Braxton Miller Injury: How the Loss Affects Buckeyes and Big Ten Race

As first reported by Tim May of The Columbus Dispatch, Braxton Miller re-injured his shoulder during practice on Monday afternoon. The severity of the injury is yet to be known, but it appears that he did not have enough recovery time from his February surgery to be ready for full-contact football.

While the primary story will focus on the seriousness of Miller’s injury and the length of his absence, the Buckeyes now must move on quickly to prepare for a new offensive identity. At least the first part of 2014 will be dominated by a quarterback battle between freshman JT Barrett and sophomore Cardale Jones.

And if the worst-case scenario develops, Ohio State will need to rely on one or both of these youngsters for the entire 2014 season.

But how will this new quarterback situation change the outlook for the Buckeyes and the Big Ten race at large? Let’s take a look.

Starting with the Buckeyes, the good news is that Barrett and Jones have received all of the spring and most of the fall camp reps due to Miller’s rehabilitation. That being said, Jones did not show the ability to effectively run around pressure or lead a dominant passing attack in limited playing time during the 2013 season.

Furthermore, Barrett has apparently moved past Jones on the depth chart (as referenced in the Tim May piece linked above), so the relevant question is whether this redshirt freshman can replace Miller’s role in the 2014 offense.

Barrett likely has the…

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