McShay is both the network's college football analyst and NFL draft expert, and he had some interesting comments regarding Ohio State and quarterback Braxton Miller. McShay discussed both while appearing on ESPNU's college football podcast Friday.
"Northwestern has a chance against Ohio State," McShay told show host Matt Barrie. "They have enough offensive weapons going against a defense that has been a little bit inconsistent, and has some holes. Northwestern has to play as good a game as they have all season, and they need some turnovers and mistakes from Ohio State, but they have a chance."
"If it all comes together for them, there's a chance," he continued. "I spent a full day with Urban Meyer and Ohio State on Wednesday. I watched tape with Urban and Braxton Miller, and got to sit in on their quarterback meetings. I got a really good feel where they are offensively as a program. They are so far ahead of where they were last year, it's remarkable, and I knew that going in after watching five games from last year and the two games where Braxton played this year."
"Braxton has made enormous improvement in his mechanics as a passer, and just his basic understanding of the offense," McShay continued. "And then you look at the weapons around him have improved, and he and Devin Smith are both on the same page now. The running game is going with Carlos Hyde, and that's exactly what Urban Meyer wants. Everyone has a misconception about the spread offense that it's basketball on grass, but he really wants to be a physical, inside running team. He's got some young guys stepping up to make plays, and some young speed being injected into the offense."
McShay also spoke specifically on the development of Miller, and how he views him in relationship to other college quarterbacks.
"Physically, Braxton is as good and as talented as any quarterback out there," McShay said. "I think we are going to continue to see him get better, and people are going to see how improved he is as a passer this year. As his knee gets stronger and he gets more confident in it, I won't be surprised if at the end of the year we are talking about him as the most complete college quarterback in the game this season. It's pretty scary."
"It's been interesting this year to watch a lot of quarterbacks, either written off or thought to have reached their ceiling," he continued. "So many have taken it to another level, whether it's Aaron Murray winning big games, Zach Mettenberger going from liability to asset, Keith Price completely off the radar is now an emerging star. Look at the development of Braxton Miller, and Johnny Manziel becoming more of a "pro" quarterback in terms of his mechanics, hanging in the pocket, and driving his team down the field. There has been so much improvement at the quarterback position this season, that it's made for great football so far."