Urban Meyer won't make QB declaration yet

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Monday, October 19, 2015

If Ohio State coach Urban Meyer has decided to make a switch at quarterback, no one knows it yet.

Meyer said he wants to sit down with J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones before making any announcement about who will be taking snaps for the No. 1 Buckeyes against Rutgers on Saturday.

"I've not had a chance to sit down with the quarterbacks formally and review everything, and that will happen today, I imagine," Meyer said Monday in a news conference. "I do media stuff every day, so tomorrow I'll [address it]. I'm not keeping anything from anybody."

After two productive weeks coming off the bench in the red zone and then seeing his role expand, essentially taking over the offense on a full-time basis, Barrett appeared to be on the verge of reclaiming his starting job from Jones after seven weeks as the backup.

"He certainly had his opportunity [to win the job] earlier in the year and did not do it during training camp," Meyer said of Barrett. "But anybody who watched the games the last two weeks when he gets in -- I think we're doing a good job calling things that he's good at -- but I see the same thing that you see."

A switch to Barrett would occur because of his ability to run, his skill at operating a tempo offense at a faster pace than Jones and his ability to play without tentativeness, ESPN's Joe Schad reports.

Barrett has been coming on strong the past two weeks since Meyer began inserting him when the Buckeyes (7-0, 3-0 Big Ten) near the opponent's goal line.

In its first five games, Ohio State scored six touchdowns and had six field goals in 16 tries in the red zone.

In the past two games, the Buckeyes are 12-for-12 with 11 touchdowns and a field goal, with Barrett completing all but one drive when Jones threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Braxton Miller against Maryland.

Meyer expanded Barrett's role in Saturday's 38-10 win over Penn State by replacing Jones late in the third quarter and going with Barrett the rest of the way regardless of field position.

Barrett led Ohio State to two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. For the game he rushed 11 times for 102 yards and two touchdowns and was 4-for-4 passing for 30 yards and two touchdowns. Jones was 9-for-15 for 84 yards.

Barrett said after Saturday's win that he is ready to contribute no matter what his role is.

"Ultimately it's Coach Meyer's call, but at the end of the day, I'm just trying to help the team win," Barrett said. "Whether that means going in for the red zone or if I'm the starting quarterback, at the end of the day, I don't think it really matters. When I'm in there, I'm just trying to do the best I can to help the team win."

Barrett was the starter in 2014 before breaking his ankle in the final regular-season game against Michigan.

Scarlet Knights coach Kyle Flood said the Buckeyes can't go wrong with either quarterback.

"I think it's become very evident you'd better prepare for both of them," he said. "They are certainly both excellent players with a little bit different skill sets. But when they come in the game, you'd better be ready to defend what they do."

Information from ESPN staff writer Austin Ward and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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