Penn St.

Posted by Buckeye D | Posted in College football news | Posted on 29-10-2017

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — In the tunnel at Ohio Stadium that leads from locker room to the field, J.T. Barrett was posing for pictures with friends, receiving handshakes and hugs and thanking one older man with a scratchy voice for screaming himself hoarse.

Barrett smiled and laughed. Apparently, the Ohio State quarterback even busted out some moves in the locker room celebration. The stoic fifth-year senior doesn’t show much emotion on the field. And if he gained any particular gratification from playing the best game of his decorated career seven weeks after a lot of Buckeyes fans were wondering if he should be benched, he was not about to let on.

This is certain: When Barrett said goodbye to his friends and left the Horseshoe on Saturday night he did so as a Heisman Trophy candidate with absolutely nothing left to prove.

Barrett was near flawless against No. 2 Penn State, capping a brilliant performance with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Baugh with 1:48 left in the fourth quarter that gave No. 6 Ohio State a 39-38 victory.

Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer called it one of the best games he has ever seen a quarterback play.

“I’ve never had a kid play perfect, but damn he was close tonight,” Meyer said.

Barrett was 33 for 39 for 328 yards and four touchdown passes, three in the fourth quarter after the Buckeyes (7-1, 5-0 Big Ten) were down 35-20. He also ran for 95 yards on 17 carries. In the fourth quarter, he was 13 for 13 for 170 yards.

“We don’t care about what anyone else thinks about J.T. because we know what we think about J.T. and what he brings to the table,” said Terry McLaurin, who caught Barrett’s first TD pass of the game, which gave the quarterback 91 in his career to break Drew Brees’ Big Ten record.

Penn State led 38-27 with 5:42 left and it looked as if the Nittany Lions (7-1, 4-1) were going to knock the Buckeyes out of the College Football Playoff race.

“What was going through my head was Coach Meyer saying go win the game. He says that all the time, go win the game,” Barrett said.

Saquon Barkley scored two long touchdowns for Penn State, but it was Barrett who surged into the Heisman race in what was billed as the Big Ten game of the year and lived up to the hype.

“I think the H-word is appropriate after today’s game,” Meyer said.

Barrett and the Buckeyes got the ball back down five with 3:20 left. They quickly marched to the 16 and then Barrett found his big tight end Baugh for the lead.

“I didn’t manage the game well,” Penn State coach James Franklin said. “There’s enough blame to spread around.”

The blackout crowd at the Horseshoe poured onto the field to celebrate after Barrett took a final knee. He calmly wandered through the mayhem.

Barrett had been the target for much criticism after the Buckeyes’ offense struggled in a September loss to Oklahoma. He said he just tried to get better. Barrett went 19 of 35 with no TDs and an interception against the Sooners. He looked like a different player Saturday, but he wasn’t buying that.

“When you say like I’m different I feel like I would have to be thinking different in order to feel different, but I really don’t feel any different because I’m thinking the same,” he said. “It’s not like I’m telling myself anything new.”

Receiver K.J. Hill said Barrett’s calmness keeps the Buckeyes cool, and, yes, he does cut loose sometimes.

“We definitely got a smile out of him. A little dance moves in the locker room,” Hill said.

STOPPING SAQUON

Barkley was held to 44 yards on 21 carries, and that included a 36-yard touchdown run in the first half. And the Nittany Lions had trouble pass blocking Ohio State’s talented defensive line, with Nick Bosa and Tyquan Lewis, especially after tackle Ryan Bates went out with an injury. On their final drive, quarterback Trace McSorley got pressured on each play, was sacked one and threw three incomplete passes.

THE TAKEAWAY

Penn State: The Nittany Lions will need some upsets to get back in the playoff and Big Ten race.

Ohio State: The Buckeyes’ now control the Big Ten East and they paid back the Nittany Lions for the loss last year in Happy Valley that kept Ohio State out of the conference title game. The Buckeyes’ path to the playoff might still be muddled by that loss to Oklahoma, but right now they are the Big Ten’s best shot.

Nebraska

Posted by Buckeye D | Posted in College football news | Posted on 15-10-2017

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LINCOLN, Neb. — Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett led eight straight touchdown drives against Nebraska before his night ended early in the fourth quarter Saturday night.

The wind had kicked up and the temperature had dropped into the 40s as he stood with punter Drue Chrisman while the clock wound down.

“It’s cold here on the sideline,” Barrett recalled saying. That’s when Chrisman reminded him that Ohio State hadn’t punted.

“I almost wanted to say `I apologize’ to him,” Barrett said, laughing, “but I didn’t.”

The way Ohio State’s offense has been playing the last month, Chrisman’s services have barely been needed. The surge continued in the ninth-ranked Buckeyes’ 56-14 rout of Nebraska, with Barrett passing for five touchdowns and running for two others.

The Buckeyes (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) tied their school record with a fourth straight game of scoring 50-plus points, and now they get a week off before their East Division showdown with third-ranked Penn State.

“This is a good time to be cooking,” coach Urban Meyer said, “but also a good time to have a bye week. Coming into Nebraska and playing the way they played and in front of that crowd was outstanding.”

Ohio State rolled up 633 total yards and had 41 first downs while scoring the most points by a Nebraska conference opponent in Lincoln and most overall by any opponent here since Minnesota won 61-7 in 1945 when the Huskers were in the Big Six.

Barrett was 27 of 33 for a season-high 325 yards and rushed 10 times for 48 yards before giving way to backup Dwayne Haskins on the second series of the fourth quarter.

“Not an easy environment to throw the ball, just with the wind blowing,” Meyer said. “I thought they challenged us early in the game, and they were determined to stop the run with eight or nine guys up on the line. They were going to stop the run and force us to be a throwing team, and he had one of his better days.”

J.K. Dobbins ran for 106 yards on 12 carries, Mike Weber had 82 yards on 18 carries, and K.J. Hill caught seven balls for 80 yards and two touchdowns.

It was Ohio State’s second straight lopsided win over the Huskers. The Buckeyes won 62-3 in Columbus last year.

“Something we talked about was understanding we were coming to a place with a lot of tradition and pride, here at Nebraska, and they were going to take their best shot at us and we had to be ready to go,” Barrett said.

For Nebraska (3-4, 2-2), this beat-down followed a 21-point home loss to Wisconsin and turned up the heat on third-year coach Mike Riley another notch or two or three.

“There’s not a lot of anything happy, good to say about that one,” Riley said. “That was a real disappointing loss, how it started and continued through it.”

Ohio State went into the game as a 24-point favorite — Nebraska hadn’t been a bigger underdog at home since 1957 — and was up 35-0 at halftime. A trickle of fans headed for the exits when it was 21-0, and many more were gone by the start of the second half in what undoubtedly was a referendum on Riley and his staff. The stadium was less than a quarter full early in the fourth quarter.

When the Huskers picked up their second first down of the game late in the second quarter, fans gave them a sarcastic cheer and many let go of their red balloons. Those balloons traditionally are launched when Nebraska scores its first touchdown. That didn’t come until the third quarter, after it was 42-0, when Tanner Lee and JD Spielman hooked up for a 77-yard catch-and-run.

Lee finished with 303 yards passing, and Spielman finished with a school-record 200 yards on 11 receptions.

THE TAKEAWAY

Ohio State: All you need to know about the Buckeyes’ offense right now: They’ve amassed more than 500 total yards in five straight games and Barrett has completed 99 of 137 passes (72 percent) with 18 touchdowns and no interceptions since the Oklahoma game. Oh, and the Buckeyes tied Nebraska for fourth place on the major-college all-time win list with 892.

Nebraska: The Huskers have lost four of their last six games, meaning they’ll have to win three of their last five to become bowl eligible. The good news is that except for a trip to Penn State next month, they play more comparable opponents the rest of the way.

Maryland

Posted by Buckeye D | Posted in College football news | Posted on 07-10-2017

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Maryland tried to mix things up right from the start Saturday, trying a flea-flicker on its first offensive play. Ohio State linebacker Dante Booker wasn’t fooled. He sacked Max Bortenschlager for a 4-yard loss.

Matter of fact, the Buckeyes had little trouble with the Terrapins all game.

The stingy No. 10 Buckeyes held Maryland to 66 total yards — their fewest yards allowed since yielding 60 against Indiana in 1960 — in a 62-14 rout.

“We stopped the run, and we didn’t give them many opportunities,” Ohio State defensive end Tyquan Lewis said. “We just came out and played good fundamental defense.”

Quarterback J.T. Barrett threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in the first half for Ohio State (5-1, 3-0 Big Ten). Ohio State beat the Terrapins last year 62-3.

Ohio State overwhelmed Bortenschlager, holding the Terrapins to 16 passing yards and only six first downs. Bortenschlager, who was promoted to a starting role after injuries to the top two QBs, was only 3-of-12 passing.

He didn’t complete a pass until the second quarter and was sacked four times before being shaken up and leaving the game in the third. He was hit in the head by cornerback Damon Arnette while sliding on a scramble, resulting in Arnette being kicked out for targeting.

Caleb Henderson played the rest of the way, and Maryland managed a meaningless touchdown against Ohio State’s backups late in the game.

“The line of scrimmage, we just dominated,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said.

Barrett, a fifth-year senior and holder of most of the school’s passing records, was 20 for 31 for 261 yards before taking a seat near end of the third quarter. Barrett threw scoring passes to Binjimen Victor , Austin Mack and Terry McLaurin.

J.K. Dobbins ran the ball 13 times for 96 yards and a touchdown for Ohio State.

THE TAKEAWAY

Maryland: The Terps may be improved — they beat Texas and Minnesota this season — but not enough to compete with Ohio State’s athletes. And it’s going to be a harder road if Bortenschlager can’t come back.

“We had some opportunities early in the game where we needed to make a play and respond, and we didn’t,” Maryland coach D.J. Durkin said. “We didn’t play well as a team. When the offense needed to pick up the defense, they didn’t. When the defense needed to pick up the offense, they didn’t. We were out of sync.”

Ohio State: Buckeyes continue to handle lesser teams, pad the stat sheet and march toward the Oct. 28 showdown with No. 4 Penn State. They’ve done everything they were supposed to do since losing to Oklahoma in the season’s second week, showing improvement with each game.

“I wouldn’t say that we are exactly where we need to be, but I definitely like where we are at,” H-back Parris Campbell said. “We are making progress week by week, and I think we are getting better, but I think we still leave too much on the field.”

BOWEN INJURED

Ohio State’s starting right guard, Brandon Bowen, was lost for the season when he broke his left leg in the second quarter.

Meyer said he’ll have surgery. Matthew Burrell stepped into his spot and likely will start next week.

SPECIAL TEAMS NOT SO SPECIAL

Ohio State’s glaring weakness is special teams.

Maryland’s Ty Johnson returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. Later in the quarter, the Buckeyes allowed a 47-yard Sean Nuernbergerfield-goal attempt to be blocked by Maryland’s Chandler Burkett.

And Meyer has complained about short kickoffs all season, replacing Blake Haubeil with Nuernberger for kickoffs this week.

“We’re the only team in the country that can’t kick the ball down the field,” he said.