COLUMBUS – If you’re waiting for breaking news about the status of Ohio State’s quarterbacks, the wait will have to last at least until sometime today, possibly when Urban Meyer goes on the Big Ten football coaches teleconference.
On Monday at his weekly press conference, the OSU coach said he knows how he will use Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett this week but that he wanted to talk with both players first before revealing that plan.
“Nothing’s going to be announced right now. We had a night game, obviously. I met with the recruits all day yesterday. I have not had a chance to sit down with the quarterbacks formally and review everything,” Meyer said. “So I’ll address that at a later date.”
Jones has been starter in the last 10 games for No. 1 Ohio State (7-0, 3-0 Big Ten), which goes to Rutgers (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten) for an 8 p.m. game on Saturday.
But Barrett, who started the first 12 games last season and was first-team All-Big Ten, has had a bigger role each of the last two games.
Two weeks ago in a 49-28 win over Maryland, he came into the game as a “red zone” specialist whenever OSU got inside the Terrapins’ 20-yard line. Last Saturday night in a 38-10 win over Penn State, he played almost all of the second half in addition to his red zone appearances.
In the last two games, Ohio State has scored all 12 times it has been in the red zone and 11 of those scores have been touchdowns.
Ohio State’s offense has appeared to be closer to what was expected of it this season with Barrett in the game, but Meyer gave no indication if he was leaning in a new direction or if Jones would continue to be the starter.
“I have an idea, but I want to make sure I visit with everybody and make sure we’re doing the right thing,” Meyer said.
“If there’s a change, it’s always delicate. That one is probably more because of the obvious. Someone made a comment, do you really care who plays quarterback the other day. Absolutely, we care. We care who plays guard. It’s not just Number 16 (Barrett) and Number 12 (Jones). Those are people, and those are people we care about deeply.
“We’re not ashamed to say that. This is not a business here. We’re going to do what’s right for the team first, but does the individual and all that matter within the confines of this building? More than anybody will ever know. And we’re extremely proud of that,” he said.
Barrett rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns and passed for two more against Penn State. He entered the game for the first time on the first play of the second quarter and scored OSU’s first touchdown of the game three plays later.
Jones completed 9 of 15 passes for 84 yards and had -16 yards rushing on four carries one week after throwing for 291 yards and a touchdown.
SURGERY FOR SCHUTT: Senior defensive lineman Tommy Schutt will have surgery for a broken bone in his wrist but is expected to return later this season.
“He should be back in a couple of weeks. He’s out for this game. We hope to get him back. He had a sack and a tackle for a loss (against Penn State). This was all with a broken bone in his wrist,” Meyer said.
Schutt, a 5-star recruit coming out of high school, was somewhat of an underachiever at Ohio State before becoming a starter this season as a senior. He has 20 tackles, four tackles for losses and 1.5 sacks.
Joel Hale and Michael Hill will replace Schutt and Joey Bosa also could move over from defensive end on a few plays in pass rush situations.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Offensive tackle Taylor Decker and Barrett were named Players of the Week on offense against Penn State and Joey Bosa was the Player of the Week on defense.
Punter Cameron Johnston got top honors on the special teams.
DISCIPLINARY ACTION: Freshman quarterback/wide receiver Torrance Gibson was not in uniform for the Penn State game because of an academic issue.
“You just have to earn your right to dress, and he didn’t do it last week. I’m anticipating he’ll be back shortly. Just academics and that kind of stuff. Nothing serious,” Meyer said.
RUTGERS COACH ON OSU: Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said Ohio State’s talent level “absolutely jumps out” during a press conference on Monday.
“The other thing that jumps out, you look at their starting offensive line, and four of their five starters up front on offense have over 20 career starts. So they have got a very experienced group up front on offense, and that always helps you perform well,” he said.
Flood also said he expects both Ohio State quarterbacks to play on Saturday night.
“I think it’s become very evident you’d better prepare for both of them. 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,” he said.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414 or on Twitter at @Lima_Naveau.
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