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.
Braxton Miller up to 221 pounds (from 212) but still feels faster. As for taking same pounding as last year? “That ain’t gonna happen.”
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) July 28, 2014
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.