Ohio State: Barrett, Ground Game Powers Past Penn State

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Oct 17, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley (26) hurdles over Ohio State Buckeyes safety

Tyvis Powell

(23) as linebacker

Dante Booker

(33) and safety

Vonn Bell

(11) defend in the second quarter at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Rapid Reactions: Ohio State’s 2nd Half

Barrett took the field with 3:18 in the 3rd quarter and may have solidified his claim as the best quarterback in Columbus. We already mentioned how the offense as a whole looked better with Barrett under center, but let’s not forget this guy had 45 touchdowns last year.

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The touchdown pass to WR Michael Thomas late in the 4th quarter showed the touch that has been missing not just in the red zone, but all over the field. Whether it was health or a lack of confidence that kept him from seizing the top job, Barrett seems to have shaken those issues off.

The rushing defense needs help again. DL Joey Bosa and DL Adolphus Washington are great, but Saquon Barkley carved up this defense all day. We mentioned in the first half reactions that he pressed the line of scrimmage over the guard and quickly bounced outside. No better play shows this than the 56 yard run he broke loose in the 4th quarter.

Imagine how much more effective Barkley can be as a runner if there was a competent passing attack to balance out the offense. For the Buckeyes, the way they allowed a one dimensional offense to bust loose has to have Chris Ash and Luke Fickell concerned.

Next: Rapid Reactions: Penn State's 2nd Half