Miller has come long way since freshman year

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


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.”

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

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.

Florida Gators’ win in Outback Bowl means free Bloomin’ Onions for all

Published: Tuesday, January 03, 2017 @ 11:59 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 03, 2017 @ 11:59 AM

            The Florida Gators beat the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Outback Bowl 30-3. That means free Bloomin' Onions for all at Outback restaurants on Tuesday, Jan. 3. 
            Florida Gators Athletics

The Florida Gators routed the Iowa Hawkeyes 30-3 Monday in the Outback Bowl.

That means free Bloomin’ Onions for all from Outback Steakhouse on Tuesday. All you have to do is say “Outback Bowl” to your server at any Outback restaurant and you’ll get the dish for free.

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The Outback restaurant chain wagered Bloomin’ Onions and coconut shrimp on the game.

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If Iowa had won, the restaurant would have handed out its coconut shrimp appetizer for free.

Billy Price will return to Ohio State Buckeyes

Published: Saturday, December 31, 2016 @ 11:42 PM

Ohio State offensive lineman Billy Price, left, helps up J.T. Barrett in the first half Saturday in the Fiesta Bowl. David Jablonski/Staff

Ohio State Buckeyes right guard Billy Price will return to school for his fifth and final season of eligibility, he announced Saturday after a 31-0 loss to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium.

“I’m coming back,” Price said. “I’m going to love playing center. I’m going to lead the team. Myself and Jamarco (Jones), we’re going to do some work next year.”

The Buckeyes lose center Pat Elflein, who returned for his fifth year this season, but return Price, Jones, Michael Jordan and Isaiah Prince. Elflein and Price sat next to each other in the locker room after the most lopsided defeat in the Urban Meyer era, answering questions about what went wrong.

Ohio State allowed three sacks Saturday. They gained 88 yards on the ground and 127 yards passing. Price said he didn’t play well but his decision to return was made a while ago.

“I just kept things low key and private,” Price said. “I wanted to focus on the team and not be a distraction. I’m going to try to follow Pat’s lead. Following behind Pat, it’s going to be a tough losing him. Taylor Decker was a huge part of this, Jacoby Boren and those guys kind of set that culture. It’s my job to lead that next year when I come back and play.”

Ohio State band member nails 55-yard field goal try

Published: Wednesday, December 28, 2016 @ 11:54 AM
Updated: Wednesday, December 28, 2016 @ 11:54 AM

            If Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is looking for a kicker, the school band may have a candidate-in-waiting.
            Jamie Sabau

Ohio State University’s band calls itself “The Best Damn Band in the Land,” but it also has some brass when it comes to football ability.

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After the band practiced at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on campus Tuesday, second-year trumpet player Austin Brizee decided to try a field goal. He connected solidly on a 55-yard attempt in the indoor facility, WCMH reported.


The band tweeted a video of the field goal and asked coach Urban Meyer if he needed a kicker for Saturday’s national playoff semifinal game against No. 2 Clemson in Glendale, Arizona.

Eron Hodges, Ohio State’s assistant director of player personnel, replied to the tweet, saying that Brizee, who has never kicked competitively before but has played soccer, “definitely has a tryout invitation.”