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The hype got to J.T. Barrett and the Ohio State offense against Iowa

The three-time captain turned the ball over four times.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

J.T. Barrett’s [over]confidence in his arm came back to bite him in Iowa’s 31-point drubbing of the Buckeyes.

I gushed last week over Barrett’s decision making and his utmost confidence in both his arm and his receivers. But, all of the Heisman talk must have got into his and Kevin Wilson’s head. It started with the very first pass of the game going the other way for six. It continued with their most talented offensive player carrying the ball just six times. Then it finished with Barrett quadrupling his interception total — resulting in a 31-point loss to a 20.5-point underdog.


J.T. Barrett Passing Chart vs Iowa

Designed Runs Dropbacks Completions Incompletions Total TD Scrambles Overthrows Throwaways
Designed Runs Dropbacks Completions Incompletions Total TD Scrambles Overthrows Throwaways
12 36 17 16 3 1 2
Pressured Sacked Hit PBU Batted at LOS Drops Turnovers Defensive PI
3 1 1 1 3 3 4 1
  • Typically the offensive line is a major reason for an Ohio State loss — but not against Iowa. The offensive line allowed a season-best three pressures, one sack and one hit on their quarterback.
  • Barrett finished with 12 designed runs, which was due to the Hawkeyes forcing the quarterback to keep the ball in the zone read. Not sure why Wilson decided to strictly run zone read, rather than just handing the ball off to J.K. Dobbins more than six times. Dobbins only averaged 8.5 yards a clip on his six carries.
  • Also, with the typical athletic advantage on the perimeter, Wilson completely abandoned the horizontal passing game. The horizontal passing game opens up the interior runs for Dobbins and Mike Weber, and typically gets Barrett into a groove.
  • Like most Ohio State losses, the staff went away from what has been working in their recent victories
  • Iowa did a good job of jumping the intermediate routes — something that most teams should have been doing. The safety didn’t fall for Barrett trying to look him off and immediately broke on the throw. The Iowa defense was a step ahead of the Ohio State offense all afternoon.
  • After the interception, Barrett bounced back with a tremendous drive. He went 3-for-3 and capped it off with a 29-yard bullet to Terry McLaurin. Things looked back to normal for the Buckeyes.
  • This was one of J.K. Dobbins’ SIX carries. It’s completely unacceptable that their most talented offensive player only carried the ball six times on the day. He could have dominated that front seven.
  • Binjimen Victor had a bad drop in the end zone on a pretty good ball by Barrett — even though he had Dixon open on the play. That would have put Ohio State up 14-10 with momentum.
  • This was a pretty 44-yard touchdown toss to Johnnie Dixon. Dixon turned the defender around on a corner-post pattern.
  • This was another example of Barrett being careless with the football, along with the defender reading the quarterback’s eyes and making a break on the football. With the Buckeyes looking to get points before the half, the defender knew they were going to dink-and-dunk down the field with two timeouts. This was a back-breaker for the offense.
  • The offense had a chance to ride some momentum after the defense forced a three-and-out to begin the second half. Unfortunately, they gave the ball right back to Iowa after their own three-and-out — on a drive that began at their own 42.
  • This is not on the offense, but why didn’t Urban Meyer call a timeout on the fake field goal? Borderline cocky move by the coaching staff.
  • This is also not on the offense, but why was Mike Weber returning kicks? It makes sense to keep KJ Hill out of harms way with Parris Campbell out of the lineup, but there’s no one a little more dynamic out of the many four and five star athletes?
  • Barrett underthrew a wide-open Terry McLaurin following the Iowa score. If he threw it a little earlier or could have roped it 45-yards in the air instead of 40, it would have been six and would have halted Iowa’s momentum.
  • It all snowballed from that point, effectively putting the nail in the coffin for the Buckeyes. How will Ohio State respond? If we know anything about this team, they’ll likely overcompensate for not giving the ball to Dobbins, and feed him against the Spartans -- which will most likely be a good thing. Personally, I believe Barrett will get back to his play pre-Iowa and they’ll get back to the horizontal game. I expect a very good effort on offense, which will lead to some annoyance for fans. It’s time to take care of business, win the Big Ten and send Barrett off the way he deserves — with a win over Michigan, a conference title and New Year’s bowl victory.