Ohio State has the quarterback battle whittled down to two players. Both possess contrasting styles from the other. Each has much to offer.
On one side, there’s Joe Bauserman, who’s been a Buckeye it seems forever. He has experience on his side. The media and coaching staff like what they see from him. Joe’s versatility and leadership ability may set him apart.
On the other hand, there’s the future of Buckeye football. Braxton Miller has size, speed and appears to be picking up the game quickly.
It doesn’t seem either is making the job easy for Luke Fickell. In fact, the depth chart for Saturday’s game against Akron reads Bauserman or Miller in the starting role.
Fickell has stated he isn’t opposed to using a two-quarterback system. If you break that down it essentially means Bauserman is good enough to start and he really wants to see what Miller does on the field.
Many wince when they hear an offense employing a two-quarterback system because it can be ineffective and predictable. History shows it works sometimes.
Florida used it in 2006 and well Buckeye fans remember how that went. It also worked well for Ohio State back in 1996, but at the time, they had established wide receivers and Orlando Pace as a left tackle.
This scenario is different. The receiving core is green and while the running backs have promise they don’t have a proven back who can shoulder most of the load yet. Therefore, it could work in theory but it’s going to take much development and time.
Its success depends on how the staff decides to rotate them. From past observation, Fickell strikes me as the type that adjusts on the fly during a game, which is good. If he sees Bauserman is killing it then the freshman may have to ride the pine. Of course, if Braxton creates SportsCenter moments then it’s a different story.
As long as the rotation doesn’t impede the momentum of the offense, it may work. However, they have to find the right balance. Luckily, they have the first four weeks of the season it seems now to experiment and find the right way to do this.
If the recent quarterback battle has taught us anything, it is the coaching staff feels confident in Bauserman but they see something in Miller too. That isn’t a bad thing. If they find a way to make it work, it could result in something special. If it doesn’t, then it can stunt the growth of the offense and Ohio State may be in some trouble.
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