There were questions about how healthy Ohio State junior quarterback Braxton Miller would be for Saturday night's Big Ten showdown with Wisconsin. No one should have been concerned.
Miller threw a career-high four touchdown passes and also rushed for 83 yards as the Buckeyes held off the Badgers, 31-24, in a key Leaders Division game. Given the rest of the competition in the division (Illinois, Indiana, Penn State and Purdue, with Penn State ineligible for the postseason), the victory puts the Buckeyes securely in the driver's seat in the division race.
Things we learned
From Aaron Murray's big-game heroics vs. LSU to Oklahoma's statement win at Notre Dame, here are the things we learned from college football's fifth weekend. More ...
Miller had missed all of the past two games after suffering a sprained knee early against San Diego State on Sept. 7. But the time off didn't seem to bother him on Saturday. He looked mobile and played with poise and confidence. He was 17 of 25 for 198 yards, and three of his touchdown passes came in the first half. The most important TD toss came on a 40-yarder to Corey "Philly" Brown with a second left in the first half. The score came on a 4th-and-7 play, and Wisconsin safety Dez Southward inexplicably let Brown run right by him.
Miller also had a team-high 22 rushes. Tailback Carlos Hyde had 17 carries for 85 yards in his second game back from a suspension. Backups Kenny Guiton and Jordan Hall had played well in relief of Miller and Hyde, respectively, but Guiton didn't play Saturday and Hall had just one carry.
While Miller played well, touted Buckeyes cornerback Bradley Roby did not, although he did make an interception. His main task was to shadow Wisconsin wide receiver Jared Abbrederis, and Abbrederis torched him all night. Roby looked a half-step slow and did a lot of grabbing and clutching, to no avail. Roby did do a nice job in run support. Roby hasn't lived up to his preseason billing as the nation's top corner.