“Rarely has a quarterback had this many career benchmarks. And because of whom he plays for, we remember every loss he’s been a part of. The entire list: 2014 Virginia Tech, 2015 Michigan State, 2016 Penn State, 2016 Clemson, 2017 Oklahoma. That’s it. He’s won every other game he’s played in, and since this year’s limp defeat to OU, he has pulled a 2014.”
If the quote doesn’t give enough evidence that J.T. Barrett is one of the most successful college quarterbacks ever in terms of wins and losses, I don’t know what else to say. Barrett has been under heavy criticism since 2015 when he and Cardale Jones had to fight for the starting spot. In 2016, a lackluster season offensively, it was Barrett again who took the blame. And once the Buckeyes dropped their home opener against Oklahoma, the call for a change at quarterback was quiet loud from the fan base. But in the end, Meyer continued to stick by Barrett who continues to return the favor by winning games and breaking records left and right.
Over the past five games, Barrett has thrown 99-of-137 for 1,351 yards, 18 touchdowns, and no interceptions. You could absolutely argue that Ohio State hasn’t really played anyone with a legitimate defense over those five games, but the efficiency is still there regardless. The big test will be next week when the Buckeyes host Penn State, but if Ohio State wins out the rest of the season, Barrett will have amassed a 29-2 record in conference play alone.
“I think the biggest thing is making sure that we’re aggressive, we’re playing fast, and just the philosophies and the ideas that our offensive coaching staff believes in. I think that’s probably the biggest difference.”
There’s a level of excitement in Columbus about Ohio State’s recent fixes in the offense the past couple of weeks. But this isn’t the first time that a stagnant offense has looked good against teams like Maryland and Nebraska, the two latest victims of the improved offense. Last season, the Terrapins and Cornhuskers were beat by a combined score of 62-3. So the question still remains if the offense will good against top tier talent, which the Buckeyes will have a chance to answer when they face Penn State next week.
Billy Price seems to think this isn’t just a repeat of success from last season, where Ohio State still struggled offensively against good defenses. In fact, Price mentions that the coaching is different this season, which makes sense considering that Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day have replaced Tim Beck.
“[Midseason AP All-Americans] First Team: Billy Price, Center, Ohio State”
Two members of Ohio State were featured in the midseason Associated Press All-American teams. Billy Price, the center for the Buckeyes, was listed as the starting center on the first-team while Denzel Ward, one of Ohio State’s cornerbacks, was listed on the second-team as a starter. Midway through the season, that’s a good sign for these two players as Price should continue his success. Ward, meanwhile, has stepped up in a big way for the Buckeyes helping to plug in a hole in the secondary which lost three of its members to the NFL last season.
Some of the other notable names are Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, Penn State’s Saquon Barkley, Stanford’s Bryce Love, and Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick, all making the first-team for the midseason AP All-Americans.