“J.T. Barrett has always made it look easy.”
Maisel takes a look into the career of J.T. Barrett, which started faster than what he could have ever imagined, after Braxton Miller went down with an injury prior to the beginning of the 2014 season. But even before that, Barrett had torn his ACL in his senior year of high school. His career has hardly been a smooth path, but Maisel excellently documents the trials and tribulations that Barrett endured, and how he willfully overcame them. We know that Barrett went on to tear up the competition, before suffering an injury of his own against Michigan. This led to Cardale Jones leading the Buckeyes to the first College Football Playoff National Championship, and stealing the hearts of many.
2015 continued a tough stretch for Barrett, who lost his job to Jones going into the year. But he got it back, only to follow it up with driving drunk, and being suspended for a game. But Barrett quickly learned from that. It was without a doubt a big and stupid mistake. Barrett took the lessons he learned in doing it, and presented them to his teammates. They now all have Uber accounts, thanks to the influence of Barrett, who says he’s glad for the experience and how it worked out. It could have been much worse, but thankfully it wasn’t, and he was able to take the knowledge, and spread it.
That doesn’t make what he did right, but others aren’t as sharp in making things right and learning from errors. Things haven’t been totally simple for Barrett the past few years, but he’s made it look easy.
“The task of stopping all that talent will fall on [Wisconsin] cornerbacks and safeties.”
The Wisconsin defense is in for a full day on Saturday when the welcome Ohio State to Madison. The Buckeyes have won all of their games by at least three scores, but the Badgers will definitely be their greatest test yet. A big responsibility will fall on the shoulders of the cornerbacks and safeties, who are being coached up by Jim Leonhard, a former safety at Wisconsin and recently retired NFL player. Luckily for them, the OHio State passing game has been pretty hot and cold through the first five games of this season. Leonhard told Temple that college defenses aren’t nearly as complex as the ones in the NFL are, and that they’re easier to prepare for.
Leonhard’s been making sure he’s found a way to connect to the players, and it would certainly seem that he would be able to do just that. But he’s been experimenting, as he told Temple, "Some guys can't handle it. If you try to give too much, sometimes that gets you in trouble. That has been my struggle -- just trying to figure out what's enough and what's too much because ultimately, you just want guys to play fast and go compete.” Leonhard’s knowledge and experience of the game should serve them well heading into Saturday. If they’re fortunate, it will be windy again, making Barrett less effective as he as against Indiana.
“Then, half an hour before midnight, as happens with wrenching regularity in the city that care famously forgot, violence introduced a jarring note.”
It’s been six months since former Ohio State and New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith was shot in New Orleans. Sports Illustrated’s Richard O’Brien goes into details of what happened that night, the events that led up to it, and the aftermath in how both sides’ lawyers are positioning their cases. He also notes that Smith was New Orleans’s 32nd homicide of this year. Since Smith’s death, there have been 100 more homicides in New Orleans alone. His wife Racquel is still recovering from the gunshot wounds she suffered from the tragic incident.
The Buckeyes are remembering Smith the entire season with a “91” decal on their helmets. The person who shot and killed Smith, Cardell Hayes, is incarcerated in Orleans Parish Prison, and is being held on $1.75 million bond. He was indicted for second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, and other charges. The person who was with Hayes, Kevin O’Neal, insists that Hayes was protecting themselves. The trial is expected to start December 1.