JT Barrett Holds Key to Ohio State’s Title Hopes After Braxton Miller’s Injury

From unassuming backup to the starting quarterback of a national-title contender. Such is the life of Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett, who suddenly finds himself in the enviable position of being the Buckeyes’ starting signal-caller and the unenviable (read: and terrifying) position of replacing a Heisman favorite.

Braxton Miller, entering his senior season on the shortest of shortlists for college football’s top trophy, suffered a torn labrum in practice Monday and will miss the entire 2014 season.

“I love Ohio State and Buckeye nation, and my goal is to come back from this injury stronger and better than ever,” Miller said in a statement, per the team’s official website.

“I am on course to graduate in December and I want to attend graduate school, and then return to lead the Buckeyes next season. In the meantime, I want to give all the support I can to my coaches and teammates as they chase a championship this season.”

Miller will take a redshirt this season and plans on returning in 2015. While he’s not yet become the world-beating superstar many expected during his freshman ascent, Miller seemed to be on the precipice of a real breakout as a senior.

He has gradually improved every season, setting career bests in completion percentage, passing yards, passing touchdowns and quarterback rating in 2013. He’s even improved his yards per carry every season.

Ranked fifth by The Associated Press and sixth by the coaches, Ohio State opened camp with designs on being…

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