Meyer talks QB's, interest in other conferences
Both Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett got first-half snaps on Saturday — and it wasn’t because the No. 1 Buckeyes were up a million points on Hawaii.
Urban Meyer brought in Barrett in the second quarter with the Buckeyes only up 7-0 in the second quarter. It marked the first time the Ohio State coach officially rotated his star quarterbacks.
Jones came back in, but both were used significantly on Saturday, which led to the never-ending question. Does Meyer have another decision to make?
On Monday, he put those questions to bed.
“Cardale is the starting quarterback,” Meyer said. “J.T. has to beat him out and he hasn’t done that yet, but he will continue to have opportunities to do that.”
Jones completed 12 of 18 passes for 118 yards without a touchdown pass or an interception. Barrett was only 8 of 15 for 70 yards and was also held without a touchdown.
Meyer was asked whether or not he was disappointed in the effort his quarterbacks turned in on Saturday.
“I don’t think disappointed is the right word,” he said. “We have two very good quarterbacks. I expect them to play very well and neither of them played really well.”
Meyer did say that he chose not to run either of them much against Hawaii to avoid leaving them exposed in non-conference play, much like the season-ending injury Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire suffered Saturday. Perhaps that had a factor in holding the Buckeye quarterbacks back from getting into a groove.
And if two quarterbacks weren’t enough in Columbus, Meyer was asked about Braxton Miller, who got looks in the wildcat for the second straight game.
“Braxton can throw and will throw,” Meyer said.
Just add another possible weapon for the Buckeyes, which earned the top spot in both polls again.
While the nation has taken notice of Ohio State, Meyer doesn’t want his staff to focus on everybody else. Bret Bielema made his thoughts known about the Buckeyes’ schedule, as did Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen.
Meyer said his coaching staff shouldn’t have time to worry about other conferences.
“If I hear another one of our coaches talking about another conference, that’s a really bad thing,” Meyer said.
The Buckeyes will take their attention to Northern Illinois, and could have another offensive playmaker at their disposal. Meyer said that true freshman running back Mike Weber should be back on Saturday after tearing his meniscus in fall training camp.
Weber, whose recruitment made national headlines when he went back and forth between Michigan and Ohio State, could be in line for a backup role behind Ezekiel Elliott.
Kickoff is set for Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET in Columbus.