FORT WAYNE – Indiana coach Kevin Wilson knows something about the Heisman Trophy. He was the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma when Sam Bradford won the award and when Adrian Peterson was a finalist for the honor.
Saturday, the Hoosiers face Ohio State and quarterback Braxton Miller, who has received some attention for the Heisman.
He’s one of the best players in the college game. He’s young. And knowing a little bit about him and knowing the coaching he’s got, he will get better and better, Wilson said during the Big Ten teleconference Tuesday.
We have not seen the best of him. Hope we don’t see the best of him Saturday night. He is one great football player.
Miller has guided the No. 8 Buckeyes to a 6-0 record. He is second in the Big Ten in total offense at 303.8 yards per game and is seventh in passing offense at 176.7 yards per game. Miller has completed 83 of 135 passes (61.5 percent) for 1,060 yards. He has nine throwing touchdowns and eight rushing touchdowns and has thrown three interceptions.
His ability, his competitiveness is what I like, Wilson said. When the game is on the line, he makes plays. He’s a dynamic player on his feet. They are doing a great job offensively. He has some nice players around. The offensive line is playing well. He has some nice pieces, but he’s the straw stirring the drink.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said Heisman talk might be a bit premature.
I usually don’t even speak of it when I’ve been asked the question until after the season, Meyer said during his weekly news conference Monday. I’ve been lucky to have four Heisman candidates, Josh Harris at Bowling Green, Alex (Smith at Utah), and the left-handed kid down there for three or four years, three years (Florida’s Tim Tebow).
I mean, it’s an honor to be mentioned. I’ve been to that thing and it’s incredible for these kids. At the same time I don’t think Braxton’s a Heisman candidate right now. I think he’s certainly fun to watch. He’s got the ability. But then again, I don’t know who is. We’re only halfway through the season. In about two or three games I think you can start talking about that. I’m not talking to Braxton about it. We’re trying to win some games.
Miller is third in the Big Ten in rushing, averaging 127.2 yards per game.
We certainly need to be where we’re supposed to be, IU defensive tackles coach Mark Hagan said during a news conference Tuesday. We’re going to try to have a couple of guys on Miller every time he’s in position to run with the ball.
That zone-read play, you like to have a guy on his outside as well as his inside. We need to be sound on our fits. But he’s certainly a guy, even when you fit it correctly, he’s a guy that can embarrass you and make something out of nothing.
Notes: Wilson said during his weekly news conference that punter Mitchell Voss will miss several weeks with a hairline fracture of his right ankle, which he hurt Saturday against Michigan State.