The long wait ended Monday night at Lane Stadium. Ohio State picked a starting quarterback — or at least let the world know its choice.
Cardale Jones took the first snap for the No. 1 Buckeyes in their season opener against Virginia Tech. Coach Urban Meyer stuck to his plan of not announcing a starter before the game.
Most experts leaned toward believing Barrett would start. Those predictions were based on subtle hints Meyer dropped in press conferences and footage from the Big Ten Network’s behind-the-scenes series focusing on the team. In the end, it was all speculation. No one knew.
Jones got the offense off to a strong start, completing 6 of 9 passes for 95 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter as Ohio State built a 14-0 lead. On Ohio State’s first drive, Jones threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Curtis Samuel.
Barrett beat Jones out for the job in August 2014 when Braxton Miller suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. Barrett started the first 12 games last season, including the 35-21 loss to the Hokies at Ohio Stadium.
When Barrett broke his foot in the regular-season finale against Michigan, Jones took over at quarterback and led Ohio State to victories over Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon in his first three career starts.
During training camp in August, Meyer said one quarterback had moved ahead of the other until a scrimmage, at which point he saw it as a neck-and-neck competition. He continued to say they were close into the final week of practice and didn’t plan to tell the quarterbacks who would start until Saturday, two days before the first game.
Meyer expects Jones and Barrett to both play this season. Whatever happened Monday, both could see action in upcoming home games against Hawaii, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan.