Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has made the call to start sophomore J.T. Barrett over junior Cardale Jones in this week’s game against Rutgers. Jones has started all seven regular season games for the Buckeyes this year. This weekend will be Barrett’s first start since he broke his ankle in the team’s final regular season game last season against rivals Michigan.
The Right Call
Meyer made the right call in starting Barrett due to a better performance from the sophomore last week against Penn State. The Texas native was a perfect 4-4 through the air for 30 yards and two touchdowns but provided most of his damage on the ground, rushing for 102 yards on 11 carries and scoring twice. Jones was mediocre at best going 9-15 for 84 yards and carried the ball four times losing 16 yards.
Barrett has featured at one point or another in every game this year except when they travelled to Bloomington to face Indiana. During the team’s home win against Northern Illinois, Barrett came in for a struggling Jones after the starter threw two picks and was a lowly 4-9. The sophomore did much better after coming on going 11-19 for 97 yards and a score.
Stats Don’t Lie
The season stats prove that J.T. Barrett is the much better choice to start over Cardale Jones. The table below is a comparison of each player’s stats so far throughout the season.
|Category||J.T. Barrett*||Cardale Jones|
|Comp/Att (Comp Pct.)||27/49 (61.4%)||93/149 (62.4%)|
*Barrett did not play in the team's game against Indiana
Meyer’s Thoughts On The Switch
"Cardale is going to be a very active part. Hopefully we'll keep him very much involved. It was a difficult decision, but the red-zone production and third-down production were the two areas that made the difference. (Barrett) earned that with the way he played Saturday," said Meyer.
Meyer did state later that he does plan on having Jones get some playing time, “Whether it's doing what J.T. did as far as keeping and staying into the game, coaching J.T., I expect Cardale will be very similar in his role as J.T. Now, not necessarily in the red zone, we'll make those decisions and see how he practices this week."