Did Braxton Call His Shot against Indiana?
By Brandon Castel
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — According to some of his teammates, Braxton Miller really had it rolling on Saturday.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Not only did the sophomore quarterback rush for 149 yards and pass for 211 more in Ohio State’s 52-49 win over Indiana under the lights, but he also called his shot on the 67-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
“Braxton said right before (he took off), 'You guys better block this right now and I'm going to take this to the house’,” starting right tackle Reid Fragel said after the game.
“He called it out, and sure enough he did it.”
The Buckeyes’ lead had been cut to one score on a 22-yard field goal from Indiana early in the second half. Miller had struggled to really get himself going against the Hoosiers the way has in so many other games this season, but it took him only one play in the second half to change everything.
“I looked out there and everything was right were it needed to be as far as where the defensive guys were,” Fragel said.
“It was just a basic power play and we were all kind of pumped that we were calling it the first time we ran it. You couldn't have drawn it up any better than the way it looked out there.”
It was set up by Rod Smith’s 33-yard kick return on Ohio State’s first offensive series of the second half. The Buckeyes had a 24-17 lead and Miller had been limited to just 48 yards on 14 carries in the first half.
“He started off slow,” head coach Urban Meyer said afterward.
“He started off a little slow but they came back and came in a flurry. So the good thing I saw possession time was 36 minutes or something like that I want to say. There are some real strong positives in there right now.”
Not only did the Buckeyes have the football for 36:54, compared to just 23:06 for Indiana, but the OSU offense also racked up over 300 yards on the ground for the second week in a row.
Miller top 100 yards on the ground for the fifth time in seven games this season – the eighth time in his last 13 games dating back to last season – and tailback Carlos Hyde also put up big numbers on the ground again.
After rushing for 140 yards and four scores against Nebraska, Hyde had 156 yards and a score on the ground Saturday at Indiana, to go with a 14-yard touchdown catch on a shovel pass from Kenny Guiton.
Photo by Jim Davidson
“I'm having a blast. Being a running back in this system, it's so fun,” said Hyde, who has 323 yards of total offense and six touchdowns the last two weeks.
“They just give you the ball and let you just go play. You don't have to worry about anything, just do what you do best. I'm having a blast and I'm really enjoying this.”
It wasn’t a perfect day for the Ohio State offensive line, which had a number of false starts all across the front five, but the Buckeyes did rush for 353 while averaging 6.5 yards per carry on the ground against the Hoosiers.
“I think up front the offensive line is getting it done and the backs do a great job of reading the holes,” Fragel added.
“And Braxton is doing a helluva job with his reads. We're just coming together and it's a good feeling.”
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