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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Cardale Jones Starting for the Buckeyes

All of the different articles around the net about Cardale Jones starting for the Buckeyes.

I personally think this decision is a huge mitake.  JT Barrett is a fricking Capt.

It's Now or Never for Cardale Jones as Ohio State's Starting Quarterback

It's Now or Never for Cardale Jones as Ohio State's Starting Quarterback
Joe Robbins/Getty Images 
COLUMBUS, Ohio — It looks like Cardale Jones is going to have to change his Twitter bio again.
But for how long Jones continues to lay claim to being Ohio State's starting quarterback remains to be seen.
What we do know is it will be Jones leading the Buckeyes offense onto the field this weekend when Ohio State hosts Western Michigan in its out-of-conference finale for the regular season.
Despite benching Jones for J.T. Barrett in the second quarter of the Buckeyes' too-close-for-comfort 20-13 win over Northern Illinois last weekend, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said Wednesday the national championship-winning signal-caller will remain his team's starting quarterback for at least one more week.
"The other guy has to pass him," Meyer said of his decision to stick with Jones in the starting lineup. "And that hasn't happened."
Meyer's words could hardly be viewed as a vote of confidence in Jones, nor could the fact that in the moments following the Buckeyes' close call with the Huskies, the three-time national champion head coach couldn't commit to either quarterback. That led to Wednesday's proclamation that Jones would remain his starter, the third such announcement he's had to make in the past four weeks.
For what it's worth, Meyer's logic in his quarterback conundrum has remained consistent. In order for Barrett—the reigning Big Ten Quarterback and National Freshman of the Year—to show he belongs in the starting lineup, he'll need to prove it with his play.
"Someone has to beat someone out," Meyer said. "You don't anoint people. ... You have to earn things."
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
That could be seen as an indictment of Barrett, who in two opportunities in the past two games has failed to provide a spark for a stagnant offense or pass Jones on the depth chart. But Meyer's continual need to reaffirm Jones as his No. 1 quarterback—without fully committing to him—is just as damning to his current starting quarterback.
It also makes one wonder how many chances the 6'5", 250-pounder will continue to receive, with so much of his starting status being based on not what he's done, but what Barrett has yet to do.
"He was the quarterback of the team when we finished the season last year," Meyer said of Jones. "He was the quarterback for spring practice, the only healthy one. And he finished training camp as the starting quarterback. And at times he's played very good, and at times he has not."
In the past two weeks, it's been more of the latter, as the OSU offense has looked sluggish in wins over Hawaii and Northern Illinois. Against the Rainbow Warriors, Jones returned after halftime from a second-quarter benching to finish with a stat line of 12-of-18 passing for 111 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions. He then completed four of his nine attempts for 36 yards and two interceptions before being benched for Barrett against the Huskies.
For now, the only reason Jones appears to be remaining in the starting lineup is that in his absence, Barrett hasn't fared much better. The 6'2", 225-pounder completed eight of 15 attempts for 70 yards in relief duty against Hawaii and went 11-of-19 for 97 yards, one touchdown and one interception against Northern Illinois.
That wasn't enough for last season's fifth-place finisher in Heisman Trophy voting to unseat Jones, but Meyer isn't willing to close his quarterback competition just yet.
"It's close," Meyer said. "They're both working their tails off."
Based on how the past week has played out, it's only getting closer.
Steve Helber/Associated Press
Because while Meyer has laid out clear criteria for what it will take for him to make a switch in his starting lineup, not announcing his starter for the fourth game of the season until midway through the week shows that some indecisiveness is creeping in.
It's Meyer's preference for Jones to make the most of his opportunity and put an end to the quarterback conundrum himself, but if theprojected first-round pick struggles for the third time in as many weeks, it's clear his head coach won't be shy to turn to the bench.
If he does, it could be for the last time. Meyer continues to say he won't hesitate to play the hot hand between Jones and Barrett, but there's only so much back-and-forth a coach can take at his most important position.
And as Big Ten season approaches, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Barrett soon flourish, following the record-breaking season he enjoyed as a freshman a year ago. After all, he's the quarterback with the longer track record and a history of lighting up the likes of Indiana and Maryland, whom the Buckeyes will face in the coming weeks.
But at the moment, the job remains Jones'. That, however, is hardly set in stone.
"He is the guy," Meyer said of Jones. "Unless he doesn't perform well."
On second thought, it might be best to leave that Twitter bio empty.

Cardale Jones Remains the Ohio State Starting Quarterback
By Patrick Murphy
Cardale Jones will make his seventh consecutive start on Saturday
Photo by Jim Davidson
COLUMBUS – The moment hung in the air as Urban Meyer walked into the team meeting room. All of the gathered media were waiting to hear whom the Ohio State head coach would announce at starting quarterback for Saturday’s game with Western Michigan.
“I’ll take any questions you got,” he said as he stepped to the podium.
Meyer knew what was coming, but was making the media work for it.
“Urban, do you have a new starting quarterback?”
Even his answer wasn’t really an answer to the question.
“Cardale’s going to start at quarterback for us,” Meyer said simply.
Nothing new from Columbus. Jones started the first three games and will start the fourth on Saturday afternoon.
“The first game worked out very good, the second game was not so good and I wanted to give the other guy reps, and the third game was not good at all,” Meyer said on Tuesday of Jones.
Twelve Gauge, as Jones dubbed himself during the postseason run last season, began the year 10-of-19 passing for 187 yards and two touchdowns against Virginia Tech. Since then, he is a combined 16-of-27 for 147 yards and no scores.
In each of the last two games, Barrett replaced Jones. Against Hawaii, Jones returned to finish the game in the second half, but in the Northern Illinois game, after throwing two first half interceptions, Jones remained on the bench for the rest of the contest.
In limited time this year, Barrett, who was responsible for 45 touchdowns as the starter a year ago before he got hurt, has not looked great either.
No. 16 is 20-for-35 passing 193 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. In his most extensive time, he was 11-of-19 for 97 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
Despite rolling with Barrett for much of the game last Saturday, Meyer will stick with Jones as the starter, but if he doesn’t play well, Meyer once again left the door open for Barrett to play.


By Tim Shoemaker on September 23, 2015 
Cardale Jones takes a snap.
After two weeks of suspect play at the quarterback position, Urban Meyer has decided not to make a change. Cardale Jones will start for Ohio State on Saturday against Western Michigan, Meyer announced Wednesday after practice.
Jones has started each of the first three games for the top-ranked Buckeyes, but after poor performances against both Hawai'i and Northern Illinois, he was replaced by J.T. Barrett. 
Barrett, however, did not do enough in either of those relief appearances to win the job, according to Meyer.
"I don't know that right now," Meyer said of his quarterback situation following Ohio State's 20-13 win over the Huskies. "I haven't had time to think about it."
It appears Jones will be the guy from here on out, though.
Through three games this season, Jones is 26-for-46 passing for 334 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. He's also carried the ball 21 times for 115 yards and a score. Barrett is 20-for-35 through the air for 193 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He has five carries for 65 yards.
The Buckeyes host Western Michigan 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Ohio Stadium.

Struggling OSU Sticks With Jones

Cardale Jones spent most of Ohio State's sluggish 20-13 win over Northern Illinois watching from the bench last Saturday, but the top-ranked Buckeyes are staying with him as the starter for at least another week as they try to pull themselves out of a baffling rut on offense.

Jones was benched after throwing his second first-half interception against the Huskies, as he completed only 4 of 9 passes for 36 yards. J.T. Barrett didn't fare much better after replacing Jones, hitting 11 of 19 for 97 yards with one touchdown and one interception. On Wednesday evening after practice, coach Urban Meyer said that Jones would start this Saturday's game against Western Michigan, continuing with the same justification that he has used since the season started.Kudos to Ohio State for making things interesting this season.
"The other guy has to pass him, and that hasn't happened," Meyer told reporters on Wednesday.
In three games, Jones is 26 of 46 for 334 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions, averaging 7.3 yards per attempt with a passer rating of 118.82. Barrett is 20 of 35 for 193 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, averaging 5.5 yards per attempt with a passer rating of 116.61. Jones has 21 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown; Barrett has run the ball only five times for 65 yards. After flashes of brilliance in the opening win over Virginia Tech -- with the help of Braxton Miller and Michael Thomas -- neither has been impressive in wins over Hawaii and Northern Illinois, as the Ohio State offense has looked nothing like the unit that terrorized opponents in the second half of 2014, despite losing only four starters.
While the 2015 college football season was widely predicted to be unpredictable, that sentiment did not apply to Ohio State in the preseason. It felt like Ohio State was a clear playoff favorite --- it was the unanimous preseason AP No. 1, after all -- but everyone else had flaws, whether it was new quarterbacks or rebuilt offensive lines or questionable defenses. Ohio State lost zero underclassmen early to the NFL draft from a national championship team, and while it did lose several key players, it had so much returning talent that it felt ridiculous to identify anyone else as the top team in college football.
So far, it turns out that Ohio State actually is just like everybody else, adding even more drama to a wild first three weeks of the season in which two of last year's four playoff teams already have losses (Alabama and Oregon) and many others have surprised with performances both unexpectedly good and bad (hello, Auburn and Arkansas).
While Ohio State is 3-0, the Buckeyes' performances have been the opposite of what was expected. They were pushed at times by Virginia Tech, but against a talented Hokies defense that stifled them last season, they averaged 10.21 yards per play -- the best single-game mark of the Meyer era -- in a 42-24 win. That they were uneven at times and still won by 18 on the road against a quality opponent appeared to show just how dominant and entertaining Ohio State was prepared to be, nomatter how weak the schedule looked.
Since then, Ohio State has played well in about one quarter out of the last eight, brushing off a sluggish start to beat Hawaii 38-0 with three fourth-quarter touchdowns, then scoring one offensive touchdown total in a painful 20-13 win over Northern Illinois. Ohio State averaged just 4.37 yards per play against the Warriors and 4.52 against the Huskies. After one of the best performances of the Meyer era, Ohio State posted two of the four worst yards-per-play outputs under Meyer, joining the 2014 win over Penn State (3.86) and the 2012 win over Wisconsin (4.00). The only bits of good news thus far are that Ohio State is still winning these games, and that its defense has been lights-out.
Against Northern Illinois, the Buckeyes were lucky that their defense hasn't lost a step. Darron Lee's pick-six in the third quarter bailed them out after a Barrett interception -- and proved to be the winning score -- and strong defense at the end bailed out poor game management in which they failed to both ice the game with a first down on third-and-short and burn the maximum amount of clock before giving the ball back to the Huskies. Fortunately, Northern Illinois averaged 2.57 yards per play, the fourth-worst performance by an opposing offense against a Meyer-led Ohio State team.
The latter illustrates just how bad Ohio State's offense really was on Saturday: The Buckeyes needed a defensive touchdown to ensure a victory against a MAC team that had one of the worst offensive outputs against Ohio State in the last four seasons.
Picking one quarterback and rolling with him as the starter seems to be a good idea at this point, although that's probably not going to stop whoever is playing from constantly looking over his shoulder. In this case, Jones still theoretically allows Ohio State to better stretch the field with the passing game because of his superior arm strength, but Ohio State hasn't proved that it has receivers who can consistently make plays downfield. Miller looked fantastic in the opener, but there's still a learning curve associated with his transition. Thomas is one of the best all-around receivers in college football, but nobody on this roster can match the downfield ability of Devin Smith, who thrived when paired with Jones in the playoff but is now in the NFL.
Determining roles in the receiving corps is one big problem as Ohio State tries to figure out how to put so many versatile playmakers in the best position to succeed. Turning around the offensive line's performance is another. While it feels like Ohio State has foolishly failed to commit to handing the ball to Ezekiel Elliott, he's not getting enough room to run behind a struggling line, which was unprepared for Northern Illinois' changed scheme last week, according to Meyer.
It's easy to compare this year's Ohio State to last year's Florida State: Both returned a ton of talent from national championship teams and were widely expected to repeat. Both didn't play up to expectations against mediocre schedules. In reality, these are two very different teams, but the place where the comparison is apt is the offensive line: Both returned four touted starters, only to underperform significantly.
"If you look historically what an Ohio State offense is for us, it's control the line of scrimmage, best perimeter blocking in America -- which we had last year -- and a very good, solid play-action passing attack," Meyer said on Tuesday. "That's not what's going on. So we're going to get that fixed."
The final problem is play-calling. This is Meyer's system, but it's clear that former offensive coordinator Tom Herman played a huge role in the offense's success, including the transition from quarterback to quarterback to quarterback. With Herman now at Houston, play-calling duties shifted to offensive line coach Ed Warinner, who, unlike Herman, is on the sideline during the game. Ohio State has yet to find a play-calling groove, with the lack of commitment to Elliott and a struggle to figure out how to best spread the ball around to so many talented athletes, on top of the blocking issues. The presence of two capable but different quarterbacks, plus a deep pool of versatile skill-position talent, has seemingly resulted in Ohio State overthinking things on offense. It's tried to do too much and hasn't settled on an identity. As Meyer continues to stick with Jones, it would seem that vertical passing combined with Elliott's hard running is the best direction.
All of this makes it sound like it's the end of the world in Columbus, which, of course, is not the case. The Buckeyes were able to survive against Hawaii and Northern Illinois despite inaccurate, poor decision-making, subpar blocking and haphazard play-calling, and even if those problems stay the same, they'll likely survive against much of their beatable schedule. The talent is still present, and it's just a matter of a retooled offensive coaching staff and receiving corps gelling around whichever quarterback is playing.
Those problems are not going to stay the same. The loss of Herman continues to be a question mark -- in addition to Smith and the blocking of receiver Evan Spencer and tight end Jeff Heuerman -- but the Buckeyes figured things out over the course of last season, and there's little reason to think they won't do so again. If they can develop a vertical passing game with Jones at the helm and get better protection from the line -- it's hard to imagine it won't, with players like Taylor Decker and Pat Elflein -- then it won't take much for Ohio State to hit its stride and start performing like the Ohio State we expected, or the Ohio State we saw for much of the trip to Virginia Tech.
The Buckeyes can be thankful that the Michigan State game isn't until Nov. 21. For now, they'll keep trying to dig themselves out of this rut with Jones at quarterback, although, really, Wednesday's announcement just preserves the uncertain status quo moving forward.
"He is the guy, unless he doesn't perform well," Meyer said of Jones.
There's no reason to expect that the defense won't continue to perform at a high level, and the offense has nowhere to go but up. Given the presence of Meyer and the wealth of talent at his disposal, it's only a matter of time before Ohio State finds solutions, even if nothing has gone as smoothly as expected just yet.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- There is no change to the top of the depth chart at quarterback for Ohio State.
Despite some rocky performances over the last two games, coach Urban Meyer will stick with Cardale Jonesas his first-team option for the No. 1 Buckeyes heading into Saturday's matchup with Western Michigan.
"Cardale is going to start," Meyer said after practice Wednesday. "The other guy has to pass him, and that hasn't happened."
The other man in the heated two-man race has had chances to supplant Jones, but J.T. Barrett has struggled in his appearances off the bench and has not surpassed the redshirt junior who led the Buckeyes to a national title and maintained his lead on the practice field coming out of training camp.
Jones has started all three games for Ohio State, but Barrett came on in relief in the opener at Virginia Tech, replaced the starter for a stretch in Week 2 against Hawaii and played the entire second half in relief against Northern Illinois after coming off the bench in the second quarter.
Meyer acknowledged after the sloppy win over the Huskies that it might be time to commit more fully to one guy instead of playing both of his award-winning options, but he still left the door at least slightly open for Barrett if Jones has issues protecting the football after he threw two interceptions last week.
"He is the guy, unless he doesn't perform well," Meyer said. "But it's not him [causing scoring problems], it's the offense that's in a funk."

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