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Fickell pulls the trigger, will start true frosh at QB for Buckeyes

Braxton Miller

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.

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31 Responses to “Fickell pulls the trigger, will start true frosh at QB for Buckeyes”
  1. pryor4heisman says: Sep 22, 2011 12:58 PM

    Better late than never. Time to DOMINATE

  2. carboncow says: Sep 22, 2011 1:17 PM

    I doubt we’ll dominate anywhere but it will be nice for the kid to get some experience…plus we get a little flash. Joe is like watching paint dry and to conservative…yes Braxton will throw to many picks but when he runs we’ll be holding onto our hats!

  3. tosubuckeye says: Sep 22, 2011 1:25 PM

    Most Buckeyes can now appreciate what we took for granted in TP. The man could play. Hopefully, Braxton will settle down and show everyone that the skills he has can be translated to game-day. With the support of Buckeye Nation the freshman will play beyond his years and the Bucks will roar again. GO BUCKS!! Now, to another pressing matter. We have a stud at wide receiver, who happens also to be a track star, that needs to be starting. Devin Smith. I feel if he is featured he will not disappoint. Week 6, with Devin and Posey, look out B I G.

  4. brutusbuckeye2011 says: Sep 22, 2011 1:35 PM

    Don’t expect too much from Braxton. He is still a boy in a man’s sport. His passing doesn’t look bad, but he better learn how to hang on to the ball and read defenses. I hate to say it, but I doubt that OSU will be a factor in the Big Ten this year.

  5. blitz4848 says: Sep 22, 2011 1:45 PM

    Very smart move….like it or not this will be a down year for the Buckeyes—probably 7-5 at best.

    The Buckeyes have dominated the past decade and all their conference opponents will be geared up to take advantage of a subpar Buckeye team.

    The Ohio State has to be hoping they can get the NCAA charges behind them asap so they can move forward knowing what penalties they will face.

  6. southernpatriots says: Sep 22, 2011 2:23 PM

    The faithful tOSU alums and fans should be happy now, just as we were when circumstances forced Lee and Mettenberger up one level on the depth chart at quarterback for LSU. Congratulations Buckeyes! Fickell is loyal and it took him longer to make the change but he did make it. You have many games ahead to do well. Best to you. God knows you have been through enough junk and need to walk from it.

    Best to you all! (from LSU alums and fans)

  7. WingT says: Sep 22, 2011 2:31 PM

    The best thing OSU could do for themselves is be able to consistently run the football. That will cover up any QB inexperience in a hurry.

  8. 10kmp says: Sep 22, 2011 4:52 PM

    Bauserman is, without debate, the worst Buckeye QB of the past half century. No one else is even close. Bauserman makes Boeckman look like Tom Brady by comparison. Certainly Bauserman was given less games to prove himself than any other Ohio State QB that I can remember, but just as certain was his overt lack of ability. Watching him “play” in the Miami game was painful. While Miller has his freshman specific issues, i.e. turnovers, he has a tremendous upside. Ohio State will sink or swim with Braxton Miller in 2011. After the Miami debacle, things will have to improve dramatically for Fickell to be considered the permanent successor to Tressel, so I give him credit for going with Miller when the safer, more experienced option is Bauserman. Fickell is always saying “it isn’t about me, it’s about the program”. After making the call to switch to Miller those words now carry a lot more weight…

  9. brutusbuckeye2011 says: Sep 22, 2011 5:10 PM

    Thanks southernpatriots for being a southern gentleman.

    On another vein, it makes me wonder why people trash Boeckman so much. I’m not saying he was great, but during his last full year he completed 64% of his passes for 2,379 yards and threw 25 TD passes. I wouldn’t mind having Todd at the helm now.

  10. blueinok says: Sep 22, 2011 5:43 PM

    If I remember correctly – it was TB and not TP that kept you in the Fiesta Bowl against Texas a few years back.

  11. southernpatriots says: Sep 22, 2011 5:52 PM

    brutusbuckeye2011: You are most welcome from all of us! (We are a family of retired professionals, many alums of LSU and one alum and former player for Georgia, all united by blood and marriage).

    The reason so many fans wanted a change, and apparently, finally Coach Fickell did as well, was the lack of offense in the games this year. LSU had one of the very worst offenses in all of college football last year (ranked 100th – 12oth throughout the year!). Our coach was very loyal to the QB last year and kept him as the starter this year. With all due respect to him, the QB played several good games.

    Our beloved coach kept this QB and he would have been the starter all year but he became embroiled in a team violation and lead the team to follow him, then will be charged and have to go through the judicial system now. So, we have the #2 QB promoted to starter and he is doing well. Not Heisman play but well, doing what the coaches ask him to do and not lose the game.

  12. paulbrownsrevenge says: Sep 22, 2011 11:21 PM

    Happy to see Joe Overthrow sit. Braxton is the future, I can deal with losses easier if we are building something. Nothing is worse than watching a 5th year senior look like a pot bellied MLB pitcher trying to throw a football. The running game looked very good. Hall and Hyde look very solid. Rod Smith probably just cemented himself on the bench.

    If the buckeyes could run on Miami, when they clearly knew we couldn’t pass the ball, that says alot about our O Line and Rb’s.

  13. trbowman says: Sep 23, 2011 3:36 AM

    If there’s one thing I don’t miss about living in Ohio, it’s Buckeye fans.

  14. trbowman says: Sep 23, 2011 3:37 AM

    As for Bauserman, it sucks for the dude. I was cheering for him. You knew the leash was going to be short and it was only inevitable that Miller took over.

  15. polegojim says: Sep 23, 2011 11:37 AM

    Good weekend to give Miller some confidence.

    Just remember Buckeye fans… it’s Colorado, who gave up 34, 36, 28 to much lesser teams.

    The four games to follow will be a better test and much less forgiving.

    It would be great to have two exciting QBs going head to head on when we meet. May the rivalry live long and prosper.

    Go BLUE… See you November 26.

  16. brutusbuckeye2011 says: Sep 23, 2011 12:28 PM

    Comments like those made by polegojim are what make a rivalry great. It proves you can be “bitter rivals” without the bitterness and trash talking each other. GO BUCKS! BEAT MICHIGAN!

  17. southernpatriots says: Sep 23, 2011 1:36 PM

    GO BLUE! GO BUCKS! Now you two, you have fun with the rivalry! That is the way it should be…fun! As you said brutusbuckeye2011, “without bitterness and trash talking…” We hope all fans read your postings and take what you have demonstrated to heart. We try to do this until we meet Ole Miss(we have a medical excuse, though because that is genetic…ha.) Have a great day!

  18. polegojim says: Sep 23, 2011 5:35 PM

    @brutus and southernpats… exactly. That’s why I find it nausiating when I see stupidly insulting posts either way.

    Most don’t understand the relationship that existed between Bo and Woody, even on diametrically opposed sidelines. Bitter rivals on the field, friends off the field… and the 10 year war was historic on many levels.

    Bo said about Woody: “There was plenty to criticize about Woody Hayes. His methods were tough, his temper was, at times, unforgivable. And, unless you knew him or played for him, it is hard to explain why you liked being around guy. But you didn’t just like it, you loved it. He was simply fascinating.”

    I’ll probably be watching the game with two of close business associates… both who are OSU alum. Don’t get me wrong…winning this game is a HUGE DEAL… that we at Michigan haven’t enjoyed in FAR too long… but equally important is good smash mouth footall and honorable sportsmanship.

    GO BLUE!

  19. southernpatriots says: Sep 23, 2011 7:07 PM

    polegojim: Let it be so! When gold is refined it is put under great heat and the dross is skimmed from the surface, removing the inpurities. Good true fans are like gold as true friendships are. They are to be treasured. We met some of these true fans last year from West Virginia and this year coming all the way from Oregon. Fans for their schools and teams almost as long as we have been fans for LSU. Fans who had been through lean years, as we have with LSU and with the New Orleans Saints.

    Keep the faith! Stay faithful fans! Have a great and fun time! Stay safe!

  20. brutusbuckeye2011 says: Sep 24, 2011 11:03 AM

    @ polegojim
    Woody and the OSU faithful felt the same way about Bo. As you know he died just a couple of days before THE GAME. The OSU fans gave him a very respectful moment of silence before game time.
    Oh by the way, your post said “winning this game is a HUGE DEAL… that we at Michigan haven’t enjoyed in FAR too long.” It’s been 2863 days to be exact.

  21. southernpatriots says: Sep 24, 2011 11:49 AM

    brutusbuckeye2011: Our youngest grandson (turned 8 in July) was not born yet when Michigan won the game last?….whew. We knew for many years that OSU had dominated the rivalry but did not know there weren’t some reversals in the long term trend during that time. We see how much it is a big deal to Michigan.

    The Mississippi State faithful felt the same way, 11 games and years in a row, now 12 and now 18 of the last 19. We had lean year after year after year verses Bear Bryant at Bama. It is different now and has been since Nick Saban brought about a reversal, SEC championships and BCS National for LSU. It is difficult to put yourself on the other side of the rivalry until you are.

  22. polegojim says: Sep 24, 2011 2:30 PM

    Yes, brutus, thanks for the PAINFUL reminder…

    But… the Buckeyes needed the current run to make the overall series a little more…respectable…

    You’re still – 4,745 days short – of catching up with Michigan’s overall lead. (I’m including the 2010 win)

    Michigan: 57–44 overall. My hat is hung over the top of that stat.

    PS. I won’t buy gas in Ohio either. ; )

  23. southernpatriots says: Sep 24, 2011 3:21 PM

    polegojim: Both of you fine fans are funny! With which team does Michigan have losing record? If there is one, it would balance things if you would provide that information…smile.

    You have something against Ohio gas? Or are you against paying the state of Ohio their portion of the gas tax? smile.

  24. polegojim says: Sep 25, 2011 10:58 AM

    Southernpats – I’m playing Woody Hayes comments.

    Woody was about to run out of gas returning from a recruiting trip in Michigan, but refused to stop and get gas in Michigan.

    And I quote:

    “We do NOT pull in and fill up. And I’ll tell you exactly why we don’t. It’s because I don’t buy one ‘gd’ drop of gas in the state of Michigan! We’ll coast and PUSH this ‘gd’car to the Ohio line before I give this state a nickel of my money!”

  25. polegojim says: Sep 25, 2011 10:59 AM

    PS – Actually I don’t recall having a losing record against anyone of significance… ; )

  26. southernpatriots says: Sep 25, 2011 11:29 AM

    polegojim: You do have to look long and hard, and then only find minor losing records which are insignifiant but for the balanced record we provide the following:

    •Cornell 6-12
    •Arizona St. 0-1
    •BYU 0-1
    •North Carolina 1-2
    •Oklahoma 0-1
    •Southern Cal 4-6
    •Tennessee 0-1
    •Wesleyan 0-1
    •Appy State 0-1
    •Mississippi St. 0-1
    •Toledo 0-1
    •Texas 0-1

    The ones that would irk me if I were the Michigan coaching staff and AD would be Appalachian State, Wesleyan, and Cornell, and we think they may be 4-5 v. Army. All this is insignificant because Michigan has the greatest record and winning percentage.

  27. southernpatriots says: Sep 25, 2011 11:34 AM


    Not for the gas comment, but for numerous other things, Woody was like one piece of wood short of a load. Short fuse, great anger, very good, maybe even, great coach. But a man with some problems and not quite someone who would be described as having an “even temperament.” smile.

  28. brutusbuckeye2011 says: Sep 25, 2011 2:22 PM

    Unfortunately an “even temperament” was not one of Woody’s strong points. I think Charlie Baumen would agree (see clip from 1978 Gator Bowl).

  29. southernpatriots says: Sep 25, 2011 3:51 PM

    brutusbuckeye2011: Woody had a similar reputation with his fellow coaches and it seems so many who knew him.

  30. dkhhuey says: Sep 27, 2011 11:28 AM

    @pole – great quote, great story. If I can remember correctly, an assistant coach was driving on his first recruiting trip with Woody up to Michigan. I really want to say it was Lou Holtz, but I cannot be certain! Anyway, Woody had fallen asleep on the way home and as you can imagine, the new coach was a bit intimidated but due to the gas meter – decided to wake him and inform him he was pulling over to get gas. Woody responded with a very short ‘No’ and went back to sleep. A bit further down the road he woke him up again to say they had to stop and your quote was what followed.

    As for Braxton starting – all I can say is ABOUT FREAKIN TIME!!!! Joe Overthrow was never going to be the answer and luckily we have only lost one game thus far. With him in there, every upcoming game was pretty much going to be a very painful thing to watch and with little or no hope of pulling out a victory. With Braxton, we at least have the positive vibe and our chances greatly improve to secure a victory.

  31. paulbrownsrevenge says: Sep 27, 2011 5:55 PM

    please change your name. I felt icky giving you thumbs up.

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