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The Quarterback Saga Continues
By Patrick Murphy
It's the quarterback situation that keeps on giving
Photo by Dan Harker
 

COLUMBUS – The Ohio State quarterback situation is the story that keeps on growing.

With the announcement that redshirt sophomore J.T. Barrett was cited for an OVI Friday night on OSU’s campus resulting in a suspension for the Buckeyes’ game against Minnesota, the saga continues.

Let’s take a look back at what brought the quarterback situation to this point.

August 20, 2014: Senior quarterback Braxton Miller is ruled out for the season just days before the Buckeyes begin the year against Navy. Miller injured his throwing shoulder and required a second surgery in under a year.

At the time, Miller was the two-time defending Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and a Heisman Trophy candidate.

August 30, 2014: Redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett makes his first career start against the Midshipmen. In doing so, Barrett became the first freshmen to start a season opener at quarterback for Ohio State since Art Schlichter in 1978.

Barrett was 12-of-15 for 226 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception with 50 yards rushing.

November 29, 2014: After navigating Ohio State to a 10-1 record, Barrett fractures his ankle in the fourth quarter of a 42-28 win over Michigan. The quarterback’s season and Heisman campaign ended on one play after evolving into one of the country’s best players and breaking several school and Big Ten records.

December 6, 2014: Redshirt sophomore Cardale Jones makes his first career start against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game. The Buckeyes won 59-0 and Jones was an impressive 12-for-17 for 257 yards and three touchdowns.

January 1, 2015: After making the inaugural College Football Playoff as the fourth-ranked team in the country, Jones leads Ohio State to a 42-35 win over No. 1 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

Jones was 18-of-35 passing for 243 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed for 43 yards in an impressive victory to put the Buckeyes in the CFP National Championship Game.

 

January 12, 2015: Jones and the Scarlet and Gray complete the magical with a 42-20 win over Oregon in the National Championship Game. Jones was 16-for-23 for 242 yards and one touchdown.

January 15, 2015: Jones holds a press conference in Cleveland to announce that he will return to Ohio State for his redshirt junior year. This sets up a potential three-quarterback race for the starting job between Jones, Barrett, and Miller.

March 10, 2015: The Buckeyes open spring practice and Jones is the only quarterback of the three able to take part in drills as Miller and Barrett continue to recover from their injuries.

July 23, 2015: Braxton Miller tells Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel that he is switching positions from quarterback to wide receiver/H-back. Miller elected to make the move in order to contribute at his best for OSU after the shoulder surgeries and to prepare himself for a future NFL career.

August 10, 2015: Head coach Urban Meyer announces he won’t name a starting quarterback until the first snap of the season-opener against Virginia Tech.

September 7, 2015: Jones takes the first snap of the season and leads Ohio State to a road win over the Hokies. The quarterback finishes 10-of-19 for 187 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 99 yards and another score.

Barrett plays late in the game, rushing for 40 yards and completing his only pass attempt for a 26-yard touchdown.

September 12, 2015: Jones struggles early in the Buckeyes’ week two game with Hawaii and Barrett takes over for three consecutive series in the second quarter. Jones returns in the second half and helps the Scarlet and Gray to a 38-0 win with 111 passing yards, but no touchdowns.

September 19, 2015: Jones makes his third start of the season against Northern Illinois, but is once again replaced by Barrett after a slow start. This time, Barrett remains the quarterback for the rest of the game raising questions of who will be the starter the next week.

September 23, 2015: Meyer announces Jones will remain the starter. Says that Barrett has not done enough to win the job.

October 10, 2015: While Jones continues to start, Barrett becomes the red zone quarterback, entering the game when the Buckeyes get down near the opponents endzone. Meyer says it gives Ohio State an edge because opponents have to defend Barrett’s read option ability.

October 17, 2015: Barrett continues in the roll of red

 

zone quarterback against Penn State, but takes over full time in the third quarter. He finished with four total touchdowns, two rushing and two receiving, and seems to provide the offense with a spark.

After the game, Meyer said the quarterback situation will be reevaluated that week.

October 20, 2015: Meyer names Barrett the starting quarterback for OSU’s road game with Rutgers on the Big Ten Teleconference. Says Barrett has earned the right to start with his performances.

October 24, 2015: Barrett makes his first start in nearly 11 months in Ohio State’s 49-7 win over the Scarlet Knights. Barrett finishes the game 14-of-18 for 223 yards and three touchdowns and 101 rushing yards and two scores.

Meyer says after the game that the offense looked much better and Barrett looked more like the player he was a year ago. The Buckeyes have found their quarterback.

October 31, 2015: Barrett is cited for OVI in the early hours of Saturday morning. The 20-year old quarterback was cooperative with police and tested just over the legal limit. Ohio State announces Barrett is suspended for the following week’s game with Minnesota.

 

The suspension to Barrett opens the door for Jones once again. While the Ohio State offense looks like it did last year with Barrett back at the helm, Jones has a chance to show that he can run it just as he did in last season's postseason run.

If he does, the saga will take another turn and continue its long run.

Player profiles relevant to story:
12 - Jones, Cardale | 16 - Barrett, J.T.
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