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Stop doubting J.T. Barrett

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JT Barrett has done more than enough to earn our respect. The win against Penn State was just one more showcase.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Ohio State Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve done my fair share of doubting J.T. Barrett. I doubted him after Ohio State lost to Penn State in 2016. I questioned if he was the man for the job after a close win over Michigan, when he threw for just 124 yards. After the embarrassing shutout loss in last year’s playoff to Clemson, and a disastrous performance against Oklahoma, I internally decided that he just wasn’t that good. I’ve never been happier to admit how wrong I was.

J.T. Barrett isn’t just the most prolific passer in the history of the Big Ten, he’s the best quarterback to ever come through Columbus. He’s a better passer, runner, and leader than any signal caller to ever don the Scarlet and Gray, and it’s hard to imagine that he’ll be surpassrd any time soon. When games get close, J.T. Barrett steps up, and when the Buckeyes need him, the quarterback Mack Brown turned away is always there to make a play.

It would be easy to count J.T. Barrett out. I’ve done my fair share of that. He doesn’t have a strong enough arm, he runs too much, he overthrows his receivers, he under throws his receivers, he can’t read a defense, he holds the ball too long. Anything and everything negative that could be said about a quarterback has been said about J.T. Barrett, and there’s really only one true statement about number 16: he’s a damn good quarterback, and he deserves nothing but love and respect from this fan base.

All he’s done after that miserable Sept. 9 performance is complete 74% of his passes for 1,668 yards and throw for 22 touchdowns. Add in an extra 338 yards and four scores on the ground, and you’d be hard pressed to find a quarterback (or player) in America playing better football than J.T. right now. I doubt there are many detractors in Buckeye nation after tonight, but this still needs to be said.

We all need to stop doubting J.T. Barrett. He proved tonight that it doesn’t matter what a defense throws at him, he’ll do everything in his power to find a way to win. Whether he’s beating up on bad teams, or methodically picking one of the best defenses in the nation apart, J.T. Barrett is an outstanding quarterback, and there’s no reason to doubt him anymore. He proved that when he’s at the helm, the Buckeyes can never truly be counted out of a game.

That wasn’t all that Barrett proved tonight. Barrett cemented himself as an Ohio State legend, and not just as a Heisman contender, but as a Heisman front-runner, right there with Saquon Barkley (who just put up a stinker, by the way), Bryce Love, Baker Mayfield, and anyone else you want to throw in the mix.

The aforementioned Mayfield is the only quarterback in the country putting up the kind of numbers Barrett is, and while Mayfield may have got the best of the Buckeyes nearly two months ago, it’s hard to not like the Buckeyes’ odds if a rematch arises two months from now in the college football playoff. However, that, and any possible postseason play is still a distant thought. Ohio State has a month left to prove that they belong, and with J.T. Barrett leading the way, it’s becoming very hard to arugue thatt the Buckeyes don’t.