That's what we think, so with that in mind, we're asking 20 Questions when it comes to the Ohio State football team. Every day from now until the opening game week, we'll have our BSB writers answer one question about the Ohio State football team. Some will be serious, some will be funny, and none will be "Animal, vegetable or mineral?" But all should help you think about the upcoming season, hopefully in a different way than before.
Question 15: How many passes will Braxton Miller throw this year?
Ryan Ginn: I think a lot of people will disagree with me here but I’m going to say 4.5 seems like a fair over/under – and I’d probably still take the under. Using Miller as a passer multiple times a game is one of those ideas that sounds good in theory, but the fact of the matter is that every pass he throws is taking one away from the backup. Are the Ohio State coaches really going to risk losing a dynamic playmaker like Miller to injury when they have two better options? Even if you want to argue that those quick shovel passes count as passes and wouldn’t risk Miller’s labrum, I see no advantage to having Miller do that when Barrett runs that play better than anyone else out there. He’s a receiver now.
Blake Williams: Obviously this is dependent on how healthy Miller’s throwing shoulder is, but I am going to operate under the assumption that by conference play the Buckeyes latest H-back will be healthy enough to rear back and throw, even if he can’t do so with the same power he once had. Everyone knows what Miller was able to do as a quarterback, and while I think he will be in some ways more dangerous in his new position, I think Urban Meyer will want to use the wrinkle Miller’s throwing ability can add to the offense.
Remember, Jalin Marshall threw two passes last season and Evan Spencer threw one and had another run-pass option play in which he chose the former. All of those throws and more will now go to Miller. While he won’t be a better option than whoever starts at quarterback for the Buckeyes, Miller’s versatility will not go unused. I’m setting the over/under for pass attempts this season at 9.5 and I think I’ll take the over.
Jeff Svoboda: I'll split the difference and say 7.5. I just don't see Miller throwing the ball five times per game -- just the threat of his arm, when healthy, is enough -- and so that leaves me thinking he'll toss it once or twice in a handful of games. He won't play quarterback really, but Urban Meyer will know how to utilize him in interesting ways, such as on a jet sweep to his right in which he'll have the option a few times per game of stopping and throwing the ball over the top if the defense surges forward too quickly. Meyer saying over the summer that the thought of Miller on the field with either Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett had him doodling up plays, and there's no better doodler in college football than Meyer. With that in mind, I think he picks and chooses his spots to maximum efficacy, and that means just a handful of passes for a guy who is now a receiver first and foremost.
Question 1: Who Will Start At Quarterback For Ohio State?
Question 2: If Ohio State swapped coaches with the other team for every game, what would its regular season record be?
Question 3: How noticeable will the loss of Tom Herman be?
Question 4: If Ohio State could bring back one player from 2014 for this season, who would it be?
Question 5: More all-purpose yards: Braxton Miller, Dontre Wilson or Curtis Samuel?
Question 6: Aside from Michigan State, which Big Ten team should Buckeye fans be most worried about?
Question 7: Seven Buckeyes made 1st or 2nd team All-Big Ten last year (four are back). How many make it this year?
Question 8: What kind of leash will the starting quarterback have? (Or to put it more clearly, what kind of performance would it take for the starting quarterback to fully lose that job – not just be subbed out for a series or two?)?
Question 9: How many true freshmen will have their redshirts pulled this season? Who will they be?
Question 10: Which player can Ohio State least afford to lose to injury?
Question 11: If you had to beat one team with 11 players playing both ways, which game do you choose and what does your starting lineup on each side of the ball look like?
Question 12: Which four players or coaches would you choose to appear with you on Family Feud?
Question 13: Which opponents will score the most/least against Ohio State this season?
Question 14: Will an Ohio State player win the Heisman Trophy this year?