Ohio State history is littered with great individual performances.
Eddie’s big day against Illinois. Chris Spielman’s 29 tackles in The Game. Dwayne Haskins pulling out the flamethrower on Jim Harbaugh. I could go on and on, but you get the point. The Buckeyes have had a lot of great players step up and go supernova in a big-time game. There are two that stand out above the rest, however.
On this episode of the Hangout in the Holy Land, we’re continuing our countdown of the 20 most rewatchable Ohio State games of all-time, and talking about JT Barrett’s fourth quarter against Penn State in 2017, and Ezekiel Elliott running over Oregon in the 2014 National Championship.
Each of these games would be on the list regardless, but both performances take them to the next level, and are worth a re-watch on their own. (It also doesn’t hurt that you’re watching Ohio State win the national championship in the process.) Listen and read below for our thoughts on these two incredible efforts:
No. 8: JT Barrett 4th quarter eruption vs Penn State (2017)
Patrick: You know what you’re getting here. It’s another J.T. Barrett classic, this time in his senior season against Penn State. The Buckeyes fall behind early, thanks in large part to a kick coverage team that we’re still frustrated about two years later, but Barrett leads the furious fourth quarter comeback in what is almost certainly his magnum opus. It’s a great rewatch for Barrett alone, but the game on the whole is excellent after the first few minutes.
Colton: An insane performance. JT silences the doubters —including me— by going full MJ in the fourth quarter against the No. 2 team in the country. It’s one of the best individual efforts in program history, and one that he needed to solidify his legacy. It’s also worth watching for the defensive line coming alive in the second half, and completely shutting down Saquon Barkley. Sam Hubbard, Jalyn Holmes, Nick Bosa, and Tyquan Lewis put the game to rest by annihilating the Penn State front on their last two drives. This game gets bonus points for being such a cruel loss for the Nittany Lions.
No. 7: Ohio State completes The Chase (2014 National Title)
Patrick: I mention on the show that this feels like a bit of a sentimental choice, because it was kind of a victory lap for the surging Buckeyes, and while I stand by that, I think this game does have plenty of value for rewatching. Firstly, Ezekiel Elliott was untouchable. This is maybe the most dominant running back performance I’ve ever seen. Secondly, Ohio State’s defense, namely Darron Lee and Michael Bennett, absolutely destroy Oregon’s offense. It’s a lot like the Cam Heyward performance in 2010 against Oregon, and it’s just a blast to watch.
Colton: On re-watch I actually think this is too low. Zeke’s performance is up there with the Barrett game we just talked about. He’s just plain better than everyone else on the field. Also, do we stop enough to reminisce about how Ohio State won a national title with Cardale Jones at QB? It’s still fun to say that almost five years later. The Buckeyes turn the ball over four times and still win by 22. That’s insane. This game almost feels like a victory lap after slaying Bama in the Sugar Bowl, but it’s a joy to go back and see The Chase come to an end.