During his first three seasons as a member of the Ohio State Buckeyes, quarterback Braxton Miller ran the ball 557 times for 3,054 yards. Miller is one of the premier dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation, but he’s also suffered numerous injuries caused by his scrambling.
Miller emphasized better conditioning during the off season, and he expects those injuries to be far less problematic this fall.
The Buckeyes can also help Miller by relying less on him as the one of the team’s primary ball carriers. Unfortunately, they may not have that luxury.
Miller is the team’s leading returning rusher despite missing two games last season.
There is plenty of talent in the Buckeyes’ backfield with Ezekiel Elliot, Bri’onte Dunn, and Rod Smith, but it’s largely unproven. The Buckeyes desperately need one of these running backs to take over the role vacated by Carlos Hyde, who led the team with 1,521 rushing yards last season. This year’s backs don’t need to be as productive as Hyde was, but they have to take the pressure off of Miller to prevent the quarterback from becoming the team’s primary rushing threat.
Miller may not get much of a reprieve even when he drops back to pass. Four starters along the offensive line graduated and are no longer on the roster. And Taylor Decker is switching from right tackle to left tackle. This unit is going to need time to gel.
Miller is now physically ready to take the pounding which comes during the Big Ten’s regular season, and he’s going to need it.
A significant development has gone under the radar at Auburn, until now. Junior wide receiver Eli Stove tore his ACL during Auburn’s first spring practice and underwent surgery last Tuesday, according to Brandon Marcello of Auburn Undercover.
As a sophomore in 2017, Stove caught 29 passes for 265 yards and rushed 30 times for 315 yards and two touchdowns, which made him the Tigers’ third-leading rusher.
Stove was expected to increase his portfolio heading into 2018, but now he’ll spend the foreseeable future working simply to get back on the field. No timetable has been set for Stove’s return.
Though Stove is one of Auburn’s most talented pass-catchers, the Tigers aren’t hurting for depth even in his absence. Nine wideouts caught a pass for Auburn last season, and not one of them was a senior.
With spring practice set to kick off this week, Florida Atlantic and Lane Kiffin have found their offensive line a little lighter than previously expected.
According to the Palm Beach Post, Jack Breshears is retiring from the sport and is no longer with the football program. The Post wrote that, according to a source, the lineman “no longer had the same passion he did for football when (former FAU head coach) Charlie Partridge was there.”
Kiffin will be entering his second season with the Owls, replacing the dismissed Partridge in December of 2016.
Breshears, who will remain on scholarship but won’t count against FAU’s 85-man limit, played in six games as a redshirt freshman in 2016 before suffering a season-ending injury. He played in two games this past season the shoulder issue surfaced again.
Prior to his decision to move on from the sport, Breshears had been a candidate for a starting job this season.
Alabama will kick off spring practice later on Tuesday, but the reigning national champions will do so without an integral piece of its offensive line.
The father of the lineman, David Womack, confirmed to Rivals.com that Matt Womack will undergo surgery Wednesday to repair a broken bone in his right foot. As a result, the rising redshirt junior will miss all of the Crimson Tide’s 15 spring practice sessions.
Per David Womack, his son suffered the injury while jumping boxes during workouts.
Recovery time is expected to be in the range of six weeks, which means that, barring a setback, he’ll be fully healthy for the start of summer camp in early August.
Womack started all 14 games at right tackle in the Tide’s run to its 17th national championship last season. As a redshirt freshman the year before, Womack, a three-star member of UA’s 2015 signing class, played in nine games.
This might be the most Big 12 way ever to lose an assistant football coach.
According to both Rivals.com and the Lawrence Journal-World, Todd Bradford is leaving his post as Kansas’ linebackers coach. The reason? He’s returning to the oil business.
Bradford was fired as the defensive coordinator at Maryland in January of 2012, with that dismissal, and the health of his mother, leading to him leaving the coaching profession for a job in the oil field for the next four years.
“A guy that I was involved with and had business dealings when I was in the oil world before I was helping with my mom reached out to me,” Bradford told JayhawkSlant.com when it came to his decision-making process this time around. “He told me he had some companies that were doing really well and he needed someone to come in and help me run them. He asked if I was interested and I told him I was happy coaching.
“Then he called two more times after that and offered me the job after signing day. I turned it down twice. But each time the offer was getting a little bit better and by the third time financially it was oil world money.”
Bradford spent his first two seasons with the Jayhawks as linebackers coach. The football program had previously confirmed that he would coach safeties in 2018.