Ohio State Football: J.T. Barrett is Urban Meyer’s QB… for now


J.T. Barrett is definitely the starter, but for how long?

Potential recruits, former Ohio State players and many fans have called for Urban Meyer to replace J.T. Barrett at quarterback. However, the Buckeye head coach is steadfast in his support of his senior quarterback. But just how much longer will J.T. Barrett be the guy behind center for Ohio State before someone else steps in?

There are three scenarios where I could see a change in the quarterback situation, and sooner rather than later. The first is the worst-case scenario but may be the most probable.

J.T. Barrett could get injured carrying the football. He has rushed for 31 times in the first two games, far too many for a quarterback who is also expected to be an effective passer.

There is always the potential for a major injury any time a player steps on the field. But often it’s the cumulative effect of many hits a player receives that affects his performance, or just one hit in a certain place.

While Barrett has proven himself to be durable, 15 carries a game seems a bit much. A running back may take a hard hit on his right side and still be able to carry the football, and J.T. may be able to do so as well, but he may not be able to throw it.

The next case is if the Buckeye offense continues to play poorly like it did against Oklahoma during the next three games. Ohio State should still handle Army, UNLV and Rutgers regardless if the offense is clicking on all cylinders or not, but then the meat of the Big Ten schedule begins.

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With the College Football Playoff at stake, wouldn’t Urban Meyer have to make a change? And possibly in the home game versus Maryland.

Not that J.T. Barrett would be benched necessarily, just that either Joe Burrow, if healthy, or Dwayne Haskins would see playing time when the game was on the line to see how they perform.

That would seem to be the logical game to see what the backups can do because the next four games will be difficult ones to say the least. The Buckeyes will travel to Nebraska, host Penn State, go back on the road to Iowa and then Michigan State comes to town. None of those games are ones you want to throw a young quarterback into unless he has playing time under his belt.

Last case scenario, Ohio State loses a game during this stretch. That would probably doom any chances of the Buckeyes making the playoff and coach Meyer would almost certainly make a change at QB to prepare for the 2018 season.

Next: Interview with Ben Axelrod: Is Meyer the Greatest?

Urban Meyer has shown tremendous loyalty to J.T. Barrett to this point, and rightfully so in my opinion. But it’s hard to say just how long the senior quarterback remains behind center for Ohio State.