COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio State's Braxton Miller handled the question like he might a hard-charging lineman, by deftly eluding it.
Asked if he considered himself a running quarterback who could pass or vice versa, he laughed and said, "Both."
Miller seems to handle everything with ease these days.
Heading into Saturday's 2013 season opener against Buffalo, the junior is confident and comfortable, surrounded by solid players and assured that this will be a special year.
"The beginning of last year, they had thrown the new offense at me," Miller said of the transition to Urban Miller's new coaching staff and spread attack. "Sometimes, I'd be, like, `Man, I forgot what the route was backside.' But I'm comfortable with everything this year. And I'm ready."
Miller, quiet and soft-spoken around strangers, now doesn't shirk at his name being mentioned prominently among Heisman Trophy favorites, and he's also not flummoxed when facing media or speaking up in the huddle.
"It's a little different for me. I think everybody else only sees his quiet side," said his good friend and backup, Kenny Guiton. "But I'm with him all the time so I get to know exactly who he is. He's the same person to me. He's goofy, he loves to play around. His leadership has stepped up a lot, though. A lot. He's talking more on the field now."
A year ago, while leading the Buckeyes to a surprising 12-0 season, Miller set a school record for total offense, leading the team with 1,271 rushing yards, scoring 13 touchdowns and also adding 2,039 passing yards and 15 scores with just six interceptions.
It's doubtful he'll run the ball very much this time around. He ran out of necessity in 2012.
"I hope that doesn't happen," Meyer said. "He was by far our best player and when I say by far, I mean, it wasn't even the same hemisphere as far as who the next player was that could go make a play and help us win. ... If Braxton is leading (in rushing) this year, that means something's not going well."
This year, he's expecting to throw a lot more. Maybe, just maybe, he'll become a passing quarterback who can also run it.
"Man, we've been throwing a lot," he said. He figures he'll probably throw 25 passes or so in the opener. Asked if he thought he might throw even more, he added, "I hope so. I'm going to call my own plays to get to 30."
Then he laughed.
Tom Herman, Ohio State's quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator, said his prized pupil is better because he's matured and feels better about himself and his teammates.
"We had seen the guy last year make some really, really sound, fundamental plays that he looked like a million bucks," Herman said. "The problem is I don't know that he was ever truly confident in himself and in the big picture of what he was supposed to do and how he was supposed to do it. So we didn't see those near as much as now."
Those closest to him realize how far Miller has come.
"The great thing about Braxton is as a human being, as a locker room guy, he hasn't changed," offensive lineman Jack Mewhort said. "His humility is his best quality. He's stayed humble through it all. But as a leader he's grown a lot. He's kind of showing guys the way and that's great to see out of a quarterback. He's kind of realized that he's not the young guy anymore. He's grown into this role and he's embraced it."
Even before the No. 2 Buckeyes' first game, Miller is collecting fans. Buffalo coach Jeff Quinn said he thinks Miller is deserving of the Heisman.
"When you look at the competition, there's no doubt," said Quinn, who recruited Miller as a freshman when he was an assistant coach at Cincinnati. "It's going to be interesting to see what happens but I think Braxton Miller is clearly my favorite."
After two years as a starter, Miller finally seems settled into his role as star quarterback, team spokesman and public figure.
This week, he was selected as one of Ohio State's eight captains.
"I came a long way since my freshman year," Miller said. "That's a big honor.
"I'm just ready to take full charge."
Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RustyMillerAP
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
LaQuinton Ross scored 22 points and Aaron Craft added 12, including a late free throw, to lead Ohio State past No. 22 Michigan State 69-67 on…
Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell scored 20 points and Will Sheehey added 19 on Sunday, leading Indiana past No. 22 Ohio State 72-64.
Sam Thompson scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half, leading No. 24 Ohio State back from a 12-point deficit to a 64-46 victory over…
Aaron Craft scored 14 points and No. 22 Ohio State held Illinois to 28.3 percent shooting on the way to a scrappy 48-39 win on Saturday.
Lenzelle Smith Jr., starting his 100th game, hit 4 of 7 3-pointers and scored 16 points to lead Ohio State past Purdue 67-49…
Aaron Craft scored all seven of his points in the final 4 minutes, LaQuinton Ross added 13 for the game, and No. 24 Ohio State got a…
D.J. Newbill hit a pull-up jumper over Aaron Craft with 2 seconds left in overtime, lifting Penn State to a 71-70 victory over No. 24 Ohio…
LaQuinton Ross scored 18 points and Lenzelle Smith Jr. had 16 - including a critical 3-pointer in the waning moments - to help No. 17 Ohio…
Roy Devin Marble scored 22 points, Aaron White added 19 and No. 20 Iowa ended the game on a 22-9 run to hand No. 3 Ohio State its second loss…
Keith Appling made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 29 seconds left and finished with 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds to help No. 5…