“3rd string QB @ The Ohio State University Oh wait, 2nd String,” was what Jones’ Twitter bio read following a less than impressive 20-13 win over Northern Illinois.
Jones, who was pulled in favor of sophomore J.T. Barrett in the second quarter against NIU, did not return to the Ohio Stadium playing field until starting the game against Western Michigan and redeemed himself in a big way.
On the Buckeyes third play from scrimmage, Jones saw a cornerback blitz and found junior Michael Thomas wide open up the Ohio State sideline for the first score of the game.
The fast start was key in the Buckeyes' 38-12 win over the Broncos according to Jones.
“It was huge for us. Just going back to what we are used to doing. Running our offense with tempo,” Jones said. “We got so many answers for so many things. It was great to score fast and keep that tempo up.”
The Cleveland native finished the day 19 of 33 for a career-high 288 yards and two touchdown passes and a late interception.
While his completion percentage was significantly better against Western Michigan, Jones missed on multiple deep shots downfield that could have resulted in an even bigger day for the Buckeye gunslinger, and he knows it.
"Oh my God yeah. Could have put up a couple more touchdowns and the simple fact is it's my fault for underthrowing the ball,” Jones said.
Jones not only admitted he made mistakes on the field but off of it as well, addressing his Twitter bio change.
"It was childish, and I shouldn't have did it. Flat out,” he said.
While Jones has made his mistakes, Thomas said he has faith in his teammate to fix the issues before the Buckeyes next game, especially when it comes to throwing the deep ball.
“He has to be able to trust us. Once we show him that we can do that, and he's seen it, he will put it out there,” Thomas said. “I trust him to get it corrected.”
For Thomas, his touchdown catch in the first quarter put him over 1,000 yards receiving for his career and gave him his 20th consecutive game with a catch.
Going off of head coach Urban Meyer’s mantra of "the quarterback is a product of those around him," Thomas said the wide receivers were challenged in the week leading up to the game to do more than just catch passes.
“Coach was saying we weren't -- it was basically on us. We have a great running back, great offensive line, and he was saying guys weren't blocking well on the perimeter,” Thomas said. “So my main goal going into the game was to make sure I did my job and got my work and blocked on the perimeter.”
The blocking on the outside seemed vastly improved, as the Buckeyes averaged 6.6 yards per carry, thanks in large part to the running of Ezekiel Elliott who surpassed the 100-yard mark for the ninth straight game, finishing with 124 yards and a score.
Meyer said even the coaches improved their approach to the game by including Tim Beck more in the offensive play-calling.
“I thought he did a very good job today,” Meyer said of the Ohio State quarterbacks coach. “The way that we've always run it is Ed, myself, run this. Script the series. Much better today. Much more organized. And you have to do (the jet tempo) from upstairs. So he did a nice job today.”
Offensive line coach and offensive coordinator Ed Warinner said he believes the Buckeyes still have a ways to go before they reach their maximum potential.
“I think and I hope it’s a long way from its ceiling,” Warinner said. “I think it’s heading in the right direction.”
While the Buckeyes committed two turnovers, and missed on multiple deep passes, Thomas said he is excited to see where the offense can go once it fixes the kinks.
"We had a lot of fun out there, throwing the ball around. We missed a couple of opportunities, but that's a good thing because I'm excited for next week and (the rest of) the season to come on,” Thomas said. “Once we get those corrected, we'll be unstoppable.”