For as rough as Shelton’s day was in the Peach Bowl, Miller was much worse. Miller was so bad against Ole Miss that James Franklin went out and got former five-star freshman A.J. Miller from Georgia and Jalen Kimber a starter on Florida’s defense in 2023.
Now, interim defensive coordinator Anthony Poindexter didn’t do Miller any favors, consistently leaving him isolated in man-to-man coverage with zero blitzes on Jaxson Dart and Ole Miss. Lane Kiffin figured out the game plan quickly, and the answer was for Dart to get the ball out quickly.
Dart shredded Penn State, throwing for 379 yards and three touchdowns on 25/40 passing. Seven of those completions came targeting Miller, which Dart did 12 times. Miller gave up 120 yards on those seven completions with just one pass breakup.
Coming into that matchup, Miller had surrendered just 11 completions on 21 targets for 99 yards with one interception and no pass breakups. As a sophomore, Miller was looking like the heir apparent to Kalen King as CB1, but he had his first test in the Peach Bowl and if he didn’t fail, he certainly didn’t help his GPA either.
Kimber and Harris will be the top corners on Penn State’s roster so Miller may find a role in the slot, but he only played 12 snaps there in 2023. Both Kimber and Harris played even less in the slot last year, combining for eight total snaps as the nickel with their respective teams.
New defensive coordinator Tom Allen will need a new slot corner to replace Hardy, who lined up there for 228 snaps. If Penn State wants to be the No. 1 defense in the country again, it can’t be Miller.