Ohio State football | Two is Better than One


The old adage, “if you have two quarterbacks, you actually have none” may not be used much after this season. Urban Meyer is faced with the decision of starting the Freshman of the Year or the National Champion winning quarterback. It seems like there’s no wrong answer. You can’t go wrong with either of them being your quarterback. But unfortunately there’s no right answer either.

Both J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones would be starting quarterbacks on almost any other team in the country, but most teams aren’t the Buckeyes. The two outstanding quarterbacks know the situation they’re in and are embracing it. What may even be a little more shocking, they’re actually growing closer as friends. That usually doesn’t happen between two guys fighting over one spot.

Now that we’ve established that this isn’t a normal quarterback battle, the question is what do you do with both of them. With only a couple days left before the season opens up in Blacksburg, to me there seems to be only one option for the quarterback situation. Play them both.

There are numerous failed attempts in the past of team’s trying to play two quarterbacks in both the NFL and college. It simply doesn’t work under most circumstances. Each and every quarterback is different and require different game-plans. Generally speaking, it’s hard for a quarterback to get in sync with the rest of the offense just to have him watch from the sidelines next series. You can’t get in a rhythm when you’re holding a clipboard. It just doesn’t work that way.

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  • The other reasons this doesn’t normally work is the fact that quarterbacks are people. They have human emotions. Both players want to stay on the field and they know that any little mistake will get them pulled from the game. That often leads to quarterbacks playing scared and afraid to make mistakes. As we all know, scared quarterbacks are usually the ones that lose games.

    The only other option is to name a starter and stick with him throughout the season. With two highly-skilled quarterbacks on the roster though, it’s hard to stick with that idea. Teams with two quarterbacks usually don’t fair well either. Naming just one as the starter generally brings a divide to the coaching staff, players, fans, and even the media. In general it’s just not good for the team as a whole.

    Given the option of playing two quarterbacks or naming just one the starter, I believe the right call here is to play both. There’s really no need to name a starting quarterback. Starting the season with co-starting quarterbacks is a mistake 99% of the time, but here’s why it can work for the Buckeyes.

    As we’ve established this isn’t a normal quarterback battle. Both players have the ability to win a National Championship, but more importantly, both players have set their egos aside. Both players have to set their egos aside to run a two quarterback system.

    Jones and Barrett have shown that they can set their egos aside for the betterment of the team. They even been encouraging and helping each other out while being in a quarterback battle. That’s rare to see. What’s even crazier is how close of friends they’ve become through this situation. Tyvis Powell has even admitted they’re always hanging out at the apartment playing Madden. They have proven throughout camp how good of teammates they actually are.

    The other reason it’ll work out is because they both know how to run the offense very well. We both know the success that Barrett and Jones had with almost the same offense last season. Throw in the fact that both players have split the reps with the first team there’s no reason to believe that the offense would suffer from switching them multiple times a game. Just imagine how hard it would be for opposing teams  to prepare for both Barrett’s surgical precision and Cardale’s cannon for an arm. Opposing teams would have no choice but to put two opposing game plans to defend the two unique skill-sets.

    I also believe Urban Meyer would’ve named a starter by now if he was planning on using just one quarterback. He’s hinted at using two quarterbacks multiple times, but not many people are suspecting him to split the time evenly between them.

    Meyer has had this question to ponder the whole summer. There’s little that can happen the last few days that can change his mind. I think the reason he hasn’t announced it is because he’s planning on splitting the time between the two. Meyer isn’t a stranger to running a two quarterback system either. He won a championship at Florida with Chris Leak and Tim Tebow guiding his offense.

    Ohio State has the two perfect candidates to run a two quarterback system. I think they ought to give it a shot. No matter what happens, this will prove to be an existing season.

    Next: Scarlet and Gray Days: Episode 3 Key Takeaways