The potential passing of the Ohio State quarterback torch will have to wait another day. "I have not had a chance to sit down with the quarterbacks formally and review everything," coach Urban Meyer said. "That will happen (later Monday). I have an idea, but I want to make sure I visit with everybody and make sure we're doing the right thing."
The potential passing of the Ohio State quarterback torch will have to wait another day.
Right after J.T. Barrett's four-touchdown performance Saturday in a 38-10 victory over Penn State, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said he'd wait until Monday to announce whether the sophomore had earned the starting job over junior Cardale Jones for the first time this season.
Though Meyer said "I think so, yeah" when asked whether he had decided on a starter for a game Saturday at Rutgers, he said he had not talked to either quarterback yet and thus wasn't ready to reveal his choice.
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He said that he spent all day Sunday meeting with recruits.
"I have not had a chance to sit down with the quarterbacks formally and review everything," Meyer said. "That will happen (later Monday). I have an idea, but I want to make sure I visit with everybody and make sure we're doing the right thing."
A switch to Barrett is widely expected, but the quarterback saga has taken unexpected twists throughout the season. Barrett didn't play at all against Indiana two weeks ago. The next game, he was installed as the red-zone quarterback against Maryland, and the Buckeyes were perfect cashing in opportunities with touchdowns that day.
>> Video | Urban Meyer describes delicate QB situation
Barrett's role was expanded Saturday, and he took over for good with just over 3 minutes left in the third quarter. He finished with 102 yards rushing in 11 carries and two touchdowns and was 4-of-4 passing for 30 yards and two more scores.
Jones was 9-of-15 passing for 84 yards. He lost 16 yards in four carries, two of which were sacks. Jones has completed 62.4 percent of his passes this season with seven touchdowns and five interceptions.
A year ago, Barrett edged ahead of Jones in preseason camp because the offense ran slightly smoother with him. Soon after, Braxton Miller reinjured his shoulder, and Barrett took over.
He turned into a star before suffering a broken ankle against Michigan. That set up Jones' magical postseason run to the national championship.
Asked if he believed the offense was running better under Barrett than Jones, Meyer replied, "I think it ran better (Saturday) in the football game against Penn State."
The Nittany Lions' defensive ends played aggressively, which Barrett was able to exploit with zone-option reads. That is more his forte than Jones'.
Meyer acknowledged that the quarterback situation has to be handled delicately.
"If there's a change, it's always delicate," he said. "That one is probably more because of the obvious. Someone made a comment the other day, 'Do you really care who plays quarterback?' Absolutely, we care. We care who plays guard. It's not No. 16 (Barrett) and No. 12 (Jones). Those are people, and those are people we care about deeply.
"We're not ashamed to say that. This is not a business here. We're going to do what's right for the team first, but does the individual and all that matter within the confines of this building? More than anybody will ever know. And we're extremely proud of that."
Barrett was unable to unseat Jones in training camp and struggled when given opportunities early in the season. The past two games, though, Barrett has looked like the leader he was in 2014.
"The first two weeks, I was trying to force it," Barrett said Saturday. "That's asking for bad things to happen - when you try to force things instead of letting the game come to you. So my focus was let the game come to me and execute the best I can and put our offense in the best position every single play."
Whether Barrett will be given that opportunity from the first snap remains to be seen.