Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett is in the news for the wrong reason. Just hours after being arrested, Ohio State suspended their starting play-caller. He is set to serve his ban on November 7, when the Buckeyes play the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Earlier today, ESPN reported the suspension, which came after the arrest. Barrett was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated. He was stopped while trying to avoid a DUI checkpoint near the university campus. After getting caught, J.T. Barrett was asked to take a breathalyzer test. He would go on to fail the breathalyzer and that is when he was arrested.
The website ElevenWarriors.com initially reported the arrest. The charge of driving while intoxicated is a misdemeanor in Columbus, Ohio.
J.T. Barrett, 20, was released into the custody of his Ohio State teammate, Cardale Jones.
Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith released a statement via ElevenWarriors.com.
“Ohio State University student-athlete J.T. Barrett was cited by Columbus police Saturday morning at a campus area check point with a misdemeanor offense of OVI. Barrett has been suspended by head coach Urban Meyer from playing in Ohio State’s game against Minnesota on Nov. 7.”
Ohio State is on a bye week this week. The practices that will take place next week will be different than they were all season.
Ohio State has suspended J.T. Barrett for next Saturday's game against Minnesota for OVI charge. https://t.co/iHbptpwZUm
— Eleven Warriors (@11W) October 31, 2015
J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones share quarterbacking duties for Ohio State. They have done so all year for Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes.
Jones would start the games in the beginning of the season, Barrett would then sub in and take some snaps at quarterback. They would then alternate during games. Less than two weeks ago, the roles were reversed as Meyer named Barrett the starter versus Rutgers.
Barrett rewarded Meyer with five total touchdowns, three passing TDs and two from the ground. He threw for 223 yards, only missing four of his 18 pass attempts. The Buckeyes defeated Rutgers in blowout fashion, 49-7.
Against Rutgers, J.T. Barrett showed pocket awareness. With the threat of picking up yards by running the football always available, the Ohio State Buckeyes gained over 500 yards.
In Urban Meyer’s offensive scheme, there is a preference for a quarterback who can run with the football. J.T. Barrett fits that criteria. His 329 rushing yards are second on the team. Barrett has just as many rushing touchdowns (seven) as passing scores. His dual-threat capabilities are finely suited to the expectations of an Ohio State signal caller.
J.T. Barrett’s suspension comes at an inopportune time. Consistency is needed for a run to repeat as college football champions. His arrest will undoubtedly set Ohio State back at bit.
Barrett will sit out the Minnesota game. The Buckeyes’ game with the Illinois Fighting Illini is the following week. Then comes showdowns with Michigan State and Michigan in consecutive weeks, which will end the season. It is uncertain whether or not he will play against the Illini, but he will be available for the final two games. Will the damage have been done by then?
The only bright side for Ohio State is the fact that Cardale Jones has taken the majority of the quarterback snaps this season.
After losing his starting job to J.T. Barrett, Jones pitched in to throw three passes in the game. He will now have a chance to win his job back with a strong showing against Minnesota. What also works in the favor of Jones and Ohio State is that he has not lost a game while calling the plays.
Jones will have to be careful with the football. He has five interceptions, versus seven touchdowns. A turnover-free evening would go a long way in deciding what to do with J.T. Barrett.
While Barrett did nothing heinous, his bad judgment puts him and Ohio State in a slight pickle. He will return and pick up where he left off. As long as the Ohio State train keeps rolling forward, there is no harm, no foul. It could have been worse. Thankfully, for J.T. Barrett it was not.
[Photo by Andrew Weber/Getty Images Sport]