Two-QB system can make Ohio State unstoppable

Rotating J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones under center gives Ohio State a dangerous offensive edge.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/LM Otero)

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

Two-QB system can make Ohio State unstoppable

With the news that Ohio State plans to run a two-quarterback system in 2015, it’s a good time to see what each player brings to the table. Should they be going with one over the other, or does this decision make the most sense for the Buckeyes?

It took an injury to Braxton Miller last summer for either to get their shot in 2014, and both quarterbacks stepped up and played key roles for the team. J.T. Barrett lead the Buckeyes to the Big Ten championship game, while Jones was a star in that game and the subsequent postseason victories that saw them win the inaugural College Football Playoff.

What’s interesting is that in many two-quarterback systems, both quarterbacks offer something different. Jones and Barrett are very similar quarterbacks, however, with both extremely dangerous when running the ball. Rotating the two may actually be more about keeping their legs fresh for an entire season.

As passers, both quarterbacks had accuracy percentages above 70 percent, with Barrett gaining a slight edge at 73 percent to Jones’ 71.4. Jones definitely had the edge as a deep passer though, out-performing Barrett considerably.

Name Attempts Completions TD INT Accuracy percentage
Cardale Jones 24 13 6 0 54.2
J.T. Barrett 52 18 9 4 40.4

Where the quarterbacks’ rushing yards come from is the only area showing a slight difference. 197 of Jones’ 367 yards on the ground came on quarterback scrambles, while just 324 of Barrett’s 1100 yards on the ground came from designed passing plays. Most of Barrett’s yards actually came on runs inside the tackles too, with 536 compared to 249 outside the tackles on his designed runs.

One thing that can’t be denied is that both are electrifying with the ball in their hands. Combining to force 60 missed tackles on the ground, they have proven themselves to be a nightmare for opposing defenses to contain.

Given their ability to make big plays happen — both with their legs and their arms — it’s no surprise that head coach Ubran Meyer wants to use both. While it will mean neither get the full season as the team’s starting quarterback, having two players as talented as Barrett and Jones will establish Ohio State as a serious offensive threat.


| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

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