Former Wichita Falls Rider High School, Texas, star quarterback J.T. Barrett was officially named the starting quarterback for Ohio State against Rutgers Saturday by Coach Urban Meyer, according to Sports Ilustrated Tuesday, October 20. Junior Cardale Jones has started the first seven games of the season with Barrett serving as his backup. The duel for the quarterback position has been the top college football story of the year and has been the subject of national scrutiny by the news media.
Sophomore Barrett led the Buckeyes through their first 11 games in 2014 and a 10-1 record when several Michigan players broke his ankle. The NCAA’s referees probably need to assess unnecessary roughness penalties more strictly to protect college players. A wall of Wolverines hammered Barrett and drove him to the ground after he was clearly stopped on the controversial play.
Because of the injury, Barrett had surgery and Jones took his place at quarterback and led the Buckeyes to victories against Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon and the national championship. While Barrett rehabbed during the spring practice, Jones assumed the mantle as starting quarterback. But Barrett did well enough to finish fifth in the Heisman Trophy race and second team All-American quarterback.
Jones has held on to the starting position so far this season. Meyer may have changed his mind based on Barrett’s excellent performance in Saturday’s 38-10 vicvtory over Penn State. In that game the Texas native sprinted for 102 yards on 11 carries. He also completed four passes for 30 yards and two touchdowns through the air waves.
Meyer, who has won three national championships, announced the change at quarterback Tuesday, according to CBS Sports. The announcement by Meyer came only one day after the Buckeyes’ head man refused to commit to either quarterback as his starter.
Meyer further said during the Big 10 coaches weekly teleconference Tuesday that, “J.T. has earned the right to start Saturday at Rutgers,” according to USA Today in an article Wednesday (yesterday). Ohio State plays Rutgers Saturday (8 p.m. on ABC). The Wichitan will be staring his first game since Nov. 29, 2014, when he threw for 176 yards and a touchdown and ran for 89 yards and two touchdowns. It was in that game against Michigan that a wall of Wolverines crushed his ankle.
Ohio State fan Joseph Farrey, of Dayton, Ohio, praised Meyer for his decison. Farrey told Examiner today, Thursday, Oct. 22, “I expect JT and the OSU offense to be excellent. JT just has that “it” factor. Whatever that is, JT has “it”.
Farrey, who has been an avid Buckeye football fan for years, further said today, “I hope they (Ohio State) repeat (as national champions).
Barrett had primarily been used as Ohio State’s red zone quarterback in the past two games after the Buckeyes struggled to get into the end zone in that department, according to Eleven Warriors. OSU has improved the past two weeks in the red zone under Barrett with 12 scores on 12 ventures into the red zone. Eleven of those scores were touchdowns.