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Not many people outside of Ohio gave the Buckeyes a shot to beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Ohio State proved its doubters wrong and will play Oregon on January 12 for the National Championship. Here’s what we learned.

Ohio State can beat anybody. Beating Alabama like this erased all doubt that Ohio State wasn’t able to perform on the big stage. Ohio State didn’t just show they belonged in the playoffs, they showed they could win in the playoffs.

Ohio State can win with a 3rd string quarterback making his 2nd career start. It’s amazing to think that Ohio State beat the number 1 team in the country with a 3rd string quarterback. It just shows how great of a job Urban Meyer has done this year.

Cardale Jones did what Braxton Miller couldn’t, win a big bowl game. Last year Miller had his shot to take the Buckeyes to the National Championship but played badly in the Big Ten Championship game. He followed it up with a lackluster performance in the Orange Bowl as well. Cardale Jones didn’t. Jones showed that the stage wasn’t too big for him. He came out slow against Alabama and threw a costly interception in the 2nd quarter, but he turned it around. That’s what winning quarterbacks do. They don’t panic when things aren’t going their way. Jones settled down and delivered clutch play after clutch play. His 27 yard run on 3rd down at the end of the half set up the Spencer touchdown pass. His biggest play was his 47 yard touchdown pass to Smith on the opening drive of the 2nd half. That play set the tone for the rest of the game.

We’ll have a 3 way quarterback battle in the spring. This maybe the first time in the history of football that a team has 3 great quarterbacks going into the season (assuming Miller comes back). I believe Barrett will be the favorite to win the battle, but I wouldn’t give him the job just yet. Cardale Jones has already done what many Ohio State quarterbacks haven’t been able to do, win against the SEC.

Ohio State can run on anybody. Going into the game we all heard how great Alabama’s front 7 was and how Ohio State couldn’t run on them. Well Elliott proved them wrong. He ran for 230 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a huge 85 yard touchdown run to give the Buckeyes a commanding 2 possession lead. The Buckeyes showed they were physical enough and fast enough to run against SEC defenses.

Evan Spencer can be our 4th string quarterback. Spencer delivered a beautiful touchdown pass to Thomas at the end of the half. This play turned to momentum around for the Buckeyes. I still don’t know what was more impressive, the throw or the catch. Spencer also made an impressive catch on Alabama’s onside kick attempt.

A defensive lineman besides J.J. Watt can have a pick 6. Defensive lineman Steve Miller returned an interception 41 yards to give the Buckeyes a 34-21 lead late in the 3rd.

This team doesn’t quit. After being down 13 points in the first half many Buckeye fans thought this one was going to be a blowout, but the players didn’t. They responded to the adversity like they’ve done all season. They never gave up no matter how bad the circumstances seemed. That’s what great teams do and that’s why the Buckeyes are a great team.

The Big Ten is back. After impressive wins by Ohio State, Michigan State, and Wisconsin you can say the Big Ten is back on the map. Every year the Big Ten gets killed by the SEC and other conferences in the bowl games, but that wasn’t the case this year. The Big Ten proved that they were fast enough and strong enough to hang with anybody.

@CST_JacksonF

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