Tag Archives: J.T. Barrett

Buckeyes Over Badgers, By the Numbers

J.K. Dobbins breaks the Buckeyes freshman rushing record and wins B1G game MVP. Photo Credit: Ohiostatebuckeyes.com

 
The Ohio State Buckeyes are B1G champions after defeating the 4th ranked and 12-0, Wisconsin Badgers 27-21 in a slugfest in Indianapolis. Ohio State had a 14-point lead late in the second quarter and had to hold off Bucky Badger for the win. 

The Buckeyes have positioned themselves to get a bid from the College Football Playoff committee to be in the final four. It’s between them and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Will Ohio State beat the Tide again? Before that is settled, here’s a breakdown of the Scarlet and Gray’s win by the numbers.

3 – That’s how many times the Silver Bullets sacked Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook. 

4 – Ohio State plays that went for over 50+ yards. On the night, the Buckeyes registered the longest pass (84) and rush (74) the Badgers had given up all season. However, Barrett was 1-8 on passes 15+ yards. The one completion was the 84-yard touchdown to Terry McLaurin. 

5 – The amount of passes B1G Tight End of the Year Troy Fumagalli caught. He finished the game with 45 receiving yards and no touchdowns. The Buckeyes defense has struggled covering opposing tight ends all season. The Oklahoma and Iowa games come to mind. Coming into the game the Buckeyes were giving up 47% completions rate to RB/TE, the worst in the nation. 

18 — Points off 3 Ohio State turnovers (2 interceptions, fumble). The Badgers scored two touchdowns and a field goal off those Buckeye miscues. 

27 – Wisconsin had only allowed 12 points per game all season. The 27 points are the most the Badgers opponent had scored in a game all season. 

31 – The Wisconsin Badgers’ offense was 5 of 16 on third down (31%). Coming into the game they were 2nd in all of FBS on 3rd down conversions at 51%. 

36 – J.T. Barrett set a new school record for passing touchdowns in a season. The achievement breaks his own record he set back in his freshman season in 2014.

36 – Big Ten football titles for the Buckeyes. They are now six behind “That Team Up North” for the most in conference history. 

37 — With the win J.T. Barrett became the Buckeyes All-time wins leader passing Art Schlichter.

41 – The Silver Bullets defense held standout freshman running back Jonathan Taylor to 41 yards on 15 carries, for an average of 2.7 yards per carry. Taylor had rushed for 1,806 yards in the regular season and with 120 would’ve broke Adrian Peterson’s FBS freshman record. 

As a team the Badgers only rushed for 60 yards on 32 attempts. That’s an average of 1.9 yards per carry.

174 – J.K. Dobbins ran over the number one ranked defense in the country all the way to the podium and the Most Valuable Player of the game award. He carried the ball 17 times for an average of 10.2 per carry.

The freshman also surpassed Maurice Clarett for greatest rushing season by a freshman. As a team, Ohio State ran for 238 yards. The Badgers were only allowing 80.5 on the season for 1st in the B1G. The 238 rushing yards allowed was more than they allowed in total yards per game all season (236.9).

Now Buckeye Nation waits to see if they will be alive for a National Title chase for the third time in four seasons or a New Year’s Six bowl.

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Thank You, J.T.!

J.T. Barrett rushes for a 21-yard touchdown. Photo Credit: Ohiostatebuckeyes.com

The Ohio State Buckeyes beat “The Team Up North” 31-20 for the sixth consecutive time and 15th time in the last 17 seasons. Yes I’m still counting the 2010 win that was vacated. They still played the game right?!

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.

Focused Buckeyes Rout Illinois 

Urban Meyer leads the Buckeyes onto the field at Ohio Stadium before their 52-14 victory over Illinois. Photo Credit: OhioStateBuckeyes.com

The Ohio State Buckeyes did what everyone expected them to do. They beat up on the Illinois Fighting Illini 52-14 in the 2017 home finale. It’s clear they weren’t looking ahead to next week’s big matchup with Xichigan.

The first team offense scored touchdowns on their first four drives, a 33-yard field goal on their fifth drive and another touchdown on their sixth drive for 38 points. Each of the first four touchdown drives ended quicker than the previous. 9 plays in 3:18, 6 plays in 2:07, 3 plays in a 1:13 and 2 plays in 44 seconds.

It wasn’t until 3:48 seconds left in the second quarter after the first-team offense was ceremoniously substituted out of the game that Drue Chrisman came in to punt for the first time.  

J.T. Barrett finished his last game in “The ‘Shoe” completing 11 of 19 pass attempts for 141 yards and connected on his 100th and 101st career touchdown passes to become the first B1G quarterback to pass the century mark.

Meanwhile the Silver Bullets forced the Illini into 6 consecutive three and outs. Illinois didn’t get their first first-down until 3:38 seconds left in the second quarter. The Buckeyes first-team D allowed only 43 total yards in the first half.

The one blemish for the Buckeyes this game was the 6 penalties for 53 yards. They are the most penalized team in the conference. Watch that the next two weeks, it could be the difference between being champions or not if they don’t eliminate those mistakes. 

Besides that, there’s not much to analyze from this game. It’s pretty much what you expect from a matchup of a 2-8 team focused on their long-term future versus an 8-2 team with their season goals still on the line. This was the type of performance you want to see heading into the most crucial time of the season. This game was about the Scarlet & Gray tuning up for the Wolverines and a run at the B1G Championship.

Before the game kicked off, Ohio State knew they would clinch the B1G East division with their win thanks to the Wolverines 24-10 loss to the Wisconsin Badgers. With that sewn up, now it’s time to focus on manhandling TTUN and impressing the College Football Playoff Committee.

“The Game” at “The Big House in Ann Arbor is set for a 12:07 pm kickoff. The Buckeyes have won the last 5-0 against TTUN and 12 of the last 15 (2010’s win was vacated). With a win, J.T. Barrett will tie Art Schlichter at 36 for the most in Buckeye history. 

J.T. Barrett runs onto the Ohio Stadium turf for his final home game. Photo Credit: OhioStateBuckeyes.com

 

Buckeyes Bounce Back Big Over Sparty

The surprises in the B1G continue. As shocking as the Iowa Hawkeyes win over the Ohio State Buckeyes was, the way OSU manhandled the twelfth ranked Spartans 48-3 was just as shocking.

The Scarlet and Gray played angry, like a team wanting to wipe away the stench of last week’s embarrassing loss. The fashion in which they did it is the reason why last week’s loss was so baffling and frustrating for Buckeye Nation.

Here are my takeaways from the victory.

HELLO, RUNNING GAME!

Woody Hayes would’ve been proud of this performance. Even though they didn’t go to an I-Formation lineup, the Buckeyes played old school football with a heavy dose of J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber. The duo that only carried the ball 11 times for 78 yards last week, rushed for 290 yards on 27 carries. Weber gained a career high 162 yards and 2 touchdowns, 161 came in the first half. Dobbins added 128 yards on 6.9 yards per carry. J.T. Barrett also ran for 55 yards with 2 touchdowns.

The 335 total rushing yards on the day is the most ever allowed by a Mark Dantonio coached team. The Ohio State rushing attack gained more yards, 102, in the first quarter than MSU had given up per game this season (87.0).

Coming into this game, the Buckeyes were running the ball 52% of the time versus throwing it 48% of the time. Saturday, 65% of the offensive plays were run calls, 35% passing. With two homerun hitters in the backfield, that’s more like the formula Buckeye Nation would like to see going forward.

SILVER BULLETS FIRE BACK 

Defensive Coordinator Greg Schiano’s unit was completely embarrassed and outcoached a week ago. As bad as Barrett’s day was with 4 interceptions, Schiano’s may have been just as bad. This week was a complete 180.

After getting two first downs on the opening drive of the game, the Buckeye D clamped down and forced the Spartans into 4 consecutive 3 & outs with the last ending in a forced fumble and recovery at the MSU 17-yard line. The Silver Bullets only yielded 195 total yards (131 passing; 64 rushing) for an average of 2.8 yards per play. On the day, they collected 6 sacks for -57 yards and 9 tackles for loss for -60 yards, while holding “Sparty” to 4 of 17 on 3rd down.

The secondary picked off two passes, three if you count the one negated by a roughing the passer penalty, and also held MSU’s leading receiver Felton Davis III, who caught 12 passes for 181 yards and a TD last week, to no catches.

Also of note, the 3 points they allowed came after one of Barrett’s two interceptions.

KICK COVERAGE ISSUES SOLVED?

It appears the move to put more playmakers and starters on kickoff coverage is paying off. The Spartans average starting field position on kickoffs was the 22-yard line. Michigan State had -37 net yards per kickoff. Only one of their drives started at the 35-yard line and that came after a penalty when the kickoff went out of bounds.

WELL DISCIPLINED

Speaking of penalties, the Buckeyes are the most flagged team in the conference. For the season they were averaging 77.2 penalty yards per game. Against the Spartans they were penalized only twice for twenty-seven yards. The first didn’t come until three minutes left in the first half when Dre’Mont Jones was flagged for targeting and negated what would’ve been Damon Arnette’s 1st of two interceptions.

OTHER NOTES

Since Urban Meyer took over in 2012, this is the first time one team has won back-to-back games in the series and won at home.

Next up, the home finale and Senior Day against the 2-8 (0-7) Illinois Fighting Illini for the Illibuck trophy. Ohio State hasn’t lost to Illinois since 2007.

Buckeyes Fall into the Trap at Iowa

Hawkeye fans storm the field after watching their team blowout #6 Ohio State.

The roller coaster of emotion from last week’s thrilling comeback win to this week’s crushing defeat is only surpassed in my mind by the 2006 win over “TTUN” followed by the National Championship blowout loss to Florida a little over a month later. The Iowa Hawkeyes stomped out the Ohio State Buckeyes College Football Playoff hopes with a 55-24 victory.

Buckeye Nation knew it was going to be difficult. The warnings of a “trap game” were everywhere around Columbus. Iowa had Penn State on the ropes until the final seconds earlier this season. The Hawkeyes have completed a handful of historical upsets over Top 5 Associated Press ranked teams at Kinnick stadium since 2008. So when J.T. Barrett threw his second interception of the season for a 30-yard touchdown return eight seconds into the game, Buckeye Nation sensed they were in for a long uneasy day.

Here are my takeaways from a game Ohio State will love to forget.

* SILVER BLANKS?

The vaunted Silver Bullets defense got punked up and down the field by the Hawkeyes giving up 487 total yards (244 passing, 243 rushing) and 48 points. That’s the most points Iowa has EVER scored on an Ohio State team. On the season Iowa averaged only 28 points per game and 345.9 yards per game coming into Saturday’s game. Both of those stats rank 10th out of the 14 teams in the Big Ten.

The linebackers have shown no ability to effectively cover opposing team tight ends. The combo of T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant caught 9 passes for 135 yards and 4 touchdowns receptions. The ability to come up with a scheme to cover tight ends has been a problem for this team all season. Mike Gesicki made key plays for Penn State to move the chains last week. And that’s where I start to point the finger at the coaching staff.

Iowa ran a pro style offense that defensive coordinator Greg Schiano clearly wasn’t prepared for. During the ESPN broadcast, color analyst Brian Griese said Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz went back to Schiano’s days as Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach for film to prepare for this game. His last season there was 2013. 2013! That’s how you out coach someone, by looking for any and every edge you can get. All Schiano had to do was watch Iowa’s loss to Penn State.

* DOES URBAN STILL HAVE IT?

This has been itching at me for some time. At some point we need to question Urban Meyer’s ability to get his team’s ready for big games. I don’t care what Iowa’s record was coming into Saturday this was a big game (It was 5-3). Especially when you look at what was at stake for the Buckeyes in the College Football Playoffs. From Clemson in last season’s CFP, Oklahoma this season, Michigan State in 2015, the 2013 B1G championship game loss to the Spartans and the Orange Bowl loss to Clemson after the 2013 season, Coach Meyer has lost his luster in the games that Buckeye Nation has come accustomed to watching him win. That belief in him goes back to his 2006 National Championship victory over the Buckeyes with Florida. Did he lose it? We’ll find out in the next coming weeks.

* J.T. IS WHO WE THOUGHT HE WAS

All season I’ve been in his corner when Buckeye fans were calling for anyone to be under center but him. Then he goes out there last week and plays the best game of his career in a scarlet and gray jersey and tossed his name in the Heisman race only to come up with this 4-interception dud. His first interception in 190 passing on the first play from scrimmage of the game definitely set a bad tone and continued throughout the game. He looked like a true freshman playing his first Big Ten road game, not a 5th-year senior. Barrett was rattled and making terrible reads when his first receiver wasn’t open. He finished 18 of 34 for 208 yards and 3 touchdowns to go along with those 4 picks.

* B1G CHAMPS IS STILL A POSSIBILITY

Even with all the negatives, there is still something to play for. The Big Ten East division is still up for grabs with Michigan State’s win over Penn State. Next week’s showdown between the Spartans and the Buckeyes at the ‘Shoe all but decide who heads to Indianapolis to play for the conference championship and a New Year’s Six Bowl game. Hopefully they can bounce back. Kickoff is set for Noon.

 

 

Buckeyes Overcome Early Mistakes to Beat Penn State

Barrett carried the Buckeyes to a 4th quarter comeback win 39-38, over Penn State. Photo Credit: Aaron Dotser/USA Today

Remember when everyone around the nation, including some in Buckeye Nation, were bashing J.T. Barrett? I wish he’d go to the post game press conference and channel his inner Kirk Cousins right now.

Lead by the senior quarterback, the Buckeyes overcame several early mistakes on special teams, offense and coaching to overcome a 15 points fourth quarter deficit to knockoff the second ranked Penn State Nittany Lions 39-38.

Barrett completed 33 of 39 passes for 328 yards and 4 touchdowns. With this performance and the others since the loss to Oklahoma, he has firmly placed his name in the Heisman Trophy race.

But it wasn’t pretty. Here are my takeaways from the Buckeyes come from behind victory.

* THE SILVER BULLETS ARE THE BEST DAMN DEFENSE IN THE LAND.

Penn State came into the game averaging 463.3 yards per game (2nd in B1G). The Buckeyes held them to 283 total yards (192 passing, 91 rushing.)

Ohio State may very well have snatched the Heisman Trophy from Saquon Barkley after he started the game looking to run away with it on the opening kickoff. Eight of Barkley’s 21 carries resulted in loss yardage. He finished the game with 44 rushing yards for an average of 2.1 per carry. Defensive Coordinator Greg Schiano and defensive line coach Larry Johnson had the perfect game plan to stop the most dynamic player in the country.

* J.T. WAS NEVER THE PROBLEM. 

As I’ve been saying all season, the supporting cast around Barrett hadn’t stepped up in big games, until Saturday night. When Barrett has time, and receivers run good routes to get open, J.T. will look like the Heisman finalist he was in 2014 and the guy who has now catapulted himself into the top of the conversation with this victory. Just Touchdowns is clutch! He completed his last 16 pass attempts and was 13 of 13 in the fourth quarter.

Johnnie Dixon and his two touchdowns in the fourth quarter will be all anyone talks about, but Austin Mack and K.J. Hill were huge keeping the chains moving. Hill finished with 12 receptions for 102 yards. I also can’t forget Marcus Baugh coming back from a huge drop early in the game to redeem himself for the game winner. When the skill guys play to their expectations around Barrett, this is the performance you’ll get from the Senior QB. He will look just like he did when he had Ezekiel Elliott, Devin Smith and Michael Thomas to name a few.

* POOR PLAY CALLING/COACHING SHOULD HAVE LOST THIS GAME

The majority of the finger-pointing the last two seasons in Columbus has been towards Barrett, but maybe it’s time to point the finger at Urban Meyer and his coaching staff. As poorly as the Senior QB has played in past big games, the coaching staff hasn’t put him or the rest of the Scarlet and Gray in the best positions to succeed.

This coaching staff hasn’t learned from the losses to Clemson in the 2017 College Football Playoff and Oklahoma in game two of this season that you can’t call plays on offense that go sideline to sideline. The top defenses are too quick. You need to throw it down field, even if it’s incomplete, just to loosen up the defense and put them on their heels.

Going for it on 4th and 8 in field goal range to end the first quarter was a panic move from Urban Meyer that I’ve never seen from him before in his career in Columbus or at the University of Florida. Had he allowed Nuernberger to kick what would have been a 35-yard field goal, and he made it, Ohio State would have been down one possession at halftime 28-20 with the ball to start the second half. Instead they went into the locker room down 11. Thankfully that decision didn’t come back to haunt them.

The game plan also needs to focus more on the best use of their best weapons. J.K. Dobbins getting only 13 carries isn’t enough. He finished the game with a per carry average of 6.8 for a total of 88 rushing yards. Dobbins is what Barkley was when he entered the B1G three years ago. He needs to be used more.

* THE SPECIAL TEAMS UNIT CONTINUES TO SUCK

It didn’t take long for this unit to show its flaws. Saquon Barkley took the opening kickoff 97-yards to pay dirt. They also allowed Koa Farmer, a linebacker, to return a pooch kick 60-yards to set up another touchdown. Coming off a Bye week were these problems had persisted for weeks, you would think this unit would have come out to play the perfect game. These mistakes still haven’t cost them a game, yet. I put emphasis on yet.

As bad as special teams was, I must them a big nod, because it was the blocked punt by Denzel Ward with 11:39 remaining in the game down 35-20 that turned the game. So there was a bit of redemption for the Buckeyes since it was as blocked field goal by Penn State last season that helped them complete the upset.

The first College Football Playoff poll will be released this week. The Buckeyes have a real shot to be in the first four, top five at worse.

Next up, the Iowa Hawkeyes in Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. Kickoff is yet to be determined.

Takeaways From Buckeyes Shucking of Nebraska

J.T. Barrett has record performance in victory over Nebraska. Photo Credit: OhioStateBuckeyes.com

Here come the Buckeyes, out for blood and clicking at a time when it matters the most.

Ninth ranked Ohio State defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers 56-14 Saturday night in Lincoln. It was a complete beat down from opening kickoff to final horn.

Here are my biggest takeaways from their matchup with Nebraska.

* Barrett starts hot, stays hot.

J.T. might as well stand for Just Touchdowns. Barrett was 8 of 10 for 72 yards in the first quarter, connecting with six different receivers. He finished the game with 27 completions on 33 attempts for 325 yards and 5 touchdowns, connecting with 10 different receivers. He also rushed 10 times for 48 yards and 2 touchdowns. Those seven touchdowns he accounted for tied a school record for most responsible in a game in Buckeye history.

The young receiving core has finally gained his trust and he’s showing it by letting it rip. Two of his attempts down field drew pass interference penalties. Even if they’re not connecting on them, the threat of going deep with the speed at receiver is enough to get defenses off-balance, opening up more room to be exploited in the run game.

J.T. is looking like the guy from 2014. The one Buckeye Nation believed in whole-heartedly. He is sneakily getting his name back into the Heisman Trophy conversation.

* Offensive line doesn’t miss a beat, dominates.

Eight consecutive possessions to start the game end all in touchdowns.

Even with the shake up in the trenches with the injury to Branden Bowens, the line kept things together and kept Barrett clean. They only allowed one sack and that was pretty much a coverage sack. On 3rd and 4th down conversions they were 12 of 16 and gained 41 total first downs. The “Slobs” led the way for 633 total yards of offense with earned them a school record of five consecutive games with 500+ yards of offense.

* The Silver Bullets are firing on all cylinders, but the pass defense still needs work.

Nebraska managed 393 total yards, but it wasn’t as impressive as the box score would lead you to believe. For the game the Cornhuskers gained 15 first downs, and were 5 for 15 on 3rd downs and 2 of 4 on 4th down.

The disappointment for the Silver Bullets were the two big pass plays they gave up to J.D. Spielman, one a 77-yard touchdown for the ‘Huskers first score of the game. The nephew of Buckeye legend Chris Spielman caught 11 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown.

The Pass defense had bounced back to allow less than 100 passing yards in the previous four games after struggling against Indian and Oklahoma to start the season. Nebraska gained 349 yards through the air.

* J.K. Dobbins sets the tone.

Nebraska was giving up 147 rushing yards per game coming into the match up with the Buckeyes. So it was their weakness versus the Buckeyes strength. Ohio State took advantage to the tune of 279 yards for an average of 5.9 yards per carry.

The young freshman Dobbins set the tempo when he raced for a 52-yard touchdown run on first possession. He had 3 carries for 67 yards and one catch for 11 receiving yards on the first drive. He finished the game with 106 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown.

* Not-so-Special Teams and penalties.

The opening kickoff was kicked out of bounds giving the Cornhuskers the ball at their 35-yard line. That was the only miscue on Special Teams, but coming off of last week’s debacle, the last thing you wanted to do was start the game this week with such a flub. That and the penalties (7 for 53 yards) should be enough to give Coach Meyer the ammunition to stay on these guys during the weeks to come.

Next up… the highly anticipated match-up with Penn State in The ‘Shoe after the Bye week.

OTHER NOTES

With the victory, the Buckeyes got their 500th B1G conference win. It took them six fewer seasons than “That Team Up North” who got their 500th victory Saturday as well with their 27-20 overtime win over Indiana. The win also tied the Buckeyes with Nebraska for 4th most wins in NCAA history at 892.

Game balls go to J.T. Barrett and K.J. Hill Junior. Hill caught 7 passes for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns.