Buckeyes to start J.T. Barrett after QB serves one-game ban

ByAustin Ward ESPN logo
Monday, November 9, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio Statequarterback J.T. Barrett will return to his starting role after serving a one-game suspension following his arrest on charges of operating a motor vehicle under the influence, coach Urban Meyer said Monday.

Despite improving his record as a starter to 11-0 in the Buckeyes' 28-14 victory over Minnesota on Saturday, Cardale Jones will again head to the bench for the No. 3 Buckeyes when they visit Illinois on Saturday.

Barrett's legal situation has not yet been resolved as the redshirt sophomore is scheduled for arraignment Tuesday on his misdemeanor charges of OVI and backing without safety.

Barrett's financial aid will also be forfeited for the 2016 summer term, but after serving his one-game ban, he is free to resume the first-team role he reclaimed from Jones last month.

"If J.T. has a good week of practice, he'll get the start," Meyer said. "It's never an easy call because one guy just had his 11th [consecutive] win, 250 all-purpose yards, made some good plays for us and is invested in our program.

"It's never easy. I think it's the right thing at this time."

Meyer made the same decision two games ago, installing Barrett as the starter after it became apparent his dual-threat ability was sparking the Buckeyes' offense. Despite his limited playing time, Barrett has already accounted for 14 touchdowns this season -- four more than Jones.

Jones had started the first seven games this season before Ohio State made the switch prior to Barrett's suspension. Even while suspended, Barrett still found a way to make an impact, joining the Buckeyes in the locker room at halftime to deliver a motivational pep talk.

"He wanted to be on the field with us, obviously," left tackle Taylor Decker said of the speech. "I just think that was kind of cool.

"Even though he was out for that game, suspended for that game for a mistake that he made, people are still going to listen to him as a leader. I think that says a lot about him."

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