The ongoing quarterback battle at Ohio State might be making another turn, this time J.T. Barrett on the winning end of it, possibly getting the starter role he had for most of last season from the slightly disappointing Cardale Jones.
The Buckeyes have been the #1 team in the nation since the preseason, but they haven’t been very impressive for most of their games since beating Virginia Tech in week 1. Against Maryland things looked better but not perfect. Their most recent win against Penn State was probably more like what Urban Meyer envisioned his team to be like, matching expectations with a dominant 38-10 win over Penn State.
With Braxton Miller moved to the wide receiver position (where he’s been inconsistent), it came down to a two QB battle. Cardale Jones, who came out of nowhere to lead Ohio State to the national title last season after Barrett went down with an injury on the final regular season game, or Barrett himself, who was sensational as he filled in for Miller from the start of the season.
Jones won the decision before the first game, but it didn’t mean Barrett would be left out. Both players were quite inconsistent in their performances but over the last two weeks, while Jones and the offense with him kept stuttering, Barrett has stepped up. He ran for three touchdowns in the win over Maryland, followed by throwing two touchdown passes and running for two more in the win against Penn State, contributing on his own 28 of the 38 points.
Jones in the meantime hasn’t really done something special this season, and especially in the last two games while Barrett was looking unstoppable when running the ball. Jones did throw two touchdown passes in the win over Maryland, but got nothing against Penn State, completing 9-of-15. Being the less prolific runner is hurting him in this competition as well.
Urban Meyer seems to be acting as if he’s about to make a change. He’s talked about having made a decision, but he won’t make it public until he informs his players about it. Will making Barrett the starter rule out Jones from playing? Probably not. But in the end, despite Jones being the one who has more riding on this season because of the time he’s been in Columbus, it’s about which quarterback makes the team play better. Right now, it’s Barrett.