In August, preseason Heisman favorite Braxton Miller injured his shoulder ten days before Ohio State’s first game, the Buckeyes were written off.
Enter redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett, who led Ohio State to an 11-1 record, a Big Ten Eastern Division title, and a win over that school up north before being carted off with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter.
Enter redshirt sophomore Cardale Jones. Before the Big Ten Championship game against Wisconsin, with the Buckeyes needing a convincing victory to sway the playoff committee.
As that next man, Jones led the Buckeyes to 59-0 dismantling of the Badgers and a thrilling 42-35 win over #1 ranked Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, earning OSU a date with Oregon for the national championship.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer subscribes to the popular theory that, in college football, there’s always someone waiting in the wings--call it the “Next Man Up” approach. “Every program teaches that,” Meyer said to the Columbus Dispatch, “but that’s interesting when you see it come to fruition.”
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