coaching life is like a relay race and I'm thankful for my turn and am confident as I pass the baton. Carol and I intend on staying in Norman - it is our home. I will be available to Coach Riley and the athletic department in any manner. Thank you all for a lifetime of memories we shared together of 10 conference championships, the 2000 national championship, strong relationships with players and coaches, and the great Oklahoma football fans. Boomer!”

University of Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield arrested

Published: Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 12:52 PM
Updated: Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 12:52 PM


            
            Washington County Detention Facility
(Washington County Detention Facility)

University of Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield was taken into police custody early Saturday morning after an alleged incident in downtown Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Officers say someone reported that Mayfield was intoxicated, yelling profanities and causing a scene.

An arrest report states that Mayfield told officers he was trying to break up an altercation there.

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When officers talked to Mayfield, they reportedly found his speech was slurred and his clothing was covered in food.

They said the OU football player even sprinted away from police at one point, prompting the officer to tackle him to the ground and handcuff him.

Mayfield was booked into the Washington County Detention Facility in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

He faces charges of public intoxication, disorderly conduct, fleeing and resisting arrest.

"We are aware of the matter and are learning the details. We don't have any other information at this time," said Mike Houck, Oklahoma team spokesman. 

Mayfield is a sophomore at the university. He was short-listed for the Heisman Trophy last year.