Yes, the Old Gator went there.
We’ve chronicled on numerous occasions since the day of Urban Meyer‘s hiring at Ohio State the downright, well, giddiness the head coach has displayed over having a talent like Braxton Miller at his disposal. And, to be frank, the true sophomore has done nothing to disappoint on the talent front.
Through three games, Miller is No. 3 among Big Ten quarterbacks — and 35th nationally — in passing efficiency, and has accounted for 12 of the Buckeyes’ 16 offensive touchdowns on the season. He’s also 10th nationally averaging nearly 126 yards per game rushing.
Miller’s performance three games into his second season as a starter has already garnered the attention of online degenerates. It’s also gotten the attention of his head coach, who for whatever reason decided to very publicly crank the expectation level up a notch or 30 for the unassuming QB by having an “oh no he di’int” radio moment.
“Very similar guys,” Meyer said on 97.1 The Fan in Columbus Thursday, when asked to compare Miller with (gasp!) Tim Tebow. “They’re both competitive human beings. They’re both very talented people. Braxton has more talent. Tim is probably more of a grinder.”
Meyer, of course, coached the lightning rod known as Tebow during a sizable chunk of the former’s tenure with the Florida Gators. Meyer’s hyperbole aside, there are two significant differences accomplishment-wise between Tebow and Miller. One, Tebow won two BcS titles as a Gator, the first at the expense of the Buckeyes; Miller won’t have the opportunity to even compete for his first until his junior season as the Buckeyes are ineligible for the postseason thanks to NCAA sanctions. And, two, Tebow has a stiff-armed trophy in his collection, while Miller’s merely moving up the oddsmaker’s chart.
There are myriad other differences between the two players, obviously, chief among them personality. Tebow was a fiery leader on and off the field during his time at UF, while Miller is more the quiet, lead-by-example type, at least at this point in his career.
Statistically speaking, though? Meyer is certainly on to something.
Through three games as a sophomore in 2007 — his second season under Meyer — Tebow had thrown for 835 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception, and rushed for an additional 193 yards and five touchdowns. In his first season under Meyer’s tutelage, Miller has thrown for 611 yards, seven touchdowns and two picks, with 377 yards on the ground and five rushing touchdowns.
Add it up, and Tebow had accounted for 1,028 yards of total offense and 13 touchdowns, Miller 988 and 12. And, both teams under Tebow and Miller started their sophomore seasons 3-0. And Tebow took home the Heisman following the 2007 regular season.
Regardless of why, Meyer has decided to publicly place the “Tebow onus” on Miller. Here’s guessing that said onus will have zero impact on how Miller goes about his on- or off-field business.