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Ohio State QB Braxton Miller Grows Up Fast in Front of National Audience

So what if lightning can’t strike the same place twice? It struck Wisconsin right in the heart two weeks in a row in almost exactly the same fashion.

Down by three points with less than 30 seconds remaining, Braxton Miller pulled off one of those kinds of plays that Ohio State fans will remember forever. Rolling out to his right, the crowd collectively holding its breath, Miller fired a deep ball to the back of the end zone.

As the camera followed the ball, the television viewer was not privy to anything going on on the field, and thus could not see how wide open Devin Smith was.

And then it happened.

Miller’s pass connected, leaving the Badgers with 20 second and no timeouts to answer yet another “Hail Mary” that essentially won the game for the opposing team.

Wisconsin was lucky to be in the game in the first place with a near epic collapse by the Ohio State defense in the later stages of the game, but that doesn’t negate the fact that the Buckeyes played almost flawless football offensively and did it in a way to keep the Badgers to only 14 points until the later stages of the game.

Despite the fact that Ohio State looked ugly as sin on Saturday night football, they played like they wanted the Big Ten Championship more than the Badgers did, straight up.

As expected, the two biggest factors for Ohio State offensively were Braxton Miller and Dan Herron. Miller accounted for three touchdowns, including his first and second of the season on the ground.

Herron carried the ball 33 times for 160 yards, averaging just under five per carry.

The true key for Ohio State was stopping Wisconsin running back Montee Ball, and if you look at the stats, you might think they didn’t accomplish that. Ball had 85 yards rushing and 30 yards receiving with two more touchdowns to add to his impressive season totals.

However, Ball had merely 45 yards until late in the fourth quarter when he broke a huge 40 yard run that set up a touchdown pass from quarterback Russell Wilson.

This was a huge victory for the Buckeyes who have now revitalized their home crowd and given hope for the future. Not only that, but they still have a shot at a Big Ten title in 2011, and if they keep it up with this kind of magical play, they could definitely do it. They are still a young team, so fans have to be ready for a potential let-down, but don’t be shocked if these guys continue winning games and making believers out of people.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.