Ohio State dangerous vs. Penn State if JT Barrett keeps new groove


Dating back sometime around the middle of 2016, JT Barrett struggled as a passer. Since Ohio State fell to Oklahoma, the senior seems back to form, making the Ohio State offense lethal.

Early season match-ups made the Ohio State passing game look dreary at best, let’s not kid ourselves. Watching your “Heisman contending” senior quarterback overthrow easy targets over-and-over is partial torture.

Slowly but surely, JT Barrett returned to form, hitting receivers and picking up first downs with regularity.

Since the loss to Oklahoma, Ohio State is 5-0 and Barrett has been pretty close to flawless. First of all, note the zero interceptions in these last five games. Granted, Barrett’s lone interception came in the team’s lone loss, the 31-16 loss to Oklahoma.

During the last five contests, Barrett is averaging 268 passing yards, completing 72.1-percent of his passes, and has 22 total touchdowns (18 passing, 4 rushing).

Now, No. 2 Penn State rolls into Columbus and I think they’re in a bit of a pickle. Barrett is simply playing better than the JT Barrett of 2016.

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Penn State team is clearly now a better team than the one Ohio state fell to last season. And the Buckeyes team probably aren’t as good as the one that lost at State College last season.

Somehow, the Buckeyes wound-up listed as a 6.5-point favorite against the Nittany Lions. I don’t subscribe to that line; this game is going to be difficult to win.

What makes the difference in this one? It’s 100% in the hands of JT Barrett.

While Penn State grabbed a big win over Michigan last weekend, they haven’t really played against a top-tier quarterback. Akron, Pitt, Georgia State, Iowa, Indiana, Northwestern and Michigan, that’s who the Nittany Lions have “taken to task” this season. None of those teams have a quarterback within 5 tiers of JT Barrett.

Next: Ohio State vs. Penn State: Best QB-RB duel this season

If Urban Meyer and company get the JT Barrett we have seen for the last few weeks, the Buckeyes are in great shape. However, if bad JT returns, the defense has a lot of work on their plate, something you don’t want against Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley.