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J.T. Barrett and the Ohio State offense continued to improve against Rutgers

The offense continues to take the right step forward against lesser competition.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Rutgers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

We knew Ohio State would have the talent advantage against Rutgers, but it was the execution that should give fans optimism.

As we know, J.T. Barrett has taken his lumps from the outsiders — including myself — but he’s taken baby steps forward against lesser competition, which is all we can ask for at this time. He was still off-target downfield at times, but once he settled into a rhythm, his accuracy began to increase as his confidence began to grow.

Even though it was “just Rutgers,” Kevin Wilson and Barrett are starting to work well together and the results are steadily improving.

J.T. Barrett Passing Chart vs. Rutgers

Designed Runs Dropbacks Completions Incompletions Total TD Scrambles Overthrows Throwaways
Designed Runs Dropbacks Completions Incompletions Total TD Scrambles Overthrows Throwaways
6 29 17 7 3 1 2 0
Pressured Sacked Hit PBU Batted at LOS Drops Turnovers Defensive PI
5 2 4 1 1 2 0 2
  • Barrett’s smarts in the zone read were on display again against Rutgers. There were at least two times where Barrett made the perfect read and made the defense pay. This is vintage Barrett and this is what separates himself from the other quarterbacks on this roster.
  • On this play below, the read defender crashes hard at Mike Weber, leaving an easy, yet quick decision for Barrett to pull the ball and gain a chunk of yardage on the quarterback keeper.
  • Here’s a second play where the read defender crashes down on Weber. Just like above, Barrett makes the quick and sound decision to pull the ball at the last second and gain solid yardage on his own.
  • It surprised me that Kevin Wilson opted to run the ball and take a deep shot before getting Barrett into rhythm. Barrett’s first completion came at the 2:06 mark of the first quarter. Getting him into a rhythm with short throws should be Wilson’s first priority of every game.
  • I mentioned in last week’s Rutgers’ preview that the bubble screens would be open out of the Trips formation. Since Ash is known to play press Cover 4, this is a simple RPO read for Barrett to make — even though he didn’t make a great throw to hit K.J. Hill in stride.
  • The offensive line did an admirable job on Saturday, allowing only five pressures, four hits and two sacks on 29 dropbacks. On this play below, Barrett did a good job of trusting his line as he scanned through his options before finding his receiver for what would have been a 10-yard gain. Barrett was comfortable in the pocket and kept his eyes downfield throughout the night.
  • Is it just a coincidence that Barrett’s most complete performance came on the same day as his receivers’ best performance? They were feisty as blockers on the perimeter, they were finding soft spots in the defense, they made plays after the catch and they were able to beat one-on-one coverage against one of the greater secondary minds in college football.
  • It would be smart to utilize Binjimen Victor more often in jump ball situations, imo.
  • The one-two punch of J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber was as advertised. They both possess a similar between the tackles skill-set, but Weber excels in short yardage and on the goal line. If they continue to deploy Dobbins between the 20-yard lines and Weber in those specific situations, it will continue to be excellent. Next step: using the two on the field together at once.
  • Note: I’m compiling all of Dwayne Haskins’ throws for the bye week