We’ve cut down the interviews from Ohio State’s quarterbacks to just the highlights. So now it will take just a couple of minutes to get a recap of what Cardale Jones and JT Barrett told the media this week!
Urban Meyer made a great point in an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution today. He brought up the fact that he’s had depth at quarterback before.
In 2008, junior Tim Tebow was under center the bulk of the time for the Florida Gators, but backing him up were two quality signal callers in redshirt freshman John Brantley and sophomore Cam Newton.
Tebow obviously just signed with the Eagles. Newton is a Pro Bowl quarterback for the Panthers. And former 5-star recruit Brantley had a star-crossed collegiate career, but generated at least enough interest to sign with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent.
The obvious difference between that situation and what coach Meyer has this year at Ohio State is that every Buckeye quarterback has established himself. Braxton Miller is a two-time Big Ten Player of the Year. Cardale Jones is 3-0 as a starter with one of those wins coming in the National Championship game. JT Barrett was named as a Heisman Trophy candidate before an injury ended his season last year.
Still, it must be reassuring to OSU fans that Meyer has some valuable experience to help guide his decision-making…Almost as reassuring as the end result of that 2008 season: a 24-14 win over Oklahoma in the BCS title game.
Read more from the AJC here. Article includes Meyer’s philosophy of when he will offer a recruit, how often he’s been asked by recruits about Aaron Hernandez, and he names a player he thinks is a future Buckeye captain. Oh, and there’s a photo of Raekwon McMillan lifting a log that’s on fire?
Today we decided to extrapolate out the numbers of JT Barrett and Cardale Jones to see what stats they would have posted if they had started all 15 games.
It’s an interesting thought experiment, but admittedly, it probably tells you more about the games they did play in than what would have actually happened if they had been under center all year.
Without further adieu…
JT Barrett: 254/354 passing for 3,543 yards, 43 touchdowns and 13 picks
Cardale Jones: 230/375 passing for 3,710 yards, 25 touchdowns and 10 picks
- Cardale’s 3,710 yards would set a new Ohio State record, breaking Joe Germaine’s mark by 380.
- Cardale’s 230 completions would tie Germaine for the most in a season…but JT’s hypothetical 254 would pass them both.
- Barrett’s 34 touchdowns was already good for the school’s single-season best, but if he had continued to play and registered 43, he would only be 14 shy of Bobby Hoying’s career record.
Come the start of daylight savings time, there are going to be a lot of Buckeyes wishing they could turn back the clock…to the Virginia Tech game.
Everything about the way Ohio State has played since, and everything about the way Virginia Tech has played since, suggests a rematch would result in an entirely different outcome than the 35-21 loss OSU suffered September 6.
The scab was picked last night when the Hokies fell to the Miami Hurricanes 30-6. So today might best be spent thinking about the balm that has been the play of quarterback JT Barrett.
It also might be worth questioning whether Barrett’s present performance would be possible without that past adversity.
The redshirt freshman threw 3 interceptions and was sacked 7 times that evening. In the games that have followed, he’s completed 72 percent of his passes, thrown 17 touchdowns to just one pick, and averaged 293 passing yards a contest.
Plus, he’s taken the reigns of the team.
His teammates really noticed that when Barrett gave a speech before playing Kent State.
“He kind of put the offense on his back and took responsibility for the offense,” said H-back Jalin Marshall. “He told us that he’s got us, no matter what. I think that really sunk in to everybody on the offensive side, especially me. Being young, being in the same class as him, it meant a lot to me to feel he really had my back, because I really had his.”
“You could just tell he wanted everyone’s attention, and that’s what he got,” added running back Rod Smith. “He pumped everybody up, and we went out there and executed and have just been rolling.”
The address to the team was, in and of itself, nothing new. In fact, wide receivers coach Zach Smith said he noticed some of his players, wide-eyed and mouthing “Wow!” after Barrett’s pep talk before the season opener against Navy.
This speech, following a tough loss to the Hokies, though, carried an even deeper resonance.
“Him getting hit as many times as he did against Virginia Tech, and keep getting up and going, that was when he started to earn my respect,” explained head coach Urban Meyer. “I think for someone to stand up and to give a speech or whatever, it just depends on who’s standing up and what has he shown. And I think everybody, including Buckeye nation, saw a tough nut that got hit a bunch against Virginia Tech and kept swinging.”
Expect another speech from Barrett before tomorrow’s game against Penn State. The Nittany Lions have an even stingier defense (15.2 points/game) than the Hokies unit (21.3 points/game) that caused Ohio State such problems.
And senior Nick Vannett, who’s assuredly heard his share of pregame talks is looking forward to it. “Just to see the emotion from him gets you kind of riled up as an offense,” he said of Barrett. “He gets after it. It’s probably as good I’ve seen, honestly. So if football doesn’t work out for him, he’s got a backup plan.”