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Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett were a 2-headed killing machine vs. Maryland

The two quarterback system was in full effect against the Terps. Let's take a closer look at their performances.

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Urban Meyer told everyone on Thursday that there would be a change in the red zone, and he was not lying. Not only did he bring J.T. Barrett in as the red area specialist, but it worked... And it worked extremely well.

Barrett accounted for 91 total yards of offense and three rushing touchdowns, while the offense scored touchdowns on all six of their red zone possessions, a far cry from the last four games. They executed in the red zone by running Meyer's staple offensive philosophy: A downhill, power run game between the tackles.

Jones was extremely efficient passing the ball between the 20's, while the offense stayed in rhythm and kept a good tempo throughout the afternoon. The negatives that plagued this offense the past few weeks went away. They committed only six penalties for 45 yards, turned the ball over zero times, established the run game early which opened up play-action, and they executed in the red zone.

Get used to the dual quarterback system. It is here to stay.

Cardale Jones

Designed runs Dropbacks Completions Incompletions TD pass Scrambles Overthrow Underthrow Throwaway
4 25 18 6 2 0 1 0 3
Pressured Sacked Hit during throw Pass break-up Batted at LOS Drops Intercepted TD run Defensive PI
4 1 3 1 1 0 0 0 0

*Tap passes do not count as attempts

  • The Glenville product had a very efficient ball game. Not counting throwaways, he went 18-of-21 passing and had another one batted at the line of scrimmage. We can see that he is actually a very accurate and talented passer once he gets into a rhythm. The play calling was excellent and it kept Maryland on their heels throughout the afternoon. This game was played with the most tempo and energy since Week 1.
  • Jones had a scary moment in the second quarter when a defender fell into his ankle area. Luckily he walked it off but those are typically bad news.
  • Jones had to be kicking himself after missing (but getting bailed out by) Miller on that ball up the seam. Miller did not have a defender within 15 yards of him and Jones almost threw it over his head on what should have been an easy six.
  • I do like how Jones basically shooed away the substitution in the red zone, got the offense to the line of scrimmage and quickly made up for his overthrow with a touchdown to Miller. Have to love how he felt confident and bounced back on the next play to throw a touchdown pass.
  • Is it a coincidence that the offense is starting to roll again with the play-action game back? Nope.
  • "12 Gauge" showed off his arm strength on a five-yard bullet on a hitch to Thomas, outside the numbers.
  • This is not on Jones because he was not in the game, but the offensive line got called for another big time hold before halftime. Miller got the ball down to the 20-yard line with 2:27 left in the first half but a holding penalty pushed them out of field goal range. A 28-7 halftime lead would have put the Terrapins away, instead they went into the half only up seven.
  • I would love to have the all-22 for Jones' touchdown pass to Marshall. I want to see if he pump faked the safety over to the numbers, leaving the middle of the field open for Marshall. He was wide-open but he put nice touch on the football.
  • Jones only played one play past the seven minute mark of the 4th quarter, in a two-possession game, which is kind of interesting. Maybe they are not only using Barrett as a red zone quarterback, but also as a closer. Barrett makes sound decisions and will limit turnovers. It also opens up the running playbook with more zone reads and designed quarterback runs to bleed the clock.

J.T. Barrett

Designed runs Dropbacks Completions Incompletions TD pass Scrambles Overthrow Underthrow Throwaway
10 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 0
Pressured Sacked Hit during throw Pass break-up Batted at LOS Drops Intercepted TD run Defensive PI
1 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 1
*Tap passes do not count as attempts
  • Barrett is excellent in short yardage/ goalline designed quarterback runs, but I am not sure why they started him out with two straight designed runs. Let him run the normal offense around the 20-yard line.
  • Barrett showed excellent poise in the pocket on his third down strike to Michael Thomas. He stood in the pocket, took a shot and actually released the ball before Thomas got to the spot. Excellent play by the captain.
  • The second red zone drive of the game had three straight plays with three different quarterbacks; Jones on a pass play to Miller, Miller in the Wildcat, then Barrett handing off to Elliott.
  • Barrett's second touchdown run of the day came on a designed quarterback draw out of an empty back set. This was bread-and-butter last year in short yardage.

Running backs/ H-backs

  • Elliott finished the game with 21 carries, which is a good balance. Out of those 21 carries, he only lost yardage once. Keep feeding him in short yardage situations, as he is averaging eight yards per carry on third down.
  • Elliott showed off his underrated hands here, too:
  • Braxton Miller had his best game since opening versus Virginia Tech. He has thrown his body around as a blocker on the perimeter and made some plays in the passing game. I thought his usage in this game was excellent. I do want to see him used in the screen game though, either a bubble screen in the slot or out of the backfield as a running back. If he gets the ball on a bubble screen, there aren't too many cornerbacks in the Big Ten that can tackle him one-on-one. I also liked how he was used in the Wildcat; it was after a stoppage in play and not in hurry up, where defenses have sniffed out that wrinkle.
  • Here's Miller's nice block to spring Marshall:
  • Here's Miller's full extension catch on Jones' overthrown ball:

Wide receivers

  • Jalin Marshall needed to make his break at the sticks on the first third down for the offense. This has happened a few times this season and it comes down to awareness and concentration. Easy fix.
  • I mentioned this last week, but it is nice to see the wide receiver screens back in the offense. All of the wide receivers and H-backs can make plays in space. Get the ball to them quickly and let them make a play on the perimeter.
  • I would like to get Curtis Samuel more touches, either as a receiver or carries on jet sweeps. He was effectively held out last game, so that could have been a carry over.
  • Michael Thomas had a strong game, catching seven passes for his first 100-yard receiving game. He is getting better and better every single game and he is now a consistent weapon after the catch.

Tight ends

  • For the first time this season, both tight ends were graded out as champions.
  • The tight end is so valuable in the run game, especially on Barrett's touchdown run in the first quarter. Vannett came in motion to the flex position, then blocked the unblocked defensive end on the opposite side. Jeff Heuerman executed this block to perfection over-and-over again throughout his career, which led to numerous short yardage conversions.
  • Marcus Baugh played 38 out of the team's 77 total plays.