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The good, bad and ugly with Ohio State's J.T. Barrett’s 2016 season

The Ohio State quarterback had his ups and his downs.

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NCAA Football: Nebraska at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the 2016 season, the Ohio State offense as a whole had many highs and and many lows. J.T. Barrett had his good games and his bad games at quarterback and his supporting cast was not always there to bail him out. Like most quarterbacks, Barrett excelled when he was given time to throw, but he also overthrew his fair share of open receivers that should have resulted in touchdowns. They struggled in poor weather against lesser opponents and they also had their way with two top ten teams. Overall, the numbers were very good, but the offense as a whole was sporadic and unpredictable against the better teams on the schedule.

Luckily, they’ll get their shot against Clemson and possibly against the most dominant front seven in college football — the Alabama Crimson Tide.

J.T. Barrett 2016 Passing Chart

Designed runs Dropbacks Completions Incompletions Total TD Scrambles Overthrows Throwaways
130 404 205 127 32 36 35 16
Pressured Sacked Hit Pass break-up Batted at LOS Drops Turnovers Defensive PI
101 25 36 23 12 19 7 9

Let’s start with the offensive line. Barrett was pressured 101 times on 404 dropbacks. An absurd 44 of those 101 pressures came against Penn State and Michigan. According to the guys at Pro Football Focus, right tackle Isaiah Prince has allowed a nation worst 45 pressures on the season. Out of those 404 dropbacks, Barrett was sacked 25 times and hit 36 times. With the high amount of pressures, it shows that Barrett has pretty good pocket awareness and ability to avoid the rush if he was only hit 36 times and sacked 25.

Also according to Pro Football Focus, Barrett completed 66.9 percent of his passes when he was given a clean pocket, along with a 21 touchdown passes to only 3 interceptions. When facing pressure, his completion percentage dipped to 46.8 percent and threw only 3 touchdowns to 1 interception. When facing the blitz, the quarterback was sensational — completing 59.8 percent of his passes and recording 10 touchdowns to 0 interceptions. For all of the negatives that are pointed out about his game, Barrett is quite accurate when facing a clean pocket or one less defender in the secondary. The blitz numbers show that he makes quick decisions and can easily dissect the blitz.

Along with the better pocket awareness, he did a good job of mostly keeping his eyes downfield while under duress and only scrambling if he needed to. Surprisingly, he scrambled for gains on just as many plays (36) as he had hits. He was very reluctant to tuck the ball and run, and always seemed to want to make a play with his arm — even though his receivers had their issues with gaining separation. Barrett also threw the ball away 16 times, and he could have done this a little more to keep his sack and hit numbers a little lower.

This is an example of Barrett evading the rush, keeping his eyes downfield and completing a pass to move the chains:

Here’s Barrett somehow gaining 20-yards on a scramble from this situation:

Out of Barrett’s 127 incompletions, his intended receivers dropped 14.9 percent of his passes — or 19 total. That’s not a terrible number, but it could definitely get better. One could also pin a majority of the 23 pass break-ups on the receivers for not getting enough separation. Errant throws that were touched by the defender were not charted as pass break-ups.

The biggest issue that is square on Barrett’s shoulders is his lack of deep ball accuracy. 27.5 percent of his incompletions came on overthrows and a handful of those could have resulted in touchdowns. Not all of these were deep ball overthrows, but more than half definitely were. Per CFB Film Room, Barrett was 18-51 (35.3%) for 561 yards downfield. He threw 8 touchdowns to 0 interceptions but it’s tough to throw interceptions when the majority of those balls are uncatchable.

Against Nebraska — where Ohio State blew out the Cornhuskers — six of Barrett’s 11 incompletions came on overthrows, three of which should have been completed for scores.

Barrett had ample time here to set his feet and hit a wide open Mike Weber, but overthrew him pretty badly:

Barrett missed Parris Campbell here, after the receiver got behind the entire ‘Husker secondary:

In conclusion, Barrett’s redshirt junior season will be remembered by 130 designed runs, a bunch of should-be touchdowns on deep balls, up-and-down offensive line play, inconsistent wide receiver play and a ton of points on the scoreboard. The Ohio State quarterback was the best signal caller in the Big Ten and has a chance to win his second national title in three seasons. After outplaying and defeating one Heisman finalist earlier this season, Barrett will get a chance to do the same again on New Years Eve.