Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Backup Quarterback Lifts Buckeyes to Win

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Backup Quarterback Lifts Buckeyes to Win

Article excerpt

Growing up 10 minutes from Arizona State's campus, Joe Germaine went to all the Sun Devils' football games and dreamed of quarterbacking a major college team.

Only it wasn't the Sun Devils that Germaine led to victory in the Rose Bowl on Wednesday.

The Mesa, Ariz., native coolly directed fourth-ranked Ohio State to a 20-17 comeback win, spoiling No. 2 Arizona State's bid for an undefeated season. Germaine wasn't born in 1974 when the Buckeyes' last celebrated in Pasadena. They would lose four straight Rose Bowls over the next 22 years before the youthful-looking Germaine stopped the skid. With 19 seconds remaining and the Buckeyes trailing 17-14, Germaine went to work. Four of his first five passes in the 1-minute, 21-second drive were incomplete. The Buckeyes (11-1) caught a break when Arizona State (11-1) was twice penalized for pass interference, only to have Germaine toss two more incompletions. Finally, on first-and-10 at the ASU 5-yard line, Germaine found redshirt freshman David Boston wide-open on the right side for the winning touchdown. "It was a hell of a drive that late in the game," Arizona State coach Bruce Snyder said. "It was big-time and I admire Joe." Germaine once thought he might play in Tempe following a pre career at which he was a standout defensive back and quarterback in Mesa. But the Sun Devils recruited him for his defense, when Germaine really wanted to direct the offense. "I was recruited, but things just didn't work out there. I have no regrets. I'm happy to be at Ohio State," said Germaine, whose family had season tickets for ASU football. "It's kind of ironic how things worked out. We met up against each other in the Rose Bowl. It's a good feeling to win no matter who you play." He attended Scottsdale Community College for a year before transferring to Ohio State in 1995. He red-shirted that year and ran the scout team. But Germaine's success was far from assured. The sophomore began fall workouts as the third-rated quarterback. …

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