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Cardale Jones Starts at QB for Ohio State vs. Virginia Tech over J.T. Barrett

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist

COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 18:  Quarterbacks J.T. Barrett #16 of the Ohio State Buckeyes and Braxton Miller #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes watch alongside Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes as Cardale Jones #12 of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs the offense for the Ohio State Buckeyes Gray team against the Scarlet team at Ohio Stadium on April 18, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer waited until the last possible moment to unveil the Buckeyes' starting quarterback for the 2015 season.

It ended up being Cardale Jones, who took the field over J.T. Barrett when the Buckeyes offense began its first drive, as SportsCenter noted. Barrett would wind up playing in the fourth quarter once the Buckeyes' 42-24 win was no longer in doubt. 

No clear leader emerged leading all the way up to tonight, as Meyer impressively kept his choice under wraps. 

Brandon Castel of The-OZone.net shared an image of the depth chart on Sept. 2 showing Barrett and Jones both listed at the quarterback position:

Brandon Castel @BCastOhio

#Buckeyes released their official depth chart for the season opener against Virginia Tech. http://t.co/DGS0Cr46tc

Bill Rabinowitz of the Columbus Dispatch passed along comments from Urban Meyer on Aug 31, who said "there's a chance" both Barrett and Jones will feature in the team's season opener against Virginia Tech.

The situation could have been even more complicated if Braxton Miller didn't opt for a position change to wide receiver. It's still a difficult decision to make, though.

Here's how the remaining options performed during the title-winning 2014 campaign:

J.T. Barrett vs. Cardale Jones: 2014 Stats
QBCompletion %Yds/AttTD-INT RatioPasser RatingYds/Carry
Barrett64.69.03.4 to 1169.85.5
Jones60.99.33.5 to 1160.24.1
Sports-Reference.com

The thing that's impressed Meyer most is how the quarterbacks, who are locked in such an intense, important battle, continue to treat each other well, per Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports on Aug. 16.

"People say those things and sometimes it's not genuine," Meyer said. "This one is very genuine. … They encourage each other, they push each other. It's unique. … It's one of the most refreshing competitions I've ever witnessed."

Having two reliable quarterbacks is obviously a much better situation than being caught without anybody you can count on. That said, it does have the potential to create headaches because the urge to make a quick hook if one is struggling is always there.

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