By Ed Baylor: It was thought that the Ohio State Buckeyes season was over after quarterback Braxton Miller suffered a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder before the start of the 2014 season, but Buckeyes freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett proved that the team can win without Miller last Saturday in the Buckeyes 34-17 win over Navy in Baltimore, Maryland.
Barrett completed 12 of 15 passes for 226 yards with 2 touchdown passes. Barrett also had 50 yards rushing in the game.
Barrett started slowly in the first half, not looking confident initially. The Buckeyes were down 7-6 in the 3rd quarter before they came alive and put up a series of touchdowns courtesy of Barrett’s throwing arm.
Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer was playing it too conservative in the 1st half with his play calling. He had Barrett throwing a lot of short passes to the running backs and receivers near the line of scrimmage instead of taking advantage of Barrett’s arm. Barrett was of the best high school quarterbacks in the nation in 2013, and it’s hard to understand why Meyer wasn’t taking advantage of his talent from the start of the game.
”They’re veteran players now,” Meyer said to AP about the Buckeyes young freshman players like Barrett, who played their first college games last Saturday against Navy. ”Enough with the excuses and get going.”
Barrett threw a costly interception in the 2nd quarter when Ohio State was in the Navy red zone. The pick ruined what would have been a perfect scoring situation. It’s a credit to Barrett that he didn’t let his mistake get to him mentally, because some players would have mentally disappeared after that play.
”After the interception, I was, like, ‘J.T., you know you shouldn’t have thrown it, but you still threw it and now you’ve got make up for it,”’ Barrett said.
The Buckeyes will be playing Virginia Tech his Saturday night at Buckeyes Stadium in Ohio.
If Barrett got a passing grade in his debut, Meyer wasn’t thrilled with the play of those blocking for him. The offensive line, with four new starters, was average for the most part except for a couple of key plays that turned the tide in the second half as Ohio State scored 21 of the final 24 points.