Urban Meyer Talks Playing Without J.T. Barrett, Charging Forward With Cardale Jones

By Patrick Maks on November 30, 2014 at 2:14 pm
Urban Meyer talked Ohio State's looming Big Ten Title bout with Wisconsin and how the Buckeyes will carry on without J.T. Barrett.

When Ohio State lost Braxton Miller less than a week before the start of a season draped in championship aspirations, coaches and players used the analogy of picking up the fallen quarterback's rifle and carrying on without him. 

Three months later, they'll have to do the same thing after losing J.T. Barrett for the rest of the year after the dazzling redshirt freshman broke his ankle against Michigan Saturday.

"We lost a Heisman candidate," head coach Urban Meyer said after beating the Wolverines in the team's regular-season finale. 

Now down to third-string quarterback Cardale Jones, the sixth-ranked Buckeyes (11-1) remain optimistic heading back to the Big Ten Championship Game Saturday in Indianapolis, the place where their conference and national title dreams crumbled a year ago.


  • Meyer confirmed redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett indeed had surgery on a broken ankle today. Said it went well. Barrett suffered the season-ending injury against Michigan in the fourth quarter.
  • Meyer on backup quarterback Cardale Jones, who will make his first-career start in the Big Ten title game: “It’s his show, he’s got the keys to the car.”
  • Added Meyer on Jones: (He) had a very good spring … his transition from being a guy that sat and watched practice to a functional quarterback” has impressed him.
  • Meyer on the supposed transformation of Jones, who Meyer has said he almost booted him from the team on more than one occasion: “Cardale was a guy that we did not recruit … just a mess … did not take care of his business academically. (We had) tons of meetings, I know this last year complete transformation from very immature person — not just player — person … he’s taking care of his business.”
  • Meyer on whether or not the playoff selection committee would leave out a J.T. Barrett-less Ohio State team: "I heard that … I saw that, I think that’s wrong." Of course, the Buckeyes need to beat the Badgers first.
  • Meyer on whether Ohio State would burn freshman quarterback Stephen Collier’s redshirt if Cardale Jones was to get injured: "We're in the middle of that conversation."
  • Meyer on why Ohio State’s jumped out to leads before trailing off in its last two games against Indiana and Michigan: “I think we’re quick starters … I don't think we take advantage of situations where we can put teams away."
  • Meyer on how the Buckeyes have been able to have success quarterbacks like J.T. Barrett and Kenny Guiton last season: “I think our offensive system is pretty much quarterback friendly.”
  • He added it’s a cultural thing, too: “There’s no question … it’s next man up … this is a tough-ass game.
  • Meyer on missing player Kosta Karageorge: "There's been no update." Karageorge has been missing since early Wednesday morning.
  • Meyer said Ohio State’s defense, which has struggled to stop the run in recent weeks: “I think pass defense is much better … but we have given up too many hits.” With Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon coming up, Meyer added: “We’re going to have to devote some more personnel to stopping the run … we’ve played him before, I’m not looking forward to watching that video.”
  • Meyer on Jones’ size advantage: “He’s big … there’s very good pocket presence by him … he’s got it all athletically. He’s got a cannon for an arm.” Jones is 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds.
  • Meyer said he’s seen zero of Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon. “Just the highlights.” Which, of course, terrifies him.
  • Meyer on talented H-back and former All-State high school quarterback Jalin Marshall: “Anytime you’re limited, you always have to have a plan C.” Marshall is Plan C.
  • Meyer on Ed Warinner, who’s molded yet another stout Ohio State offensive line. “He’s really done a wonderful job since he’s been here.”
  • This is the second time Ohio State has lost a star quarterback: “The difference is Cardale’s going to walk into an experienced huddle.” Barrett walked into a roster full of young and inexperienced players. That’s no longer the case 12 games into the season.
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