Meyer says why he rolled with Cardale
The world wanted to know all summer and Urban Meyer finally gave some actual insight as to how he his decision on who to start at quarterback.
Cardale Jones was the front-runner after last year’s national championship run. The 6-4, 250-pound junior got the nod over J.T. Barrett on Monday night at Virginia Tech because of one specific reason.
“… Cardale finished the season as the starter and that kind of started the thinking that he had to get beat out and he wasn’t beat out, it was very close. We’ve got two good players and they’re going to play,” Meyer said after Monday’s 42-24 win. “I almost went to J.T. [Barrett] earlier but it was such a pressure game that with Cardale’s size I thought he could get over the top and their defensive front was all over the place and that was the decision.”
Jones’ size was used effectively to shake off Virginia Tech tacklers and keep plays alive in Ben Roethlisberger-esque fashion. He led the Buckeyes with 13 carries and racked up 99 yards rushing yards and a score.
He wasn’t perfect — 9-of-18 passing with an interception — but he got the Buckeyes a 35-17 lead, which allowed J.T. Barrett to come in. The redshirt sophomore broke off a 40-yard run and found Michael Thomas for a 26-yard touchdown.
Jones, however, insisted that nobody — not even he and Barrett — knew who the starter was until they went out for the first series.
“Both of us were in the huddle and we didn’t know,” Jones said. “I took a couple steps to the sideline and we called the play and was like, no you in. I found out right there. Seriously.
“All I know is coach Beck kept coming up to me and was like, ‘Did (Meyer) talk to you?’ and I was like, ‘About what?’ And he was like, ‘What do you think?'” Jones said.
Meyer said he told Barrett and Jones who would start on Saturday. Jones denied that.
Having said that and having led the Buckeyes to a convincing 42-24 victory, Meyer’s starter wasn’t willing to say that the job is complete his.
“I don’t think the battle is over,” Jones said.
Of course it’s not.