Meyer gives nod to Barrett
Published 1:56 am Tuesday, November 10, 2015
COLUMBUS(AP) — J.T. Barrett is once again the starting quarterback for No. 2 Ohio State after returning from a one-game suspension.
Meyer announced Barrett as the starter Monday, two days after backup Cardale Jones led the Buckeyes to a 28-14 win against Minnesota.
Barrett was suspended by Meyer for after the quarterback was cited for driving while impaired.
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“(Barrett) will be the starter unless he does not have a good week of practice,” Meyer. “So that’s (the policy) really every week.”
Barrett was issued a misdemeanor ticket at a sobriety checkpoint Oct. 31 near the Ohio State campus, as his team had an open weekend. His court date is Tuesday morning.
“It’s a mistake made, a serious mistake by a kid that’s really lived most of his life mistake free,” Meyer said.
While Barrett was not in uniform Saturday, the captain was very much a presence at the game. Instead of his usual pregame speech he made one at halftime, when the Buckeyes (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten, No. 3 CFP) led 14-0.
“He was with us, around us and kept giving us encouragement,” halfback Jalin Marshall said. “That was a good thing that he was there because he is the leader of the offense and he also gets us rolling.”
Left guard Billy Price said Barrett told the team to play to its identity.
“That shows his maturity. He was a part of the team. He supported us and got Cardale ready for the week,” he said. “He handled it like a captain.”
Jones started the first seven games before Meyer named Barrett the starter against Rutgers, a 49-7 win on Oct. 24. Barrett was 14 for 18 passing for 223 yards and two touchdowns and had 101 yards rushing and two more scores against the Scarlet Knights.
In Barrett’s absence, Jones completed 12 of 22 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown vs. Minnesota. He also had 92 yards on the ground, including a 38-yard score with less than 2 minutes left in the game to seal the win, his 11th in as many career starts.
That’s why Meyer said sending Jones back to the bench was difficult.
“It’s never an easy call because one guy had his 11th win, 250 all-purpose yards,” the coach said. “(But) I think it’s the right thing at this time.”
Braxton Miller, who served as the backup to Jones last week, is expected to play despite sustaining a sore neck and leaving the Minnesota game when his helmet slammed the turf after being tackled.
“Braxton’s as tough a receiver as I’ve ever coached, so I knew it wasn’t serious,” wide receivers coach Zach Smith said. “I was never concerned that it would be a ding that would hold him out. It would have to be something serious to keep that kid off the field.”