Joe Burrow Cleared, Decision on Backup Looms

Kevin Wilson Joe Burrow Ohio State Football Buckeyes

Leaving spring camp, Urban Meyer said the backup quarterback race between Joe Burrow and Dwayne Haskins was too close to call.

In the next couple of days, however, that call is finally going to have to be made.

Meyer was let off the hook when Burrow broke his hand in fall camp, which allowed Haskins to proceed as J.T. Barrett’s backup.

Burrow actually threw the ball in pregame warmups against Oklahoma. Meyer said at the time that Burrow was “on call”, though nobody wanted to consider the kind of situation that would force them to turn to a quarterback that may not have been ready to return.

Those days are over, however, because Burrow is back.

“Joe has been cleared and he’s practicing,” Meyer said on Tuesday. “He started practicing last week, but we weren’t comfortable with him.”

That comfort has apparently now returned, which means a decision has to be made this week about the backup spot.

The Buckeyes are favored by 40 points, so the backup quarterback is almost certainly going to get into the game.

First, however, Ohio State actually has to know who their backup quarterback is.

“We’ll make that decision as this week progresses,” Meyer said. “It’s still very close and I think both quarterbacks can give us an opportunity to move the ball.”

Burrow has not played this season, while Haskins received his first collegiate action last week against Army. He completed all four of his pass attempts, throwing for 46 yards on the day. Meyer wouldn’t have minded seeing more, but they didn’t want to do anything to embarrass Army.

“I thought he played very well,” Meyer said on Monday. “I wanted to let him keep going but that was my call — I don’t want to score at the end there in that game. Joe was about ready to come back. So we’ve got to make some decisions who is the first one in there.”

According to Meyer, game action — even in the fourth quarter of a blowout — is much more important than practice reps. And with more game action assumed to be coming this week, they can’t go into Saturday’s contest against UNLV without knowing who their No. 2 quarterback is.

“Last year was very important to get Joe in the game and he did pretty well when he was in there as well,” he said. “So, that is so important for backup quarterback spot.”

6 Responses

  1. Does anyone REALLY think Burrow has a chance?

  2. I believe that had there been a true open QB competition, Joe would already be the starter. Heck, he should be the starter going forward simply because we need to 1) Convince the voters going forward that this team is much different offensively than the team that that couldn’t score points against MSU, UM, Clemson, and OU and 2) Set the table for what should be an unbeaten 2018-2019 campaign. As it stands, I say go with Joe as the #2, and hope we can convince both (Joe and Dwayne) to return next year.

  3. I love Dwayne Haskins passing ability. The problem is that he’s not the slick runner required to fit Meyers system the way it’s currently designed. They would have to completely retool the offense to best take advantage of his skill set. Joe Burrow on the other hand has terrific passing skills but has shown that he fits this offense better without having to jump through hoops to adapt a different style.

    We saw a couple years ago what can happen when Meyer tries to force his offense onto a pro style quarterback. The Buckeyes went unbeaten behind Cardale Jones but, the offense was never able to find a balance. That was Meyers fault, not Jones’. Joe Burrow is the best fit for what this current system design calls for. After this season Meyer is GOING to be faced with a choice. Retool for a more pass pro offense to best take advantage of Dwayne’s skill set, or keep it the same and go with Joe of Tate.

    Joe Burrow, and it’s just my opinion based on what the eye see’s, is the best fit and most game ready as a back up for this offense.

    After this season, cool, let the competition begin. In my mind this year is a no brainer.

    1. No disrespect to Haskins but I wonder if he can hold off Tater. Kid’s a gamer and impressing his teammates with no pressure/expectations. I’d prefer to see Burrow get the job done based on my preference for Ohio kids, but ya know? Whoever gives ’em the best chance of winning.

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