Ohio State has been fortunate enough to have some athletic quarterbacks come through the program, Braxton Miller and Terrelle Pryor being two of the most recent. Pryor played three seasons with the Buckeyes before heading to the NFL draft and Miller took over his spot afterward. Pryor got a lot of flack for the tattoo scandal, but people forget how solid he was for the Buckeyes. Miller came in following Pryor and has been a human highlight reel for a better part of three years. Both guys made a name for themselves by making big plays in clutch moments, but who has been the better Buckeye Miller or Pryor?
Miller: Braxton Miller is not known for his proficient passing and has received a good amount of criticism for his struggles in the passing game, but he is no scrub when it comes to throwing the ball. Miller has thrown for 5,292 yards and has amassed 52 passing touchdowns, recording 24 of those in his junior season. Miller’s completion percentage is at 59.3% through three seasons, and he averages 7.9 yards per completion. Miller’s career QB rating is 146.7. Miller also manages to keep his turnovers down only throwing 17 interceptions in 36 career games.
Pryor: Terrelle Pryor was also known, like Miller, for his athletic ability and tendency to run. Pryor, however, did prove to be a capable passer and compiled an impressive resume throwing the ball. Pryor threw for 6,177 yards and 57 touchdowns in his three seasons at Ohio State. Pryor completed 60.9% of his passes and averaged 7.9 yards per completion. Pryor’s career QB rating was 144.6. Despite Pryor’s gaudy passing stats he did throw 26 interceptions in 39 career starts.
Better Passer: Pryor
Miller: Miller has made a name for himself by running the ball, and man can he run the ball. In three seasons he has rushed for 3,054 yards on 557 attempts which factors out to 5.5 yards per carry. Miller has scored 32 touchdowns on the ground. Miller is clearly an elite runner and it’s impressive that he has managed these stats playing at quarterback.
Pryor: Pryor was also relied upon to run the ball and make plays with his feet, something he excelled at. Pryor rushed for 2,164 yards on 436 attempts for an average of 5.0 yards per carry. Pryor also scored 19 rushing touchdowns in his career at Ohio State. Pryor’s size and speed were a deadly combination and he utilized that to be a stellar running quarterback for the Buckeyes.
Better Rusher: Miller
Miller: After a rough freshman year Miller led the Buckeyes to 2 perfect regular seasons, a testament to Miller’s growth under Head Coach Urban Meyer. Miller’s record as a starter is 27-9, 7 of those 9 losses came in his freshman year. Miller’s record against “That Team Up North” is a respectable 2-1. Miller has also won 19 games against the Big Ten in his three seasons. The postseason has not been kind to Miller, however, with a record of 0-2 in bowl games and 0-1 in the Big Ten Championship. Miller hasn’t just made a habit of winning on the field he also took home some individual hardware winning the 2012 and 2013 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year award.
Pryor: Pryor had an incredible record in his three seasons at Ohio State going 32-6. While Pryor never had a perfect season he never lost more than three games in a season. Pryor’s junior year was the best of his career as the team ended with a record of 13-1. Pryor also had a perfect record against “That Team Up North”, winning all three contests. Pryor recorded 21 wins against Big Ten opponents, compared to 3 losses. Unlike Miller, Pryor had a successful career in the postseason winning 2 of 3 bowl games including a Rose Bowl victory over Oregon in 2009. The Big Ten Championship was not yet an event when Pryor was in school. Pryor also never received any individual awards in his time as a Buckeye.
Most Successful: Pryor
So after going through both players stats, passing and rushing the ball, and which player had the more successful career in terms of wins the question is: Braxton Miller vs. Terrelle Pryor, who has been the better Buckeye? Although I love Braxton Miller I have to go with Pryor on this one. Pryor was the more successful and the better passer of the two, though Miller clearly takes the cake rushing the ball. Now one could argue that Miller’s freshman season was something of a wash under Luke Fickell, the team went 6-7, but he actually had a better statistical year compared to Pryor’s freshman year. Pryor also won 2 bowl games in his career compared to Miller who has yet to win a postseason game, and that includes 2 under Urban Meyer. Both players have played for some great coaches and both players have been apart of some great Ohio State teams, but I have to give the slight edge to Terrelle Pryor as the better Buckeye QB. Fortunately for Miller, he has one season left to try to get that elusive bowl win and solidify his already stellar legacy at Ohio State.