With 59 minutes and 40 seconds of last night’s Ohio State – Wisconsin game in the books, Braxton Miller had connected on 6 of 12 passes for 49 yards through the air. Then with twenty seconds to go he did this:
He went legend forever, if only for a night.
Just one week ago these 11th ranked Wisconsin Badgers were not only favorites to win the Big Ten, they were also legitimate National Championship contenders as well. Just around that same time Braxton Miller had completed 1 of 4 passes for an entire game as a starting Big Ten Quarterback. I don’t imagine either of those things crossed his mind when he let it fly from forty yards out last night.
While that final pass served as Miller’s first TD through the air, he had already found the end zone twice on the ground before that. He finished with 99 yards rushing, those two rushing touchdowns, and he managed the game effectively enough to put his team in a position to win it late with his last-second heroics.
Whether the story that Luke Fickell told about Braxton confidently winking at him before that final drive is totally true or more simply the preamble to a tale of Buckeye folklore first told by Fickell himself is insignificant to me too. I believe it happened like that because it’s more fun to do so, and there’s no reason to think it didn’t.
What Miller did say for sure of that final play was this though:
“When I broke containment out of the pocket I just kept my eyes up field,” Miller said. “I was just trying to make something happen.”
And he did make something happen.
Charged with the duty of not losing the game for his team, the Freshman went out and won it for them instead. He showed flashes of superstardom, and he put his team in a position to continue to compete for a Big Ten Title in a season they were supposed to simply go away and hide.
He was a star last night, and gave reason to believe that he can be one going forward as well on the biggest stages College Football has to offer. Reason for not only Buckeye Nation to believe, but maybe more importantly reason for a kid entering the High School playoffs in Ohio this time last year to believe he can be a star at The Ohio State University too.
Well done, Braxton. Keep going.