JT Barrett, No. 2 Buckeye offense must rise up against No. 5 Oklahoma


Last week, senior quarterback JT Barrett revealed nothing new in his outing against Indiana. Despite the 49-21 victory, the senior quarterback has much to prove going forward, starting with the game against the Sooners.

Prior to the opening whistle of last Thursday’s OSU-IU pairing, I worked a piece on JT Barrett, calling on the team to let it rip via airmail; that didn’t prove fruitful.

Despite a 20-of-35 (57.1-percent) completion mark, three passing touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 76.7 QBR, Barrett’s gun looked unimpressive. Additionally, it took the Buckeyes until the 6:57 mark in the third quarter to take the lead.

Granted, Ohio State is the No. 2 team in the nation for a reason; the Buckeyes can win without a perfect game from JT Barrett. However, this weekend’s opponent, the Oklahoma Sooners, are No. 5 for a reason.

In the Sooners week one pairing against UTEP, their 56-7 victory was all but ensured prior to the opening snap. However, it’s worth noting that the Oklahoma secondary put the UTEP passing game in fits. Between three quarterbacks, passing totals were 16-of-27 for 94 total yards, or roughly 3.5 yards per attempt.

Considering Barrett’s struggles against the Hoosiers, there’s no reason to believe the Sooners won’t bring more of the same… unless there is plenty of this.

More from Scarlet and Game

Last season against Oklahoma, Barrett had a career outing. In the Buckeyes’ 45-24 victory over the Sooners, Barrett went 14-of-20 with 152 yards and four touchdowns. While the yards are were a concern, the team’s holistic performance, upon tape review, was all about Barrett’s pocket poise.

During that game, there was the true Heisman candidate buzz in the air. Shortly after, a lot of that moxie seemed to diminish. But here we are again, a chance for Barrett to step up and prove he is one of the top quarterbacks in the nation.

Perhaps it’s not the air raid that will be needed, because when Barrett is precise, Urban Meyer looks less like he’ll be eating Papa John’s in a golf cart after the game.

So for the Buckeyes, it’s going to take some darts from Barrett, but it’s not something that’s been an invisible force; JT Barrett has been a capable passer in a lot of big moments, but that ability must show itself again on Saturday night.

Next: Big Ten Observations: Who's Hot, Who's Not After Week 1

Come Heisman time, Barrett, alongside Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield are likely candidates for the Trophy. This pairing may just push one player over the other.