The Ohio State Buckeyes will face the ultimate challenge in taking on the Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten Championship without quarterback J.T. Barrett.
No. 5 Ohio State has managed to make it to the Big Ten title game without quarterback Braxton Miller, and J.T. Barrett emerged as a legitimate Heisman candidate toward the end of the season.
The Buckeyes appeared primed to win the Big Ten and contend for a national title, but their season hit a major snag as Barrett was taken out of the Michigan game with a leg injury that was revealed to be season-ending.
Cardale Jones will take over as the starting quarterback for Ohio State, and head coach Urban Meyer has expressed confidence in him going forward.
However, this will be easier said than done against a red-hot Wisconsin team that has won seven games in a row. Running back Melvin Gordon will be looking to make his biggest statement yet and win the Heisman Trophy.
Gordon leads the NCAA in rushing yards and touchdowns with 2,260 yards and 26 touchdowns. Quarterback Joel Stave has given the Badgers offense more life than Tanner McEvoy, who performed miserably and was unable to pick up the slack in a loss to LSU after Gordon injured his hip.
Jones will have a lot of pressure on his shoulders in the Big Ten Championship, and Wisconsin has an offense capable of taking on an Ohio State defense that has allowed at least 24 points in each of their last four games.
The Buckeyes may have something up their sleeve since Meyer was able to mold Barrett into a Heisman candidate. He will only have a week to prepare Jones for making his debut on the big stage.
Prediction: Wisconsin 31, Ohio State 21