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Ohio State’s Braxton Miller named Davey O’Brien Award finalist

Andrew Holleran / Photo editor

Ohio State might not to be able to play for a national championship, but its quarterback is in contention to finish the season with some hardware.

Sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller, who’s helped lead the No. 4 Buckeyes to an 11-0 record, is a finalist for the 2012 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award.

“I am very happy for Braxton,” OSU coach Urban Meyer said in a released statement. “He is a young man who works hard all the time to improve as a player and to make his team better. This is a nice honor for the fine season he is having.”

It’s a season that’s seen Miller complete 134 of 236 passes for 1,850 yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions.

On the ground, though, is where it seems Miller has separated himself from his competition.

The sophomore has rushed 1,214 yards and 13 touchdowns – a figure that makes Miller the third different Big Ten Conference quarterback in history to surpass the 1,000-yard mark.

His combined 27 total touchdowns (14 passing, 13 rushing) are four short of former OSU quarterback and Heisman winner Troy Smith’s record of 31 in 2006.

Smith, who guided the Buckeyes to a 12-0 record in his senior season (2006) before falling to Meyer’s Florida Gators in the BCS National Championship, won the Davey O’Brien award that year as well.

If Miller were to be so honored, he’d be the first at OSU since Smith to garner such recognition.

Miller’s competition, however, is arguably the two best quarterbacks in the nation.

Others up for the award are No. 7 Kansas State’s senior quarterback Collin Klein and No. 9 Texas A&M freshman Johnny Manziel – both of whom figure to be serious contenders for this year’s Heisman Trophy.

Miller and OSU are set for their season finale against Michigan Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon.

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