Ohio State will try to make playoff Final Four with No. 3 quarterback

No. 6 Ohio State is 11-1 and will face Wisconsin in Big Ten title game ... with third-string QB Cardale Jones

If Ohio State is to complete its late-season push into the four-team College Football Playoff, the No. 6 Buckeyes will do it with Cardale Jones at quarterback.

That name might sound familiar, but it's not because of anything Jones has accomplished on a college football field.

The third-year sophomore from Cleveland was supposed to be Ohio State's third-string quarterback this season. But then Heisman Trophy candidate Braxton Miller sustained a season-ending shoulder injury during training camp. And on Saturday in the Buckeyes' annual rivalry game against Michigan, J.T. Barrett, who had played his way into Heisman contention, sustained a season-ending fractured ankle early in the fourth quarter.

So now Jones is The Man for The Ohio State University.

And one thing we know for sure is that Jones takes football seriously.

School? Not so much.

Jones, you might remember, caused a stir two years ago when he took to Twitter with the following comment: "Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain't come to play SCHOOL classes are POINTLESS."

Well, at least Buckeyes fans can be confident he'll be focused primarily on Ohio State's Big Ten Conference championship game appearance next week against Wisconsin.

As for Barrett, he'll try to make a comeback next season right alongside Miller.

Barrett, who threw for one touchdown and ran for two, was injured when his leg was twisted under him as he was tackled on a second-and-one run. He was on the field for about three minutes before his right leg was put in a temporary air cast and he was lifted onto a cart and taken away.

Lineman is missing

Barrett's injury isn't Ohio State's biggest concern. Missing a star player because of an injury is one thing, but a player missing from his team and family is something far more serious.

Kosta Karageorge, a non-scholarship backup defensive lineman for the Buckeyes, has been missing since Wednesday.

Karageorge, 22, a former wrestler who joined the football team before this season, was supposed to be among the 24 players honored during Ohio State's Senior Day ceremony before the game. Instead, the sellout crowd of 108,610 turned silent as the public address announcer called out his name and a police poster seeking information about his disappearance was shown on the scoreboard.

Karageorge's mother, Susan, told authorities her son had sustained several concussions and experienced spells when he was extremely confused. She told police that at about 1:30 Wednesday morning he texted a message that mentioned the concussions and said, "I am sorry if I am an embarrassment." He was last seen at his apartment about a half-hour later.

Coach Urban Meyer was emotional when talking about Karageorge after the game. "Our prayers and thoughts are with him and his family and to have him return home safe," he said.

"It's one of those, all you can do is grab a knee and pray hard," the coach added. "Not one person can make it through this kind of week. You need your strength. I know there were a lot of prayers on the team because there are a lot of guys who are friends of Kosta."

Just for kicks

The wildest finish among the rivalry games might have been in Georgia Tech's win over Georgia. The hero: The kicker whose final kick in overtime was blocked.

Harrison Butker's longest field goal of the season before Saturday was 46 yards. But he split the uprights — while floating it barely over the crossbar — from 53 yards out as time expired in regulation to tie the score, 24-24, and force overtime.

A touchdown run by Zach Laskey put the Yellow Jackets ahead on their first possession of overtime, but Georgia was given hope when Butker's point-after was blocked by Ray Drew.

Georgia took the ball as far as the nine-yard line on its possession, but D.J. White's interception of a Hutson Mason pass secured Georgia Tech's win.

Push to shove

The wildest start to a rivalry game might have been in Louisville's win over Kentucky.

There were several confrontations before the kickoff, the largest of which took place after some Kentucky players made a show of stomping on the painted Cardinal at midfield. Benches cleared and there was some pushing and plenty of jawing between players and coaches from both teams.

As the action moved toward a sideline, Louisville Coach Bobby Petrino and Kentucky assistant Daniel Berezowitz grabbed, shoved and yelled at each other.

In a postgame news conference, Petrino wasn't asked specifically about his wrestling match, but he said of the scene in general: "I don't even really remember all of the instances that went on out there. Way too many than there should have been."

Louisville held on to win, 44-40, though the result was in doubt until the final minute before safety Gerod Holliman sealed it with his NCAA record-tying 14th interception of the season.

Sign of respect

Tennessee players wore helmet stickers with the message "29 Strong VFL" to honor former Volunteers star Eric Berry during Saturday's game against Vanderbilt.

Berry wears No. 29 for the Kansas City Chiefs. VFL stands for "Vol For Life."

Berry went on the NFL's non-football injury list last week after a mass was found on his chest that is thought to be lymphoma.

Berry won the 2009 Jim Thorpe Award as college football's top defensive back. He has two brothers who are freshmen on this season's Tennessee team, defensive back Evan and linebacker Elliott.

mike.hiserman@latimes.com

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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