Heading into the Big Ten Championship Game this Saturday, questions loom about the health of Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett following his knee injury last week against Michigan.
The injury is a recurring one and it was re-aggravated twice on Saturday. Once during warm ups when a cameraman ran into Barrett and then again during the third quarter of the game.
Redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins stepped in and led the Buckeyes on two scoring drives in a comeback 31-20 victory. Haskins finished the game six of seven for 94 yards passing and 24 yards rushing on three carries.
When asked about Barrett during his weekly press conference, head coach Urban Meyer said Barrett is “probable” for Saturday’s game against Wisconsin but added that Haskins will split first team reps in practice just in case Barrett isn’t 100%. Barrett didn’t practice on Sunday and the team was off on Monday.
Which leads to the question: should the Buckeyes stay with Barrett or roll with Haskins?
Obviously if Barrett is 100% and the injury won’t be re-aggravated or worsen by playing, you have to role with him.
He’s been the leader of the Buckeyes the last four seasons with 142 total touchdowns, the only quarterback to go 4-0 against Michigan and is the biggest reason why Ohio State is in the Big Ten Championship due to his heroics against Penn State.
Dwayne Haskins is giving Buckeye fans flashbacks of Cardale Jones and what he did three years ago when he replaced J.T. Barrett and led the team to the national championship.
Haskins has seen limited action all season but has drawn some attention with his arm strength and is making folks wonder if he can do what Jones did if he replaced Barrett.
I personally think that Haskins does have the talent to be a big time quarterback in college football but with his limited experience and with the big stage that potentially lies ahead, some people aren’t ready for the moment. Jones clearly was but I’m not so sure lightning can strike twice for the Buckeyes.
The one positive to playing Haskins over Barrett would be J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber will be utilized more.
Much like Ezekiel Elliott in 2015, Dobbins and Weber will get more carries to help Haskins more comfortable and they both have been dominant when they each get 10+ carries in a game this season.
We won’t hear from Urban Meyer until Friday when the team arrives in Indianapolis so hopefully by then we’ll have a clearer picture on the quarterback situation for this conference championship game.