Urban Meyer getting creative with Ohio State QBs again

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones taps the snap forward to wide receiver Braxton Miller on Saturday.

Greg Bartram/Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio — For the second week in a row, J.T. Barrett entered the game at quarterback with Ohio State nearing the red zone, and for the second week in a row it had nearly instant positive results.

After Cardale Jones moved the Buckeyes to the Penn State 31-yard line, coach Urban Meyer went to Barrett coming out of the break between the first and second quarters.

Barrett handed off to Ezekiel Elliott on the first play, and Elliott ran up the middle for six yards to set up a third-and-7 that Barrett converted with a 12-yard run.

After an 8-yard run by Elliott, Barrett kept on a zone-read play and scored untouched from five yards out to put Ohio State on top 7-3.

A week earlier against Maryland, Meyer started Jones but used Barrett in or near the red zone with great success.

While Barrett energized the Buckeyes’ red zone offense, Jones had one of his best days throwing the ball, completing 21 of 28 passes for 291 yards and two touchdowns.

That included a 4-for-5 start for Jones, but against the Nittany Lions it was a different story.

At the time of Barrett’s first appearance against PSU, Jones was 5 for 10 for 34 yards and had misfired on a few of his attempts.

Jones returned on the following possession as the Buckeyes started at the Penn State 46, and they drove for another touchdown with Jones, Barrett and wide receiver (and former quarterback) Braxton Miller all taking snaps. 

When Jones was unable to find a rhythm in the second half, Meyer eventually turned to Barrett to finish the game, and he did so about as well as could be expected. 

The Buckeyes pulled away in the fourth quarter with 17 unanswered points, and Barrett ended up 4 for 4 passing for 30 yards and two touchdowns — including one on a Tim Tebow-style jump pass to Miller. 

Barrett also ran for 102 yards on 11 carries and scored two touchdowns while Jones was 9 for 15 passing for 84 yards. 

When asked if he plans to make a switch to Barrett as his full-time quarterback next week, Meyer said, "Just let me evaluate it, let you guys know on Monday, and go from there."