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J.T. Barrett comes up short again in Ohio State’s loss versus Oklahoma

Looking at Ohio State’s film from Saturday, Barrett still struggles with overthrown passes

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Ohio State Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It seems as though one could replay all five losses during J.T. Barrett’s 38 career games and they would all look the exact same. They would be highlighted by a talented defensive front getting pressure, a jittery Barrett in the pocket, an inaccurate Barrett, questionable play calling that got away from their bread-and-butter run game and the opposing quarterback making more plays than Ohio State’s three-year captain. To the surprise of no one, Oklahoma’s dismantling of the Buckeyes looked no different than the prior four losses under No. 16.

Now, it’s not fair to put 100-percent of the blame on Barrett. But, it’s a quarterback driven game and being a three-year captain with 38 games under his belt, he needs to sometimes put the team on his back in these big games, and it just hasn’t happened in a very long time.

To the #BenchBarrett people, there are a few things that need to be addressed. First, it’s not happening unless they get upset within the next five weeks or they get embarrassed by Penn State at home. Urban Meyer will not bench his three-year captain and potentially lose the locker room — especially the upperclassmen — with the potential of still making the College Football Playoff. You don’t just start experimenting with a redshirt freshman quarterback with a team that’s in win-now mode.

Second, although Barrett has regressed both statistically and with the eye-test, and should probably be benched due to his play, it’s throwing up the white flag on the season. Will the offensive line suddenly block better with Dwayne Haskins under center? Nope. Will the receivers suddenly learn how to run crisper routes and gain more separation? Nope. Would Haskins be more accurate and make quicker decisions? Maybe, but it would likely not be instant success.

Once again, even though Barrett has put himself in a position where he should be benched — especially with the talent behind him — it’s just not going to happen in 2017 as long as the team continues to win, which they should, and will, in the mediocre Big Ten.

Now, on to the game.

J.T. Barrett Passing Chart vs Oklahoma

Designed Runs Dropbacks Completions Incompletions Total TD Scrambles Overthrows Throwaways
Designed Runs Dropbacks Completions Incompletions Total TD Scrambles Overthrows Throwaways
10 43 19 14 0 5 3 3
Pressured Sacked Hit PBU Batted at LOS Drops Turnovers Defensive PI
10 3 3 3 0 1 1 0

Notes

  • Barrett was pressured on 10 of 43 dropbacks (23-percent)
  • The offensive line held their own against a talented Oklahoma front, allowing three sacks on those 43 dropbacks, including one when the game was pretty much over
  • The 10 designed runs were scripted when the game was close, which is too much when both J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber were having success running the ball
  • Barrett had one killer overthrow (that we’ll expand upon later) that should have resulted in six, and another inexcusable overthrow that we’ll also touch on
  • Terry McLaurin had a big-time drop in the end zone on a beautifully thrown ball, reminiscent of Parris Campbell’s drop from a week ago. Inexcusable.
  • Mike Weber looked very good on limited touches and his experience should allow him to get at least a few more touches than J.K. Dobbins in the near future
  • The game-changing series came at the 9:35 mark of the third quarter when Ohio State had a first-and-goal from the Oklahoma 7-yard line, following Austin Mack’s acrobatic catch. The score was tied at 10 and the Buckeyes had all the momentum. So what did they do? They called an option to the right side which went nowhere, then a designed quarterback run off of jet motion, setting up a third-and-goal from the 6-yard line. Why not run Weber on an inside zone on first down? He’s a bowling ball in short yardage and averaged 9.7 yards per carry during the game (on only three carries).
  • Then on third down, Barrett’s inaccuracy ended the drive. K.J. Hill ran a corner route from the left slot and easily beat the two Sooners’ defensive backs. Barrett had a clean pocket to keep his eyes downfield and overshot the open receiver. A little more air under the ball and it’s an easy touchdown reception. These are the types of throws that make-or-break a game in a battle against a top team in the country. Instead of being up seven and quickly getting the ball back near midfield with a chance to put the game away, they were forced to settle for a field goal. Baker Mayfield makes that throw.

The game was over at this point, but this is a throw that Barrett has consistently missed the last few seasons. He has a clean pocket, he stepped into the throw and he overshot the open receiver by a few yards. Barrett should be able to make this throw with his eyes closed by now, but it’s a throw he misses on the regular.

This interception was J.T. Barrett in a nutshell.

Johnnie Dixon runs a five-yard inside curl pattern and has a good five yards of separation on the Oklahoma defender. Barrett sees the linebacker shooting up the A-gap, but decides to not pull the trigger. Barrett needs to stop waiting for the receiver to be completely open and ready, and start throwing to the receiver at the end of his break. Dixon is open right now for an easy five yard gain.

Instead of throwing the ball, Barrett waits another second to feel the pressure from the linebacker and starts to scramble to the right. With the defender coming down hill at the receiver, Dixon is no longer open. Barrett has to either throw the ball away, or attempt the Y-Corner pattern to Marcus Baugh, who’s running down the seam and will be open on his break with the defender coming downhill at Dixon.

Barrett waits until the last second before throwing the ball to the inside shoulder — the same shoulder that the defender is coming through — and it’s an easy pick for the defense, which ultimately ends the game.

The lack of quick and sound decision making by Barrett has been his fatal flaw as a quarterback.