10 Things We Learned From the Players' Rewatch of the 2014 National Championship Season

By Kevin Harrish on July 17, 2020 at 12:15 pm
J.T. Barrett and Evan Spencer

Cardale Jones, Tyvis Powell, J.T. Barrett, Joshua Perry, Michael Bennett and Evan Spencer all got together with BTN to relive the unforgettable 2014 season, and it was – as you might imagine – incredible.

The B1G Video Recall was 30 minutes of fresh insight, hilarious commentary and behind-the-scenes knowledge as the six Buckeyes relived the most magical season of their lives.

Here are just 10 new revelations that stuck out.

Cardale Jones – Undefeated

First and foremost, we learned that Cardale Jones isn't shy about reminding us all he's undefeated.

Dolodale took a brief moment at the beginning of the video to humbly remind us all that he's never lost a game as a starter at Ohio State.

During the rewatch of the 2014 loss to Virginia Tech, Joshua Perry lamented that Ohio State won 24-straight games before losing two of their next three. Cardale wanted to set the record straight.

"Josh, you talking about we lost two of the next three. I was on the sideline like, 'Y'all lost two of the next three,'" he laughed. "I ain't lose nothing."

You know what, he ain't wrong.

Corey Smith Ran the Wrong Route

Ohio State's loss to Virginia Tech was frustrating from start to finish, but regardless of how the game went, the Buckeyes weren't out of the game until the last drive, when J.T. Barrett threw a pick-six as the final nail in the coffin.

Barrett is quick to admit that game was far from his best as a Buckeye, kicking off the conversation by telling everyone "this was a rough day at the office." But it turns out, that game-clinching interception may not have been wholly his fault – Corey Smith ran the wrong route.

"That was supposed to be a stop route," Barrett said. "It was seams inside and stops outside, and Corey didn't run a stop."

Given that Barrett looked like he was throwing the ball to nobody, that background information makes a lot of sense.

Nobody Respect's J.T.'s Athleticism

It seems nobody respects J.T. Barrett's speed, athleticism and ability to make folks miss – not even his former teammates.

“J.T.’s not even fast, that’s the crazy part,” Joshua Perry said of an early Barrett first-down run. "Anybody who gets shook by J.T. is just a bad athlete,” he added later.

"Come on now," Barrett retorted after Perry started questioning his speed again. "You hating, but what?"

Michael Bennett came to his defense, suggesting he must run a 4.2-second 40-yard dash after his run against Minnesota in 2014, but Perry, Tyvis Powell and Evan Spencer were all back at it a few minutes later suggesting that Cardale Jones looked faster than Barrett did.

At the end of the day, it's all in good fun, and Barrett's the one that gets the last laugh with 3,200 career rushing yards and 43 touchdowns. If he can't run, he did a damn good job of convincing defenses that he could.

Jalin Marshall Could Have Saved J.T. Barrett's Ankle

J.T. Barrett was rolling in 2014 and was a potential Heisman Trophy contender as a redshirt freshman, but had his season come to an unceremonious close with a broken ankle against Michigan.

Turns out, he wasn't even supposed to have the ball on that play. The play was supposed to go to Jalin Marshall, but he was too far away from Barrett to take the handoff.

"If you could see Jalin's pocket, he was just a little too far in front of me, so I wasn't able to give him the ball," Barrett said. "So that's why I pulled it. It was supposed to be a give read."

Instead, Barrett took it himself and got tackled awkwardly. Then it was Cardale Jones time.

Zeke Called His Shot

When J.T. Barrett went down, nobody stepped up more than Ezekiel Elliott.

Zeke iced the game against Michigan with a long touchdown run on fourth down, and he put the team on his back the next three games, averaging over 232 yards and more than two touchdowns a game to carry the team to a national title.

And he told Barrett exactly what he was going to do.

"Zeke told me he was about to go off, is what's crazy," Barrett said. "Like, at that moment when I was going off the field, Zeke was like 'Hey, I got you. I'm about to go off.' And he did."

And that's exactly what he did.

"Look, them three games, he did," Barrett said. "He said it: 'I'm gonna go off.'"

"So you're saying he's a man of his word?" Tyvis Powell asked.

"He did what he said," Barrett replied. "He did what he said."

Zeke Ran the Wrong Route, For Some Reason

Ohio State's opening touchdown of the Big Ten Championship game came on a deep ball to Devin Smith which he pulled down in traffic.

It turns out, there were a few more people there than there should have been because Ezekiel Elliott – and the man guarding him – weren't supposed to be anywhere near there. Zeke simpy ran the wrong route, and nobody really knows how or why.

"Zeke ran the wrong route, that's so funny," Cardale Jones said. "I still can't believe he ran a 'go' route. His route was literally to just stand there."

"He had never had that route though, that's the part that's crazy," J.T. Barrett added. "Never."

"It was like 'Zeke, we've practiced that 14 times. You just stand there,'" Jones said. "You literally just stand there."

Devin Smith (Probably) Made Eddie Jackson Switch Positions

Among the great players the Buckeyes faced in the 2015 Sugar Bowl was Eddie Jackson, who's now a two-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro for the Chicago Bears.

Jackson played corner then and plays safety in The League now. There's a very good reason for that, according to Evan Spencer – Devin Smith.

"Eddie Jackson moved to safety after this game because he could not cover," Spencer said.

Obviously, you can only hate on a first-team All-Pro so much, and Spencer is well aware of that.

"I mean, respect to my dog," Spencer continued. "He's out here doing his thing, whatever, but dog definitely had to switch positions."

"I was about to say," Tyvis Powell cut in. "Eddie Jackson, man, he's Mr. Pick Six right now."

Steve Miller Knew He Was Getting the Interception

Steve Miller's fourth-quarter pick-six is one of the most iconic moments of the game, and it certainly wasn't an accident. Apparently, the play was designed specifically for Miller to get the pick.

"He threw it straight to him, too," Tyvis Powell said.

"They made that play just for him," Michael Bennet remembered. "They knew that play was coming, so they told Steve, 'You're gonna get an interception.'"

"That's excellent playcalling, right there," Powell said.

Cardale Got Hit in the Head, Forgot to Set Spencer in Motion

We've heard before that the only reason Evan Spencer's iconic two-man block on Ezekiel Elliott's 85-yard dagger even happened is that Cardale Jones forgot to put him in motion, but now we know why Cardale Jones never put him in motion.

"The funny thing is here, is Cardale, this worked – and you've heard me say this a million times over – way better by the fact that I wasn't counted in the box."

"Listen, the play before, I got hit in the back of the head," Cardale Jones admitted. "I guarantee I didn't remember to motion you down."

Jones said he kept looking at Spencer and to the sideline knowing he was forgetting something and they all tried to tell him to motion the Z receiver in, but then Jones just snapped the ball.

"Man, you looked at me right before you snapped it too," Spencer said with a laugh.

Tyvis Wanted to Take the Game-Winning Pick to the House

The second Tyvis Powell hauled in the game-sealing interception and took it out of the end zone, we all knew he wanted to take it to the house, but we didn't know quite how much he wanted to take it to the house.

All these years later, Tyvis is still a little salty that nobody blocked for him.

"I got a question," Powell said. "Why you didn't block for me, Josh?"

"Hey, I almost tackled you, Tyvis!" Michael Bennet chimed in. "How many drills did we do that if you get an interception late in the game, you go down? I know we did that every practice."

Cardale Jones, J.T. Barrett and Joshua Perry all accused Tyvis of being selfish for wanting to take it to the house, 

"Oh, wait a minute, so y'all are telling me you didn't want me to take it to the house?" Tyvis asked, to which everyone in unison replied "No."

"You should have blocked! You should have blocked for me," Tyvis pleaded Michael Bennett.

“Interceptions don’t come every game," Tyvis said. "You’ve got to make the most of it.”

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