2015 Season Preview: The Strengths and Weaknesses of Both Ohio State Quarterbacks

Comments Show All Comments

YTOWNBUCKI's picture

Kyle, way to kill it here with this article.  I'm glad you're on staff.  Now how much editing did Jason do to this?

HS
Buckeye Jack's picture

.Great breakdown. Disagree, however, with this:

As a result, the read-option was effectively removed from the playbook during his three games as a starter.

 Cardale ran a different "flavor" of the read/option, but in many ways was more effective than Barrett's. With Cardale starting at QB, the bucks rushed for 292 yards per game. JT? 257 yards per game. And if you take away the second-tier teams, the Bucks averaged 223 ypg rushing (average against Va Tech, Penn St, Mich St, Minn, and M*ch).

And let's remember that Cardale was up against 3 elite defenses.

JT vs CJ? Two different styles. That's all.

Zone6, with rotating WR's, will have 1000+ yards at all 3 WR positions this season

HS
2morrow's picture

Agree Jack. I've watched the entire season several times now and all of the big games many times. JT is a good QB but he put up stats against some weaker competition, with MSU being the exception. Cardale is better than JT right now - or at the end of last year. We may have beaten WI with JT but I don't think we beat AL or OR with him. 

Sounds like JT has improved arm strength and whoever wins the job, the other will be waiting in the wings if needed.

Go Bucks!

HS
HawaiianBuckeyeNTX's picture

Another point to add is that Cardale had the support of a very much improved Oline and defense while both were still improving while JT started. Food for thought.

HS
chefjoey's picture

Anyway 11W could drop a poll in one of these articles to see who the community favors / sees as best fit / wants to start? 

HS
YTOWNBUCKI's picture

There have been a few polls but really at the end of the day, our opinion is irrelevant.  This isn't the NFL.

HS
RedQueenRace's picture

Can't we at least vote with the team about suspensions?

HS
SilverState's picture

There's been a bizillion similar polls already this summer - I believe this is the most recent.

"Year for what?"

HS
sjOH1OSt's picture

That poll is currently at 83% in favor of JTB. 

How firm thy friendship

HS
BUCKfutter's picture

there was one a few weeks back that was overwhelmingly barrett IIRC

the kids are playing their tail off, and the coaches are screwing it up! - JLS

HS
MN Buckeye's picture

Thanks for the analysis of weaknesses, Kyle. Very well done article.

HS
Seattle Linga's picture

Great breakdown and analysis Kyle - may the best man win.

Both have so many positives - I am going to love to watch how this unfolds.

Go get'em Cal Poppy - we are behind you !!

It's not a rivalry .............. it's a wreckoning.

HS
steve-OH's picture

I think Barrett winds up with the starting position as well. And like many, I think we will see Jones in as a situational QB for goal line plays, short yardage, and even just a series or two to make the defense adjust for his arm. He'll also see a ton of second half play this year, because we are going to mop the field with our opponents.

HS
KrazyOne's picture

I agree with everything you said here. Even though both QBs said they don't want to see a 2-QB system, Urban will do what he believes will be best for the team. In Urban we trust.

Co-Host to your new favorite Buckeye podcast, Sloopcast. Visit us at www.sloopcast.com

HS
Ole Buckeye's picture

I don't want to see a 2 QB system, at least not one in which from play to play the QB might get yanked. I do think, however, on a week-to-week basis, Cardale might be a better starter than Barrett, and vice versa.

And while I think Barrett will get the start against VT (just 'cause he must want to beat them sooooo bad), last year Cardale might have been our weapon against the (surprise) bear defense. 

I don't know how you could work it.  But it seems like BOTH quarterbacks are assets to be deployed as needed. 

... all the while acknowledging the old maxim, "if you have 2 quarterbacks, then you don't have one."

HS
steve-OH's picture

I don't truly consider the Leak/Tebow style, or what I described as a 2QB system. More or less QB 1a and QB 1b. B guy gets used only in certain situations and mop up time.

HS
YTOWNBUCKI's picture

Agree.  Look for Dolodale to be Tebow of '06 but, you know, actually being able to throw.

HS
Bucks Forever's picture

I would rather see JT or even Braxton in over Cardale in a goal line package. Dolo had most of his running success from pocket breakdowns and scrambles, and seemed to struggle on short yardage, designed runs. JT and Braxton have better talents for these types of situations.

HS
QuadCitiesBuckeye's picture

Do you not remember this play?

Not saying that XBrax or JT couldn't have also found a way to score but it was Cardale's sheer size allowed him to muscle his way into the end zone on that second effort.

Shandy is not beer

HS
SilverHaven's picture

Is this the exception that proves the rule? Cardale did well on this particular play-- after he failed to get in on the previous play when he fell on his elbow short of the goal line.  A dozen clips of Cardale in designed runs could be shown where he repeatedly is caught behind the line, many times during the post-season, and perhaps a dozen times against just Alabama alone.  Cardale was put into the Penn State game in 4th and short-yardage because of his size, and failed.  So the coaches quit trying to use Cardale for short-yardage runs.

On this goal-line play, if JT or certainly Braxton were the QB, he probably would have gone wide and walked into the end zone.

I'm a big fan of Cardale's ad lib running tho'.  He seems to have a natural intelligence for avoiding the rush and running wild on the defense.  And when he's escaping in the backfield, he's still looking for the downfield receivers.  And when he cuts loose, he rumbles for big yardage like the 25 plus yards against Alabama right before the half in the Sugar Bowl. Gotta love this big kid-- and his disarming smile!

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.

HS
MDBuckeye2002's picture

As much as I can't stand the Steelers, King Dolodale reminds me of Roethlisberger some.

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987

HS
KrazyOne's picture

Great work as always Kyle. May the best man win!

Co-Host to your new favorite Buckeye podcast, Sloopcast. Visit us at www.sloopcast.com

HS
JohnnyKozmo's picture

Pretty much spot on IMO.  Great job with this Kyle.  

You're too stupid to have a good time. -Dalton

HS
rkylet83's picture

Great analysis as always.  Once I heard that J.T.'s legs were good to go, I figured the option would be what put him over Cardale.  I gues we'll all have to keep our ears open for how well Cardale is doing in the read option game!

HS
BrewinBuckFan's picture

In the third gif of Cardale it looks like he can easily run for close to a first down on that play - for the football experts is it a better decision to take the lower percentage deep throw to an open receiver or the almost certain first down?  

Also in that same play it appears that if Cardale didn't have super human arm strength there was enough time for the defense to recover and attempt a play on breaking up the ball.

HS
buckeye phi's picture

You'd nearly always take the almost certain first down.  An exception to that might be if you were behind with time running out - so you had to score quickly - making the higher risk worthwhile -

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers

HS
Gratefulbuck's picture

Holy Buckeye, Captain Krenzel!

HS
buckeye phi's picture

Very much so, Gratefulbuck -

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers

HS
bucknut1994's picture

Liked the comparison to the Team USA PG situation.   Also like JT as the starter

#94Ways

HS
BIGTIMEBUCKS's picture

I didn't quite pick up that analogy. Yes, Chris Paul is favored over the more aggressive more physical Russell Westbrook but Kyrie Irving is not a physical player like Westbrook, if anything his game is more CP3 than anyone's. And wasn't Kyrie the MVP of the FIBA Summer League last year? 

"The Edge is where average stops and elite begins"

HS
theopulas's picture

Kyrie scores better then he distributes... I think that was his point.

Theopulas

HS
614's picture

Great article Kyle, I believe that it will be J.T. getting most of the reps and Cardale helping out in short yardage situations. Very excited for this year!

6-1-4

HS
Cooper's picture

Start Cardale, you lose the read option.

Start Barrett, you lose the deep crossing/out routes on 3rd down, especially against a pass rush.

I feel like OSU coaches value the QB as a runner too much to start Cardale, but I think a lot of fans are sleeping on the possibility of him starting. Either way, I hope the fans cheer for one just as hard if their favorite doesn't start. We're all Buckeyes here.

This is definitely where I parked my car.

HS
Toilrt Paper's picture

Urban says JT's arm strength has improved tremendously since his arrival at Ohio State. He's worked with a Kinesiologist in the off season to improve his strength. No one in the world has a stronger arm than Cadale, but JT's arm strength is MORE than enough to make 40 yard throws. If a 70 yard TD pass at the end of a game is needed we got Cardale for that job. 

HS
Cooper's picture

That may be the case, but being able to throw twenty yard darts across the field or towards the sideline is a special gift Cardale has. You saw it against Bama and Oregon. Earlier in the year, OSU was unable to run those sort of routes. 

Cardale's second touchdown pass to Devin Smith against Wisconsin was on a frozen rope with a rushing middle linebacker directly in his face. Those sorts of plays probably will not happen with J.T. because his release is longer than Cardale's and well... Dale simply has an arm unmatched in college football.

Like I said, I think the coaches will start J.T. but I don't think CJ's case for starting QB should be taken lightly.

This is definitely where I parked my car.

HS
buckeye phi's picture

If we were a passing team, I'd agree with you Coop.  And while we have one of the most balanced offenses I've ever seen, we still have about a 60/40 run/pass play ratio.    Kyle even mentioned UFM's spread-to-run-power philosophy in the article.

Incidentally, regardless of who starts - I expect that run/pass play ratio to even out a little more.  Maybe approaching the 55/45 range. (Yards were almost even last season, by the way)

Too many teams are going to get desperate trying to stop our running game - and we have too many fine receivers champing at the bit - ready to capitalize on that -

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers

HS
SilverHaven's picture

Cardale's 2nd TD pass to Devin vs Wisconsin was in deed a thing of beauty-- right on target (unlike the other 2) and that in spite of being thrown with a defender crashing into him!  I don't think JT could have done that either.

However, JT throws a good long ball too.  Recall that perfect TD bomb to Devin right in stride in the Mich State game? Looking at the replays, JT put that in there on a rope too-- loop it with any more air under it and the Mich State safety would have been there to knock it down or intercept it.

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.

HS
nm_buck's picture

at may be the case, but being able to throw twenty yard darts across the field or towards the sideline is a special gift Cardale has. You saw it against Bama and Oregon. Earlier in the year, OSU was unable to run those sort of routes

You should go back and watch the Sparty game. There were plenty of passes thrown by JT that were on the button. Arguably, that game in East Lansing was just as difficult as the three games Cardale played. In that hostile environment, JT was cool as the other side of the pillow. 

"The future is bright at Ohio State."  - Urban Meyer 1/1/15

HS
Cooper's picture

The quote you used was referring to the 20-25 yard crossing and out routes, not deep balls. Jalin Marshall and Corey Smith caught a bunch of those throws the last three games (mostly on third down), while I can honestly only recall one time where that sort of pass was completed by J.T. (Jalin Marshall's TD against Minnesota after J.T. stepped up in the pocket).

People are quick to point out Braxton and Cardale's flaws at QB, but a lot of the commentariat chooses not to do so with Barrett. I think it's fair to constructively criticize; as Kyle mentioned, J.T. only completed 44% of his passes when faced with a blitz.

Since everyone likes comparing deeps balls as the sole indicator of arm strength, I think it could be a good future article for Kyle to compare the two thrower's deep balls. I would venture to say that J.T. has to release the ball quicker after the snap for two reasons: 1) He doesn't have the live arm that Cardale has and 2) He isn't a productive passer when faced with a heavy rush. If you notice the deep balls J.T. threw to Devin against Illinois, Cincy, and MSU, he got rid of them early and had the WR run under them. While they were great throws, I question whether he could have made the throw Cardale completed to Devin against Oregon while scrambling. 

Once again, I think J.T. will be the starter but I also think it is unfair to not point out the flaws in his game while also saying x, y, z about why Cardale won't be the starter.

This is definitely where I parked my car.

HS
nm_buck's picture

Great points Coops. Not saying I prefer one over the other. Personally, methinks they are both great leaders and have the potential to take us back into another B1G Championship.

My point was more to the notion that the competition Cardale faced was a lot tougher than what JT faced, ergo Cardale is the better QB. I don't really agree with that. Both the PSU and Sparty games were difficult, pressure-filled situations. Someone said earlier in the thread that they didn't think JT could have beaten Bama. I'm not sure Cardale could have beaten PSU or Sparty. Of course we'll never know... but considering how all 9 units improved throughout the season, I don't think JTs victories in both those games were any less difficult than Cardale's three starts. One thing is certain, the team certainly came together over those last three games... especially the defense. 

This year, I will be both happy and sad when a starter is named. Probably the first time that's ever happened.

"The future is bright at Ohio State."  - Urban Meyer 1/1/15

HS
Cooper's picture

I like to think of it as all three (two, now I guess) had the ability to lead us in any game, no matter the competition.

but considering how all 9 units improved throughout the season

This is a very good point, the rest of the team rallied around both J.T. and Cardale, which greatly improved the team.

This year, I will be both happy and sad when a starter is named. Probably the first time that's ever happened.

Completely agree. Hopefully an emotion that will be absent from fans is 'angry'.

This is definitely where I parked my car.

HS
buckeyepastor's picture

Agree.  Remembering those gorgeous deep balls that JT threw vs. CIncy, Illinois, and especially the deep ball to Smith just before the half against MSU that, in my opinion, was like a knife to their hearts.   

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

HS
SilverHaven's picture

Amen, Pastor. I just left a comment for Cooper above, before reading your same tho'ts here. Aloha.

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.

HS
zmoty9's picture

I still am in awe of the seam route Barrett threw to Huerman against Rutgers for TD. There was zero opening and somehow he made just enough.

HS
js2378's picture

I'm hopeful that the GIFs of Jones shows how coachable he is. In the Bama game, he runs around the DEs. In the Oregon game, he calmly steps up in the pocket. 

In my uneducated opinion, you start Jones and bring Barrett in on certain situations like short yardage, goal-line, etc. There, the option game can really be maximized to get a few yards, because the numbers work out better when running the ball. Otherwise, I think you rely on the Slobs and Zeke to control the running game and let Jones keep the defenses honest with his arm. Just because Jones is bigger than Barrett doesn't make him the better short yardage guy.

HS
garyb's picture

I agree that Jones is the one that gives the opposing defense s more trouble.  He makes the defense cover more of the field, which is what you want right?  Then Jones is the guy.

"All Aboard the Dwayne Train"

HS
krodawg's picture

Noticed the same thing about pocket movement JS. Thanks for pointing this out.

HS
SilverHaven's picture

Mahalo 2378 for the insight.  I had not noticed that.  Altho' with the one long pass completion to Devin against Oregon, Cardale eventually ran to the right flat and threw the pass on the run-- with what seemed a quick flick of the wrist.  Amazing!

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.

HS
blocko330's picture

One of your best Kyle - and you've had some great ones - Keep it up!  That 40 yard toss by Jones against Oregon looks like me when I toss the ball 5 yards... 12 gauge baby!

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

- TruthTeller

HS
Toilrt Paper's picture

Kyle's been reading my many posts on the subject.

HS
Icouldnotgofor3's picture

I think it should be be J.T. also. It opens up the offense more as Kyle alluded to. However, I do like CJ's ability to take the top off of the defense. I think the key will be how J.T. reacts under lots of pressure. If he can't handle it, 12-gauge goes in. 

Saban on a cart eating cold pizza

HS
scarletandgray1's picture

Still say that the should just both line up next to each other and Boren just snap the ball to whoever the play is best suited for.  that has to work, right?

Confidence is the stain they can't wipe off

HS
buckeye phi's picture

If they'll let us play 12 guys on offense - that'll work. 

Otherwise, I really don't see UFM taking Zeke out of the game to make room for a second quarterback -

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers

HS
Belliott's picture

Kyle, is there a chance that it wasn't cardale's ineffectiveness running the option so much as he was the last healthy QB they had that made Meyer shy away from using him as an option QB?  

HS
BuckeyeSouth's picture

Obviously I'm not Kyle, but I think that had to play into it to some degree. 

Champions.  Undisputed.  

HS
buckeye phi's picture

Not Kyle either.  But when we tried our base read option with Cardale, it didn't work very well -

We have to remember, that while he did extremely well (better than we could have reasonably expected) under the circumstances, Cardale was not the reason we won the championship.  The defense and the slobs should get most of the credit. 

In spite of a lot of turnovers by our offense - our defense severely limited Alabama and held Oregon to 20 points.  And the Slobs cleared the way for Zeke -

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers

HS
krodawg's picture

9 units strong as the mantra goes.

HS
SilverHaven's picture

Mahalo, Phi, for speaking "truth to power."  Cardale was absolutely amazing for a player in his first collegiate starts, but he was also inept at times. It was the D that saved the day by shutting down Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon.  Case in point against Bama: 

a. As you know, the D held mighty Bama to 3 and out.  Then after Zeke's 54-yard run to near the Alabama goal line, Cardale lost 2 yards on a designed QB run on 1st and goal to go from the 3.  Ouch. 

b. The D held Bama again to 3 and out.  But Zeke fumbled, and Bama scored on a short drive. Then Cardale connected with Devin on a long bomb to the 1-yard line, whereafter he bounced the hike off his grill on 1st and goal to go, and lost 8 yards!  Double ouch. Cardale's mistakes cost the Buckeyes 2 sure TDs.

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.

HS
yrro's picture

We opened with the Wisconsin game with a few of our standard read option runs -- Cardale looked pretty awful. If he's got room in front of him, he's fast and a load to bring down. But if the hole wasn't there he kind of panicked instead of getting the 2-3 yards that there actually available.

HS
aphilly02's picture

Genius comparison of the situation to starting CP3 over Russ and Ky. a QB in Urban's system, just like any point guard for a basketball team, has to be well rounded and be able to succeed in each facet of the position.

"To Buckeye Nation: You have my word that I'm going to give everything I have to continue the tradition of excellence and winning that this program has enjoyed during its storied history."

HS
ATLBuckeye92's picture

Jones also is reliant on having a deep threat step up to help his case.  Thomas looks like a great receiver but may lack speed that Smith has.  Having a deep threat at QB is only as good as the deep threat on the other end of the equation.  

I have to think too that Barrett has worked his butt off this off season wanting to finish the job that he earned through the course of the season.  He and Braxton are two guys that didn't get the full taste of winning the championship.  Their desire could go a long way to tip the scales towards this team keeping its edge.

HS
EtTuBrute's picture

This is an excellent point.  I think JT may get the nod in part because Cardale's brilliant arm may not have an equally brilliant deep-ball receiver to throw to. We will see if any receivers can step up.  If so, Cardale may end up with lots of playing time. 

HS
Johnnycake's picture

I don't think ability to run zone read or option is as important as it was early when Meyer was here. He wants to distribute the ball plain and simple.We have so many other weapons on the perimeter and backfield then we did four years ago and even three years ago.

 

 

HS
buckeyepastor's picture

I think against most of our opponents, being limited in read option or zone read won't matter.   But against a few really tough defensive teams, where separation for the receivers could be in short supply and we're needing to be really precise in how we execute and have our full playbook available to us, in those moments, I want JT back there.   

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

HS
The Butler's picture

Barrett showed excellent footwork and throwing mechanics 

Jones's footwork in the 3rd gif of him is pretty damn impressive too.

 

 

HS
Jcole737's picture

I love both QB's, but I think Cardale starts.  Who needs the read option when you have Zeke and Slobs rushing for 300 yards per game?The deep threat keeps the safties out of the box and the underneath open for Samual, Braxton, and Marshall.   Cardale is no slouch distributing the ball.  60% vs 64% is splitting hairs when you consider the level of competition.  Perfect world, you get a year of Cardale and the following 2 from JT.

HS
Maka's picture

There was some sloppy handoffs in the bowl games...but that was his 2nd and 3rd start of the year(Equal to JT versus VT and Kent St). Mistakes were expected. I would love to see what Cardale could do under center for the 2015 season.  I think this race is a lot closer than people think.  If Cardale spent the off season with his nose in the playbook, film study and has worked on his reads, then he may keep the job.  But when Miller goes to JT for private workouts over the summer...I can read between those lines.  

HS
buckeye phi's picture

I agree that there is some reading between the lines that can be done here.  UFM has said a few times now that JT's arm strength would not be an issue.  JT is rated way ahead of Cardale in that color coded rating system the coach uses for off the field stuff as well. 

And you're right about those private workouts.  Braxton isn't choosing JT for that if he thinks Cardale will be the starter.  By the way, that's one of the reasons I'm choosing Paris Campbell to have a big year.  He was participating in those workouts, too -

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers

HS
Jake321's picture

Reading between the lines then, what do you think about urban saying the players tend to flock to cardale's rather than JT? Can't remember where I read that or I would link it but I do remember reading it.

HS
buckeye phi's picture

That's the first I've heard of the players flocking to one quarteback over the other - If you eventually remember where you saw it, I'd be very interested in reading that, indeed -

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers

HS
NavyBuckeye91's picture

Great analysis from the alternate perspective, Kyle.  Very well done.  Thanks!  In the end, I think you're right - JT gets the start, but Cardale gets some playing time is certain situations. 

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

HS
gobucks96's picture

Ahh, heck with it. Start Collier!

HS
Earthoid.'s picture

This article.  It's so pretty.  

The Couban embargo.
Plays guitar and makes iced tea in the winter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgiM_ypFsRQ <--- scum tears

HS
causeicouldntgo43's picture

"Barrett initially won the job over Jones last fall after Braxton Miller's shoulder injury thanks to his ability to distribute the ball to the numerous play-makers around him, allowing Meyer's offense to run at full capacity."

This is the key to who starts, all other factors being equal. Starting Barrett also allows Meyer the flexibility to insert Cardale at any point in the game that the read option game is floundering.  

HS
IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

In defense of JT's passer rating dropping under pressure, the kid WAS a first-year starter last year and the PSU game was his first real road test. Not making an excuse just pointing out that he was still very green as a QB. 44% under those circumstances was actually pretty good all things considered. If JT is good at anything it's learning from his mistakes as we saw in the weeks after the VT game. I think that PSU game served a valuable purpose for JT and if Bud Foster thinks he's going to get the best of Barrett again he's SADLY mistaken. What works one year wont necessarily work the next.

JT's deep throws are adequate. Cardale will miss Devin Smith a LOT more than JT will. JT's favorite target was Mike Thomas.

And even if defenses try to stop Zeke first one of two things will happen. 1, JT will run wild. 2, Zeke will just run over whomever tries to tackle him as Oregon found out.

"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine

HS
QuadCitiesBuckeye's picture

In defense of JT's passer rating dropping under pressure, the kid WAS a first-year starter last year and the PSU game was his first real road test.

It's not like Cardale had started any games prior to the B1G Championship and had only started 2 games prior to the NCG with all 3 games being "road games".

Shandy is not beer

HS
NorCal Buckeye's picture

Yes they were "road" games, but they were at neutral sites with a heavy OSU presence.  The point I think he's trying to make is JT was on the road AT the opposing team's stadium that was nearly all opposing team's fans.  I'd much rather start in a neutral Indianapolis (Columbus West) than face PSU in Happy Valley at night.

HS
Brutus1972's picture

But they were all against much better competition than Penn State. Bama, Wisky and Oregon all roll Penn State and Michigan. JT looked good in 1 game vs legitimate talent and that was Mich State, the other games he struggled. JT struggles vs good/great D lines because his height wont allow him to see the field. Cardale can see the field and is able to make better decisions in improvisation when the play breaks down or someone misses a block. All of that knowing the offense doesn't help you when you cant stand in there and throw over an oncoming defender or take off with 2 or 3 guys wide open because you cant see them. If JT is healthy, we don't win a National Championship last year. We beat Wisky and Oregon but dont get to Oregon because we dont beat Bama.

Listen to me now, believe me later.

HS
yrro's picture

I feel like the PSU game had much more to do with JT's injury than anything else. We were moving the ball well enough considering the defense we were facing up until that point. With a sprained knee the defense could key off of Zeke, AND JT wasn't as confident stepping into his throws.

We won that game once he and the coaching staff said "screw the injury, I'm running it."

HS
gobucks55's picture

NUFF SAID, now can we please kick the dam ball off and play some football!

Go Bucks, F Xichigan!

HS
nikolajz1's picture

I feel more confident with Cardale at QB given our O-line and Zeke at RB. We don't need a running QB with Zeke, Marshall, Dontre, Braxton, etc. 

Barrett had a ton of stretches last season where he was pretty bad- see large chunks of Penn State, Indiana, and Michigan games. He put up record numbers against a horrid schedule strength wise. On the other hand Cardale put up very decent numbers against 3 top 15 teams under a ton of pressure. I really don't get how this QB battle is so close? Good stats against bad teams vs. decent stats against great teams?

HS
IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

Urban wants an offense where the QB runs and JT is best geared for that. He also had his best game of the year against Sparty who proved to be the toughest team we played last season.

"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine

HS
BuckeyeCrusdader's picture

I'd argue Bama was better than MSU

HS
JS3308's picture

MSU was destroyed by all 3 teams they played with athletes at receiver. Bryce Petty threw for 500. They weren't exactly in the realm of Alabama or you know, Oregon, who beat them.

HS
FROMTHE18's picture

I massively dislike the redundancy of this topic; however, this particular article is refreshing and very well done. Amazing work as usual. 

HS
BuckeyeSouth's picture

I'm in the JT camp as are many others on here, but wouldn't have an issue if Cardale won the starting job.  Having said that I can't imagine Meyer not letting JT start against VT to clean up the only unfinished business from last year.

Champions.  Undisputed.  

HS
TheMinnesotaBuckeye's picture

How difficult is it to play QB in a "hostile environment" against a good opponent, at night? If it is difficult and if experience helps, then JT has an advantage there. JT: at Penn State, at Michigan State. Cardale's starts were all on neutral fields. 

HS
Maka's picture

Even though the fields were neutral...there are a ton more eyes and cameras on the Buckeyes in their final 3 games.  That is pretty intimidating and hostile.  I dont think either guy has butterfly issues or hostile crowd issues.  Both are stone cold killers.

HS
QuadCitiesBuckeye's picture

The Sugar Bowl was a de facto home game for 'Bama

Shandy is not beer

HS
NorCal Buckeye's picture

Distance yes, but from what I've seen & heard, it was at least 50% Buckeye fans there.

HS
Turfgrad's picture

Grin & Barrett!  Grin & Barrett!  Grin & Barrett!

"I think Alabama would beat Ohio State if they played next weekend!" Clay Travis Fox Sports Post Championship Show 1.12.2015.  Needs no explanation.

HS
QuadCitiesBuckeye's picture

Pee-wee Herman was arrested for doing just that

Shandy is not beer

HS
SilverHaven's picture

LOL. Hana hou.

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.

HS
OHbuckIO's picture

Very nice analysis, and I'm apt to agree with you. I tend to be a JT guy myself, but one trait that I feel Cardale has in common with Braxton Is extreme confidence. I can't really speak to JTs confidence level, but from interviews and coming back from a deficit, I get the sense that Cardale has loads of confidence. I think that is extremely important this year. JT is a true team player, but sometimes you've got to have that edge too.

HS
NorCal Buckeye's picture

I think they're both confident; what we see is Cardale's outgoing confidence (or to some cockiness).  I'm sure JT is a confident guy (has reason to be), he just chooses not to tweet it to the world.

HS
OHbuckIO's picture

I think you're right NorCal. I suppose that cockiness I was referring to sometimes helps dig out of quicksand when things start going wrong. Overall, I think JT is lower risk.

HS
buckeye phi's picture

I've felt all along that JT was better suited to run UFM's offense in it's entirety - but I do not think it's an open and shut case, by any means. 

Since UFM has come out with statements about JT's arm strength not being an issue - and Braxton sought him out for workouts, etc. - I've been thinking it's going to be JT more and more, though -

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers

HS
ScarletAndGrayMatter's picture

JT Barrett starting = 12-0

Cardale Jones starting = 12-0

Having to choose between 2 guys that could start on ANY team in the country = PRICELESS

Bring on VT. Go Bucks! Eff TTUN.

Drive, Drive on down the field, Men of the Scarlet and Gray!

HS
osu129's picture

Great article.  I find it hard to make a comparison between the two in large part due to the improvement of the Slobs and Zeke over the course of the season.  Their play at the end of the season seemed light years above the beginning, so it seems that they elevated Cardale's play as much as Cardale's arm opened things up for Zeke.  Makes you wonder what JT playing against UW, Bama, and Oregon would have looked like.   

That being said, I'm glad Urban has to make the decision and not me. 

HS
JS3308's picture

How much did they improve in one week? Barrett wasn't good against Michigan, and 7 days later Cardale was great against a much better team.

HS
SilverHaven's picture

Just read the opening sentence saying JT as a freshman "set a school record with 44 touchdowns."  That's amazing because JT had a B1G conference record of 45 TDs. So which one of his TDs doesn't count at Ohio State?  :)

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.

HS
Brutus1972's picture

JT's biggest negative is that he is too short. Which is why he has to get rid of the ball in a hurry under pressure. He's not tall enough to throw the ball over an oncoming defender. Early in the year JT wasn't getting deep enough in his drops to see the field. Being too close to the guys blocking for you who are also taller than you doesn't help field vision.

There's no doubt that JT reads the option better than his predecessors and he goes through his progressions better than any QB we have had in recent memory but his height is perhaps his only downfall. He reminds me of Joe Germaine.

HS
Bigmarty's picture

Tend to agree...seems I remember batted/blocked passes with JT but with Jones, his height and arm length give him a distict advantage in sight and getting the ball off....Velllly interesting.....

HS
BeatTTUN's picture

Nice work Kyle

I am just happy they both are Buckeyes.

I saw Ryan Day hang 62 on Michigan...His hair was perfect.

Go Buckeyes Beat Michigan

HS
Eddie27Zeke15's picture

The guy across the street says I should use my push mower.  But Dan, the guy over the hedge line says that I should use the riding mower.  Every time they get together, all they talk about is which mower I should use.  The debate is endless.

Well, it's my yard.  If they want to see which mower I'm gonna use, they could just quit speculating and and fire up the grill.  One of those mowers will roll out soon enough and I'm so damn good at mowing the lawn... it's going to be a masterpiece either way.

HS
SilverHaven's picture

Great metaphor, Eddie, and since you're so good, when you're done, come over to mow my yard. :)

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.

HS
Eddie27Zeke15's picture

Metaphor?

I just love cutting grass.

HS
SilverHaven's picture

Oh, OK. I tho't you had a fun allusion to either Cardale or JT mowing down the opposition. Enjoy the mowers-- grass cutters I mean, of course.

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.

HS
BuckeyeCrusdader's picture

I have been on the train for JT starting the last few weeks because of his legs.. but his weakness under pressure is really a big concern esp vs VT who is bound to blitz a lot. I really hope he's able to improve there and I really hope Cardale comes in a little leaner and with better reads in the run game so he can run it when they're selling out on Zeke.

HS
buckeyepastor's picture

The beauty of our situation is, if EITHER guy is having an off-night, unlike last year when Braxton's pre-season injury had everyone holding their breath about our scarcity of options, this year we KNOW that there's another guy on the sidelines who can step up.    If teams are sticking too many in the box and JT's not able to make them pay for it, bring in Cardale.  If teams are in a coverage package that is really taking away our playmakers and Cardale's not getting it to them, bring in JT and let him and Zeke run it down their throats.   

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

HS
buck__luv's picture

J.T.  Barrett is an awsome QB. No question. But, Cardale has that X factor that no amount of analysis is going to reveal. Look at the ttun game---it was close until CJ came in. The team as a whole plays better when he is under center--just look at Wisconsin, Alabama, Oregon---all decidedly won; all QB'd by Cardale.

HS
SilverHaven's picture

Was that because everyone took it upon themselves to do their best, Luv, and cover for the inexperienced 3rd string QB? Aloha.

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.

HS
buck__luv's picture

J.T.  Barrett is an awsome QB. No question. But, Cardale has that X factor that no amount of analysis is going to reveal. Look at the ttun game---it was close until CJ came in. The team as a whole plays better when he is under center--just look at Wisconsin, Alabama, Oregon---all decidedly won; all QB'd by Cardale.

HS
Gametime's picture

One thing I also think get's glossed over is that the deep ball is a novelty in this offense, not a necessity. People forget that the field is also 53 yards wide and it's Urban's philosophy to force defenses to defend all 53 yards of the field, hence spread to power.

I also think it's unfair to discount the obvious which is that J.T. Barrett's stats, as ridiculous as they were, were also heavily affected by the the team as a whole. We have to remember that 4 guys on the OL were new starters too and Zone 6 wasn't quite Zone 6. Dontre & Jalin Marshall didn't quite break out yet and Devin Smith was inconsistent still at the beginning of the season. Our defense was shaky and we were concerned still after giving up 200 yards rushing for like 2-3 consecutive games including against Indiana (and TTUN I believe). 

Cardale had the benefit of getting a full seasoned team that had already lost, already faced adversity, already avenged a bitter loss in dominating fashion, then they all finally rallied around the loss of their leader through all of that, (J.T.) and the loss of life of a teammate. The SLOBS had completely gelled. Elliott was on a mission. Devin Smith couldn't be stopped. The rest is history.

I just don't think we should discount the fact that Urban Meyer himself said that Cardale being the QB wasn't THE reason Zeke went off, but it was the fact that everyone around Cardale had got better and peaked at the end of the season. 

Between goals and achievement is discipline and consistency. That fire you have inside to do whatever you love is placed there by God. Now go claim it. ~ Denzel Washington

HS
pduncan710's picture

A couple stories of intangibles make me think that JTB will be the starter.

  1.  JTB gave the pre-game pep-talks and appeared to still be the leader of the team during the playoff games.
  2.  As many others here have brought up, Braxton went to JT for offseason work when he was working on becoming a receiver.

As far as I understand it, the QB can affect the run game in a couple ways in Urban's offense.

  1.  The QB can "block" a defender by reading him on read/option plays.
  2.  Defensive backs can be forced to stay off of the line-of-scrimmage because of the threat of the passing game.

Cardale threatens with the deep pass more than JT does, but I think that JT is better able to use both tools to keep defenders off of the base run game.

HS
Trotwoodbuck's picture

Can't agree with the comparison of JT to Paul. In fact I think it is exactly the opposite. Jones's arm allows him to potentially utilize more of OSU's offensive talent because he can distribute the ball over a much larger area of the field. That is what makes him an NFL prospect, something Barrett isn't.  The teams OSU defeated with Barrett under center were for the most part also rans (MSU exempted). The teams they defeated with Jones playing included the very best in college football. If he could beat those teams he could have lead them to wins against anyone they played last year or this. Personally I don't think there is any question which of those two would be the better choice to get every ounce of potential out of the vast number of offensive weapons this team is going to have on the field and it is not the one most likely to compile video game like personal stats. Just my opinion though and not one the coaching staff is likely to consider. 

HS
Knarcisi's picture

Barrett's INT vs PSU doesn't bother me. He made the correct initial read in finding the hot route with a man untouched off the edge. PSU ran a zone blitz, dropping 2 DL. It was also perfectly timed. You saw Cam Heyward, Solomon Thomas, and Steve Miller all come up with huge plays for us on the same call. Sometimes, it's just a good  defensive call at the perfect time. Any QB at the college level is going to have trouble with that. 9 times out of 10, that hot route is there. 

HS
Prickly_Pete's picture

Jones beat wisky, Alabama and Oregon. Barrett beat Michigan state. Why is barrett assumed to be better? Is he better in practice?

HS
SilverHaven's picture

The accolades for this article are well deserved, Kyle. Esp. liked the analogy with a point guard. Very prescient comparison. Aloha.

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.

HS
SM_Chi's picture

One the one hand, I think coach will elevate JT.  Urban recruited him because he fits his system almost perfectly. On the other hand, if the competition is really as close as they want us to believe it is, I wonder if eligibility remaining factors into Urban's decision.  Given that Cardale gray-shirted and then red-shirted (I think), I have to believe that this is it for him. If it's really this close, maybe the coaches are saying let's give this guy a chance to prove (or re-prove) himself to the NFL.

HS
JS3308's picture

Cardale has shown you he can beat the very best teams, and that's why this isn't a question in my eyes. If you have someone you KNOW can do it, why use a guy who you HOPE can do it? Penn State, Illinois, and Michigan from last year scare me a great deal.

Go with 12.
Profit.

HS
HELLBENDER's picture

Only those who attend practice will know how this is shaking out. I am absolutely comfortable with both players. 

HS
Woody16111's picture

Hands down THE best breakdown I've read of the QB situation at Ohio State.

How these two are doing in camp is the biggest known unknown this preseason. I've said, and this is not a knock or endorsement on any one guy, that there is something to be said for the player who takes the reigns from week 1 and is responsible for leading the team throughout 4/5 of the season. That requires a lot of adjustments, as we saw from Week 1 and each and every week thereafter, good and bad. I've also stated, and again, not a knock or endorsement on any one guy, but the last three games were against the toughest competition seen the entire year and Ohio State was in a very good position, even when trailing Alabama, in all of those games throughout. 

This is a tough call, as the author of this post exceptionally points out. It's all the more reason why I agree, based on Coach Meyer's comments thus far that this will be decided based on performance in camp. Besides the X's & O's there are also the intangibles - the biggest being leadership on and off the field, in and out of the locker room. As simple as it sounds that could be the deciding factor, all things equal.

I have faith in this coaching staff to make the right decision. I have a TON of respect for the two QB's involved in this battle as they appear to be handling this with the utmost of class and regard for each other. Frankly, I would expect nothing else from our players. 

The thing that is keeping me up at night, besides my wife yelling at me right now to "TURN OFF THAT DAMN COMPUTER AND GET TO BED" (She really isn't ready for football this year) is the fear that we employ some dual QB option. The old saying is if you have two QB's you don't have one doesn't apply to Ohio State this year. Ohio State does have two legit QB's, from what we have seen, however the conventional wisdom still holds that a platoon system just doesn't work. 

Whatever the outcome, Ohio State wins. Just don't get too cute. 

GO BUCKS!

"There is nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

Completed the "Double Skully" 18-August-2015

HS
Buckeyeinsc's picture

I have to go with J.T. because he has class. Cardale has said some things that changed my opinion of him and cast a bad light on the team.

Fighting the good fight in SEC country. "Our honor defend"

HS
OSUgrunt0311's picture

People seem to forget that cardale was more fresh considering he didn't play full games throughout the season.

HS
jhadd13's picture

best article ive read on this qb battle. ive said all along that JT would win because he was like a point guard. thanks for proving me right to my friends 

Jordan Hadder

HS
Mean Mr Mustard's picture

Most of Cardale's weaknesses can be improved with time and work.  I really think he only needs to run the option well enough that the defense is forced to respect it, and Barrett is only a slightly more accurate passer in the short and intermediate game.  Plus, what Hellbender said.

HS
Spaceman Spiff's picture

I'm new around 11W but I love articles like this with the video breakdown.  Nice work!

Buckeye in South Florida

HS
DoubleB's picture

Thank you for the great write up Kyle! I agree that JT is the guy. It's understandable we are all mesmerized with what Cardale brings to the table, the huge arm, running over defensive players, the cool demeanor in the pocket. However,IMO JT has everything Urban wants. He's accurate, he's an effective to good runner, he's a master on the read option, and he's a leader on and off the field. I think JT will start and be the main guy but both will play. May the best man win!

Worry is a misuse of imagination.

HS
lax20's picture

Excellent article and many key points.  I truly believe Coach Meyer will start JT due to the rationale above, but I think Cardale expertise comes into play when Tech stacks the box to shutdown Elliot.  I believe Tech will get a dose of both but depending on the situation and momentum, Cardale will get more reps tonite.  JT will be the season starter, but Cardale will be the man tonite.

HS