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How can J.T. Barrett get better? One answer: be a little more like Baker Mayfield

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Mayfield took chances down the field. If Barrett could do the same, good things may come to the Buckeye offense.

Oklahoma v Ohio State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

“Barrett can expedite the repair process, though, by employing a more aggressive approach, taking a few more risks and improvising more...In short, he needs a little Baker Mayfield in his game.”

Adam Rittenberg on how J.T. Barrett can get better by being a little like Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield | ESPN.com

The postmortem from the Ohio State Buckeyes loss to the Oklahoma Sooners is coming to a close, as the Scarlet and Gray are about to take on the Army Black Knights Saturday afternoon. As the next OSU game is almost upon us, that leaves a question about the offense: how does quarterback J.T. Barrett get better from here on out?

Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com chimed in with an answer to that question by saying that Barrett could add a little of Baker Mayfield to his style of play. While the antics of the Sooners’ QB is questionable, his results on the field are undeniable; Mayfield has won his last 10 road games as OU starter, and has found his receivers 68.6 percent of the time.

In that same article by Rittenberg, a Big Ten coach is quoted as saying the three-time Buckeye captain “doesn't look like the same confident player.” It seems like ancient history, but Barrett once threw passes to Michael Thomas and Devin Smith. The last time OSU faced a service academy—Navy in 2014, the season that saw a national championship—Barrett, then just a freshman, threw an 80-yard touchdown to Smith.

Ever since the clock went all zeros in Ohio Stadium on Saturday night, different theories have floated on the Internet for what Barrett (and the Buckeye offense) should do. Rittenberg’s take is that over the next five games (Army West Point, UNLV, Rutgers, Maryland and Nebraska) chances should be taken downfield. After that, the backend portion of the Big Ten schedule has Ohio State taking on Penn State at home, and Iowa and Michigan on the road.

Mayfield made plays and took chances down the field against Barrett’s Buckeyes. If Barrett took some risks of his own, is that a solution to solving the woes on offense? We’ll see if that comes to fruition on Saturday.

“It’s as much a mental exercise as physical, because defenders — from linemen to defensive backs — can’t forget that the first Army man they encounter on a play is likely going to dip a shoulder and take aim at the outside lower thigh in an attempt to knock the defender’s legs from beneath him.”

Tim May on how the triple-option of Army West Point also includes cut blocks | The Columbus Dispatch

Barrett will have the eyes of the fans and critics when the Buckeyes take on the Black Knights. However, each member of the Ohio State defense will have their eyes on their assignment, as there may be a dipped-shoulder coming their way.

Tim May of the Columbus Dispatch broke down how the triple-option offense of Army brings a punch, as cut-blocks are a staple of that kind of physical, ground attack offense. (For those who don’t know, a cut block is when an offensive member takes out a defensive member by targeting their legs.)

Linebacker Chris Worley was quoted in the article by May, and said with the rugged style of play, one has to “man up to it.” The triple-option offense is still used by Navy, Air Force and Georgia Tech, as it’s a way to combat the fact that they are outmatched by the opposition. In the 2014 meeting with the Midshipmen, the Buckeyes struggled in the first half before pulling away.

There are still a few members from that 2014 team that are still with the Buckeyes—Worley is one of them—and have experience with the physicality of going against a triple-option based team. We’ll see how that experience pays off when Ohio State and Army West Point kickoff at 4:30 p.m.

“The seven goals were the most by Ohio State in a Big Ten game and tied for the fourth-most in any contest in program history.”

Ohio State women’s soccer after they defeated Illinois, 7-0, on Thursday night | Ohio State Athletics

OSU women’s soccer program bounced back from a tough loss to take down the Illinois Illini, 7-0, on Thursday night at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The win improved the Buckeyes record to 6-1-1, and 1-0 in Big Ten play.

The offensive barrage came behind five different scorers. Eleanor Gabriel, Marike Mousset and Sammy Edwards each scored one goal apiece; Sarah Roberts and Riley Bowers each netted two goals apiece. Those seven goals were brought upon from a night that saw 17 shots taken—with 11 of those considered on goal.

From the start it was all Buckeyes, as Roberts put the ball behind the net in the third minute. The Ohio State history books had to make room for the big night, as the seven goal output tied for the fourth most ever. (For those curious, the most goals ever scored by the OSU women’s squad was 14 on Oct. 12, 1995).

Northwestern is next up for the Buckeyes. That game is slated for Sunday at 1 p.m. and will be broadcasted on ESPNU.

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