Despite a shaky start so far in 2015, redshirt junior quarterback Cardale Jones will remain Ohio State’s starter when the Buckeyes take the field Saturday to face off against Western Michigan, OSU coach Urban Meyer announced Wednesday after practice.
Jones has started all three of OSU’s games so far, but he has yet to look like the same player that guided the Buckeyes to a national title last season after then-redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett got hurt against Michigan on Nov. 29.
The Cleveland native has twice been benched in favor of Barrett, including last weekend against Northern Illinois after Jones led OSU to just three points in five possessions while throwing two first-quarter interceptions.
Even though Barrett came in and helped lead the Buckeyes to a 20-13 victory, Meyer said he has yet to do enough to swipe the starting spot from Jones.
“(Jones) was the quarterback of the team when we finished the season, he was the quarterback during spring practice and he finished training camp as the starting quarterback,” Meyer said. “To replace him, the other guy’s gotta pass him up. Either (on the practice field) or in the games. That hasn’t happened.”
Meyer admitted that the battle between the two is close. However, the coach stressed that all the blame for the quarterbacks’ poor play can’t be placed on them.
“Quarterbacks are a product of those around them. We all have to do a better job,” Meyer said. “It’s not (Jones). The offense right now is in a funk.”
Redshirt junior wide receiver Michael Thomas said the offense will be fine moving forward, adding he has faith in whoever starts.
“I trust J.T. out there or Cardale,” Thomas said.
Jones and the Buckeyes are set to be back in action against Western Michigan on Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
As for beyond the upcoming game, Meyer said Jones would be “the guy.”
“Unless he doesn’t perform well,” he added.