Does Braxton Miller's Injury Crush the Ohio State QB's Heisman Hopes?

Sebastian Lena@SP7988Analyst ISeptember 14, 2013

Miller can say "bye, bye" to his Heisman chances.
Miller can say "bye, bye" to his Heisman chances.Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller will not be lifting up the Heisman Trophy in New York City later this year.

Sure, the junior has all the talent to bring home the hardware. However, sitting out two games with an injury has put him at a significant disadvantage.

One that might prove too difficult to overcome.

ESPN's Kyle Bonagura made the announcement that Miller would sit out the Buckeyes' contest against Cal on Saturday. He's believed to be still recovering from an MCL sprain he suffered in last week's 42-7 win against San Diego State.

After a stellar sophomore season, Miller got the attention of everyone in college football. Not only did he throw for 2,039 yards and 15 touchdowns, but he also racked up 1,271 yards on the ground for another 13 scores.

That kind of dual-threat ability helped lead Ohio State to an undefeated campaign in 2012 and had Miller listed as a Heisman favorite coming into the season.

However, thus far, he’s thrown for only 208 yards and two touchdowns along with 82 yards on the ground.

In comparison, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another 66 in the first half alone against No. 1 Alabama on Saturday. On the season, the sophomore has accounted for a whopping total of 1,137 yards and 12 touchdowns.

But Manziel isn’t the only Heisman contender running laps around Miller.

Oregon’s Marcus Mariota (1,151 TOTAL YDS, 11 TDS), Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater (1,002 YDS, 10 TDS) and Clemson’s Tajh Boyd (491 TOTAL YDS, 6 TDS) have already built impressive cases for the prestigious award. Even dark-horse contenders like Florida State’s Jameis Winston (570 YDS, 88.8 CMP%, 6 TDS) and UCLA’s Brett Hundley (692 TOTAL YDS, 7 TDS) have staked their claim.

In fact, after starting the year inside the Top 3 of ESPN’s Heisman Watch, Miller currently finds himself No. 8 in the latest poll with just a single vote.

It certainly doesn’t help that the Buckeyes have a rather easy schedule the rest of the way. The team was ranked No. 67 in Phil Steele’s SOS rankings for 2013.

Other than Michigan, road games against the likes of Northwestern, Purdue and Illinois don’t impress as possible venues for Miller’s “Heisman Moment.”

All in all, the season is still young and the quarterback has nine more games to boost his resume. However, so do his competitors.

Unfortunately, it may be little too late for Miller.


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