J.T. Barrett will start for Ohio State against Illinois if he has a good practice this week, head coach Urban Meyer said today, Monday, November 9 at a press conference, according to Eleven Warriors today. The question of who would start at quarterback for the defending national champion Buckeyes has been the top college football story of the past year. Barrett led the Buckeyes to a 10-1 record in 2014 before his ankle was broken in the Michigan game. Cardale Jones then came on to lead the Bucks the rest of the way through the playoffs to a national championship.
Meyer, who has three national championships on his resume, may have faced the most stressful decision of his career the past year since Barrett was fourth in Heisman Trophy voting, second team All-American and Most Valuable Big 10 offensive player last year. For his part, Jones did lead OSU to victories over Wisconsion, Alabana and Oregon and the national championship. Braxton Miller was Big 10 Most Valuable Player two seasons before he succumbed to a shoulder injury. Meyer may have had too much talent at quarterback. How could he be fair to all three excellent players this year?
He started Jones the first seven games of the year before Meyer decided Barrett deserved to start against against Rutgers because of his excellent play as backup in the first seven games. Barrett ignited the offense as the Red Zone quarterback as he led OSU to touchdowns in 11 of 12 possessions.
Against Rutgers, Barrett was nearly perfect with 324 total yards and five touchdowns in the Rutgers victory. However, Jones got the start against Minnesota after Barrett was suspended for what Ohio calls OVI (Operating Vehicle Intoxicated). Jones completed 12 of 22 passes for 187 yards and a touchddown against Minnesota. He also carried the ball 12 times for 65 yards.
Barrett, who is one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever graduate from Wichita Falls Rider High School, will now start against Illinois at noon on Saturday if he has a good week of practice. Several ESPN commentators have said the OSU offense runs better with Barrett at the helm.
Joe Farrey, an avid Buckeye fan from Dayton Ohio, told Examiner yesterday before Meyer’s announcement that, “J.T. willl be the starter unless something drastic happens this week.” Farrey, who is an uber fan for the scarlet and gray, said, “I’m betting on J.T. I saw Urban’s leaving the field interview where he basically said he was going home to enjoy this win and would lthink about JT vs Cardale tomorrow. I think he’s already made up his mind.”
Farrey was also pleased with the Buckeye defense this weekend, saying, “The bright spot in tonight’s game was the defense appears to be rounding into good shape..”
Ohio State and Iowa are the only two remaining undefeated teams in the conference following this weekend. Michigan State’s shocking loss to Nebraska on a last minute touchdown pass when the receiver ran out of bounds before returning to the playing field knocked the Spartans from the unbeaten ranks. OSU and Iowa are both perfect at 9-0 and 5-0 in the Big 10 setting up a championship game between the two. The Bucks should win the Big 10 East and the Hawkeyes look to win the Big 10 West to set up the climactic game.
However, the scarlet and gray still must deal Michigan State ( 8-1, 4-1) and Michigan (7-2, 4-1) before they can claim the East title. Wolverine quarterback Jack Rudock threw for 337 yards in a victory against Rutgers. Coach Jim Harbaugh has orchestrated an incredible turn arouond this year for the Ann Arbor crew.
The Nebraska upset of Michigan State was the most exciting Big 10 game. Tommy Armstrong connected with receiver Brandon Reilly with 38 seconds left to pull off the 39-38 win. Officials ruled Reilly was forced out of bounds before making returning in bounds. Because he was forced out of bounds the officials ruled it was a touchdown. Needless, to say Michigan State fans don’t agree with that call.
Despite the controversy over the winning touchdown, the win by Nebraska, 3-6, was the biggest surprise in the Big 10, according to Big 10 Network. The win kept the Huskers bowl eligible.
As to J.T. Barrett, Meyer futher said, “He gives the offense the element of a double option with the read. It’s hard to do because defenses understand it better than they ever have. There’s a variety of different reads and defenses provide false reads as well……..He’s (Barrett) a coach on the field,” according to The Ozone.