Meyer declines to name starting QB, doesn’t think competition should be a distraction

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer did not name a starting quarterback for Saturday’s Western Michigan game two days after neither Cardale Jones nor J.T. Barrett played well in a 20-13 win over Northern Illinois.

Meyer also questioned the conventional wisdom that might suggest he needs to pick one guy in order for him to flourish. He has pulled Jones, the starter, in each of the past two games after he was ineffective early. 

"So I’m just going to go ahead and hit it with the quarterback situation," Meyer said during his weekly Monday press conference. "That seems to be a theme. Had a conversation with one of them yesterday, and going to have another one today. And I think because of all the intrigue by it, that you’ll hear someone say, ‘How can you play quarterback with someone looking over your shoulder?’ And my comment to that person was, ‘Well, no one’s complaining, but how do you not?’

"If you think you’re going to play at the next level, there is going to be probably one better than you stand right next to you, so get used to it. You are going to look. That doesn’t mean you get hooked. If you have a bad day, you get replaced. That might not be everyone’s philosophy and that’s OK. That’s OK."

He went on to say no decision has been made on whether or not Jones would make his fourth start in as many games this season or if Barrett would get the nod.

"I haven’t decided yet," Meyer said. "We’re going to have conversations. Today, not one is beating out the other, and they’re not playing great. So once again, if that’s an excuse, which I call it an excuse of how can you perform with someone looking over your shoulder, NFL quarterbacks do. I’ve never had one not. We’ve always had a backup quarterback. It just happens the backup quarterback here, whoever it may be, is really good."

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Meyer also explained he does not feel like he has been using a two-quarterback system.

"Let’s be clear. I did go with one guy," Meyer said, referring to a week earlier when he stated Jones was his starter. "The guy didn’t perform well, so we went with the backup. There is no set thing saying that we’re a two-quarterback system, we’re not. The backup’s a very good player, whomever that may be, so we are going with the guy."