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How Zach Smith cost Ohio State on the football field: Doug Lesmerises 3rd & Short



On October 31, 2015, Ohio State Starting Quarterback J.T. Barrett was arrested for drunk driving during the week's return to Ohio State, and Urban Meyer was alerted hours later. After Barrett had recaptured his job only the week before, he was banned by Meyer for a game. Cardale Jones was back for quarterback for Ohio State's next game against Minnesota.

The result? A sloppy offensive performance against an inferior opponent, the Buckeyes were happy they did not play a tougher enemy by taking a 28-14 win while Jones went 12 of 22 for 187 yards.

The Golden Gophers were below average and 2-6 in the Big Ten this year. But Barrett reduced Ohio State's odds, if only marginally.

The Zach-Smith-Urban-Meyer ordeal had little to do with football. Here's a reminder that while it's not the primary focus of what's happened, a footballing effect for Zach Smith coaching in Ohio State has been the last six years.

And it was not good.

Meyer, speaking two days after Barrett's arrest, said a one-game DUI suspension was his typical move, and he also partially revoked Barrett's scholarship for next summer. Meyer described the moves as "punitive damages" for the mistake. He also opposed any association with the over 30 arrests of players during his six years in Florida, which are always part of the discussion, if someone does something wrong under Meyer.

"One thing I look back on (is) if I gave people too many second chances," Meyer said, "and my assessment of that would be, I probably would continue to do so because the decisions are not public […] We have tried to do the right thing, and here, I just do not see it, knock on wood, there were not many (problems ) at Ohio State.

Meyer then referred to sports director Gene Smith, who was in the room for the press conference.

"We're acting fast, Gene was a tremendous help to me as," What are you thinking, Gene? "And it's a very clear conversation and let's do the right thing," Meyer said.

"If it's a core problem, it's really a difficult situation, if it's a terrible mistake or a mistake, then you try to discipline it so that that mistake will not be made again."


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