The No. 9 Buckeyes have won with both

By Stephen Hawkins Associated Press Published:

The No. 9 Buckeyes have won with both Stanley Jackson and Joe Germaine at quarterback the past two seasons, each seeing action in every game as the Buckeyes lost only three of 24 games.

As always, Jackson will be the starter when Ohio State (10-2) plays No. 4 Florida (10-1) in the Sugar Bowl on Thursday night. It will only be a matter of time before Germaine, the MVP of last year's Rose Bowl, gets into the game.

"We go into games thinking certain series or certain quarters for switching them," Ohio State offensive coordinator Mike Jacobs said. "Then it may be something that the defense is doing. There are many factors that key into that, and some are dictated by the defense."

The two-quarterback system developed somewhat unexpectedly at the beginning of the 1996 season when the Buckeyes had to replace Bobby Hoying, who is in the top three of just about every career passing category at the school.

Before then, neither Jackson or Germaine had played anything other than mop-up role.

"We had some games where we were trying to feel who was going to be our quarterback," Jacobs said. "Both of them performed well, and it has grown from there."

Jackson and Germaine have both thrown for more than 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons, combining for 5,186 yards, 50 touchdowns and just 18 interceptions.

"I would love to be out there every minute that the offense is on the field. But we have been very successful and it is hard to complain when you are winning," said Jackson, the scrambling senior. "It is part of the program and I'm used to it. It's been kind of implanted in my brain."

While Jackson has passed for 1,021 yards and run for 198 this season, Germaine ranked fourth nationally in passing efficiency. The junior, likely a full-time quarterback next fall, has completed 65 percent of his passes (119-of-184) for 1,674 yards and 15 TDs this season.

While opposing defenses often have to make big adjustments when there is a quarterback change, Ohio State offensive guard Rob Morgan said he doesn't even notice who's in at times.

"The way our huddle is set up, the offensive line is facing the quarterback. I look right through them," Murphy said. "I listen for the play and go through with it, that is how we all are. It doesn't make a difference (who is playing), we are in this whole thing together to win."

Jacobs said the quarterbacks are treated just like the running backs, receivers and linemen. If they are having a bad day, or make a bad decision, they are subject to be replaced at any time.

"You do that in all situations at quarterback, except when you do it at quarterback and everybody gets nervous," the offensive coordinator said. "We can put the other young man in and don't skip at beat, and at times certainly pick up our offense."

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