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What’s the Buckeyes’ backup QB plan?

While they would’ve preferred not having the challenge in the first place, Urban Meyer and his offensive assistants have become quite deft at replacing quarterbacks. Ohio State is already on QB No. 3, having dealt with season-ending injuries to preseason Heisman favorite Braxton Miller and in-season Heisman contender J.T. Barrett.

Cardale Jones, who was third on the depth chart midway through summer camp this past August, has guided the Buckeyes to wins in the Big Ten championship game and the Sugar Bowl semifinal in the first two starts of his collegiate career. Should Jones go down with an injury in the College Football Playoff title game Monday night against Oregon, to where would OSU turn? The running back position, of course.

Jones’ backup/emergency quarterback for the championship game will be Jalin Marshall. The redshirt freshman, who played quarterback in high school, is second on the team in receptions (33) this season and third among Buckeye backs in rushing (142 yards), but both of his pass attempts this season have fallen incomplete.

Co-offensive coordinator Ed Warinner said Marshall would “be efficient at whatever we need him to do” if he were pressed into service. The current starter said the receiver would take on the role of game manager if called upon.

“We try to keep him locked in with the mental reps when he’s not in at quarterback,” Jones explained. “It’s kind of difficult and hard for him because he’s a receiver.

“We don’t expect him to get in and do things that a quarterback would do, but he should be able to get in and manage the game.”

The only other option, one who would be an absolute last resort, is true freshman Stephen Collier. Collier, who has mimicked Marcus Mariota on the scout team during the run-up to the title tilt, is headed for a redshirt after not playing in a game this season.