J.K. Dobbins rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown in his induction to “The Game.” Mike Webber carried 12 times for 57 yards and a game-sealing touchdown with 1:44 remaining left in his return to his home state. The Silver Bullets held T.T.U.N to 295 yards (195 passing, 100 rushing), got 5 sacks and forced 1 interception that led to a touchdown.
But I’m not here to give you post-game analysis. I’m here to give credit to the guy who put them in position. Joe Thomas Barrett IV, or as I call him, Just Touchdowns Barrett.
When the Buckeyes were down 14 points, looking lifeless like at Iowa, the fifth-year senior put the team on his back on an eleven play 75-yard drive that ended with his 21-yard touchdown run. He followed that by leading them on a three play 53-yard drive finished off with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Baugh to tie the score and settle them down late in the second quarter.
Unfortunately, Saturday was a microcosm of Barrett’s career. J.T. left the game with a knee injury and Dwayne Haskins entered the game in relief and the Buckeyes went on to dominate the game the rest of the way. Kind of like the end of the 2014 season that ended with a B1G title and College Football National Championship, each played without him.
J.T. will never get the credit he deserves and too much blame in the losses. In most people’s mind it was Cardale Jones who won the 2014 National Championship. Never mind Ezekiel Elliott ran like a grown man playing against elementary school kids versus Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon. Or the defense shutting down Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota. When the Iowa Hawkeyes dropped kicked the Buckeyes 55-24 on November 4th, it was J.T.’s four interceptions everyone pointed to, even though at the same time the defense was carved up like it had never played the game before giving up 487 total yards (244 passing, 243 rushing).
While most are eager to start the Haskins era, J.T. I just want to say thank you. Thank you for putting this team on your back down 14 in the “Big House” to give the redshirt freshman a chance to get the win. Thank you for bouncing back from the ugly 2014 loss to Virginia Tech and putting the Scarlet and Gray in position to make a run at the National Championship before getting hurt in “The Game.” Thank you for being so consistent for four seasons, that when you don’t play like yourself (Iowa) we are in total shock. Thank you for completing sixteen consecutive passes and four touchdown passes against Penn State to complete the 18-point comeback. Thank you for 36 wins and counting. Thank you for the most passing touchdowns in B1G history. Most importantly, thank you for being the first QB in the rivalry to win four games over our hated rivals.
Haskins is going to be good. He showed on the biggest stage that he is who all in Buckeye Nation hopes he will be. He completed six of his seven passes for 94 yards, and all those passes were at key moments. But we can’t let his era begin without acknowledging the one he’s following.
If Barrett is healthy and able to play in the B1G championship game against Wisconsin and win, he’ll become the all-time wins leader in Ohio State history. He already has every important passing record. He’s already earned his degree. He’s everything WE Buckeyes fans should want from our signal caller. I know there’s more football to play, but from one OSU Alum to another, J.T. Barrett, I wholeheartedly say thank you for being a Buckeye.
And no I didn’t have this saved in drafts.