Just one day after being named First Team All B1G, and repeating as the Griese-Brees, B1G Quarterback of the Year, Braxton Miller was named the Graham-George B1G Offensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. He managed this award despite missing essentially three of the Buckeyes first four games. He now holds the B1G record for most individual awards with six.
In his nine games, Braxton paced the Buckeyes offense as they set the school records for points and yards in a single season. He completed 65.7 percent of his passes, throwing for 1,759 yards, 21 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. Miller added 891 yards on the ground and 8 more touchdowns. His rushing numbers are down from last season, but that is a result of Carlos Hyde’s explosion and the improvements he’s made as a passer.
On the other side of the ball, Ryan Shazier was considered to be the favorite for the Nagurski-Wooden B1G Defensive Player of the Year. He led the B1G in tackles: 122, tackles-for-loss: 21, and forced fumbles: 4. In addition to his gaudy statistics, he was also the most important player on a Ohio State defense that was stout against the run and saw steady improvement on defense throughout the year (excluding Michigan).
Instead, Chris Boreland of the Wisconsin Badgers took home the award. It’s hard to argue that Boreland wasn’t deserving. If not for missing close to two games, his statistics would have been very close to Shazier’s on a Wisconsin defensive unit that ranked higher than the Buckeyes. I still think Shazier should have won the award, but I don’t believe it’s any cause for outrage. Who knows, maybe this will motivate him to return for his senior season? (Yeah right)
In a move that isn’t so surprising, but a little disappointing nonetheless, Urban Meyer did not win the McClain/Hayes-Schembechler B1G Coach of the Year Award. Mark Dantonio took home that honor. If Urban didn’t win the award last year after taking the Buckeyes from 6-7 to 12-0 it’s unlikely the voters would give it to him for simply maintaining the status quo of perfection. Being the Head Coach at Ohio State certainly has its perks, but being bestowed year-end awards is not one of them as it’s now been 34 years since Earle Bruce was the last Ohio State head coach to win the award. Perhaps if Meyer gets his record up to 38-0 they’ll give it to him next year.