COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — What's brewing with the 2013 Ohio State Buckeyes ...
BUCKEYES BUZZ: QB Braxton Miller says he's never felt better at the controls of the Ohio State offense.
"Through the (last two years) with coach (Urban) Meyer and the offense, I've been learning every game," Miller said. "I just improve myself and show what I've got."
The stat sheet proves it.
Miller ran for 68 yards on 11 carries and touchdowns of 39 and 6 yards and also completed 18 of 24 passes for a career-high 252 yards and three touchdowns — 3 yards to Chris Fields, 25 yards to Corey Brown and 26 yards to Dontre Wilson — in Saturday night's stunningly one-sided 63-14 victory over Penn State.
Miller has passed for at least 200 yards in his last three games. Over that span, he is completing 71 percent of his passes.
No one was more impressed with Miller than Penn State coach Bill O'Brien.
"Any time he gets out on the perimeter of the defense, it's going to be trouble," he said. "He's one of the best players in college football. He's fast, he's quick and he's throwing the ball well this year."
Meyer also oozed praise for his junior signal-caller.
"I just love where Braxton's at right now," he said. "I love the fact that he's acting like a quarterback. I'm not disrespecting Braxton. But I felt like he was an athlete playing quarterback a year ago. He's a quarterback that's really a good athlete now."
POLL DANCING: Ohio State remained No. 4 in both the Associated Press media poll and the USA Today coaches' poll. Alabama, Oregon and Florida State remained in lockstep at 1-2-3.
Missouri's loss just meant that another unbeaten team, Baylor, moved into the slot behind the Buckeyes in both polls.
THE WEEK AHEAD: The Buckeyes play at Purdue (1-6, 0-3 Big Ten) on Saturday at noon in West Lafayette, Ind.
The Boilermakers' only win was a narrow 20-14 victory over Football Championship Subdivision Indiana State in Week Two. They had opened by getting walloped 42-7 at Cincinnati. In a string of five straight losses, they've fallen to No. 21 Notre Dame 31-24, at No. 24 Wisconsin 41-10, to current No. 21 Northern Illinois 55-24, to Nebraska 44-7 and at Michigan State 14-0.
Coach Darrell Hazell, in the first year of a six-year deal after coming to Purdue from Kent State, spent seven seasons at Ohio State from 2004-2010.
The Buckeyes will be prohibitive favorites and should win by a Penn State-esque margin. But keep in mind the Boilermakers have won the last two times Ohio State has traveled to West Lafayette, Ind. — 26-18 in 2009 over the seventh-ranked Buckeyes and again in 2011, 26-23 in overtime.
ELSEWHERE AROUND THE NATION: Saturday's top game figures to be No. 7 Miami at No. 3 Florida State.
Other ranked games include: No. 8 Auburn at Arkansas, No. 9 Clemson at Virginia, No. 10 Missouri at home against Tennessee and No. 18 Oklahoma State at No. 15 Texas Tech.
Several top teams have the week off, including Alabama, Oregon and Baylor.
AND IN THE BIG TEN: The biggest showdown is No. 23 Michigan at No. 24 Michigan State.
In other games, No. 22 Wisconsin is at Iowa, Illinois at Penn State, Minnesota at Indiana and Northwestern at Nebraska.
Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RustyMillerAP
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