While Saturday was downright frigid inside Ohio Stadium, there was a moment in the fourth quarter that warmed the hearts of Buckeyes fans. After suffering four ACL injuries since 2018, Kamryn Babb scored his first career touchdown, catching a pass from C.J. Stroud to extend Ohio State’s lead to 56-14 over Indiana.
The touchdown by Babb had many people at home wondering if there was someone cutting onions close by. Even though Babb hasn’t been able to make it onto the field much because of injuries since coming to Columbus, he has been an important part of the Ohio State program. It’s obvious how much Babb’s teammates care and respect him, as he was not only named team captain prior to the season, he also was given the honor of wearing the “Block O” jersey.
There have been plenty of moments over the years that have made Ohio State fans look a little deeper into their emotions. A lot of times we look to sports to escape from real life, but there are times when real life bleeds into sports, which makes some moments feel bigger than others.
Today’s question: What Ohio State moment tugged the most at your heartstrings?
We’d love to hear your choices. Either respond to us on Twitter at @Landgrant33 or leave your choice in the comments.
Brett’s answer: Honoring Kosta Karageorge
The 2014 season was a rollercoaster of emotions for Ohio State fans. Prior to the season, it was announced that Braxton Miller wouldn’t be available to play, leaving J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones to man the quarterback position. Then in the Michigan game, Barrett was injured, which left Jones, the third-string quarterback heading into the season, to navigate the Big Ten Championship Game and beyond.
Heading into the Michigan game, defensive lineman Kosta Karageorge was reported missing on Wednesday. After three years with the wrestling team, Karageorge walked on to the football team in August. Karageorge had been scheduled to be honored as part of the team’s senior day activities before the 42-28 win by the Buckeyes over the Wolverines. Sadly, Karageorge was found dead the next day from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
It’s incredible that the Buckeyes were able to perform the way they did in the Big Ten Championship Game against Wisconsin, not only after seeing their quarterback injured, but then the next day hearing the news of their teammate taking his life. Just a couple days before what would be a 59-0 victory over the Badgers, Karageorge’s teammates were there when he was laid to rest.
What made everything even more emotion was not only when Ohio State announced they would have a decal on their helmet honoring Karageorge, but defensive lineman Michael Bennett would wear Karageorge’s number to honor his friend and teammate. Bennett would also wear the number 53 against Alabama and Oregon, as the Buckeyes would go on to win the national title.
Meredith’s answer: Cardale Jones’ redemption
In terms of emotional moments, Cardale Jones’ story had quite the arc. We all remember back in 2012 when Jones famously tweeted that “we ain’t come to play school.”
Most of us hadn’t heard of Jones at that point. He came to Ohio State as a three-star prospect in the 2011 recruiting class. At the time, Jones was sitting behind a whole host of other quarterbacks on the depth chart (including Braxton Miller). It was not a positive moment and did not engender a lot of warm feelings for the young quarterback.
Jones’ tweet got him in hot water with then-head coach Urban Meyer, who suspended Jones for that week’s game against Nebraska.
We didn’t hear much from Jones as he continued his journey at Ohio State. Then came the 2014 Michigan game. In the now-famous sequence of events, J.T. Barrett earned the starting quarterback job in Columbus after Miller was hurt in the offseason. Barrett led the Buckeyes on a prolific run that saw them knocking on the door of the first-ever College Football Playoff — then he broke his ankle against the Wolverines.
The rest is history. Jones finished the game. Then he led the Buckeyes to a 59-0 win against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship, Bama in the CFP semifinal and Oregon in the CFP finals to crown Ohio State as the first-ever College Football Playoff champion.
While that whole situation was emotional in other ways, what happened as Jones finished his playing career was actually worthy of happy tears. That’s because he finished a college career — one that he once diminished — along the way. Two years after the initial tweet, Jones recanted and showed how much he had grown.
Jones eventually became the first member of his family to graduate college. And on the day of his graduation from Ohio State, Jones poked fun at his younger self. And we all cried a little bit.