Oct 24, 2015; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) handles the ball during the second quarter against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at High Points Solutions Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O
Rapid Reaction: Second Half
This game got blown wide open in the third quarter after Ohio State slammed the door shut by scoring another 21 points. Barrett scored all three third quarter scores, two passing and one rushing. It’s safe to say that Barrett will be the leading man in Columbus for the foreseeable future.
All stats and numbers aside, can we all agree that Barrett was the right choice from the start? This offense just rolls along when he is out there. Buckeyes QB Cardale Jones just didn’t provide that same kind of spark. It’s hard to put a finger on it (thought I would argue it’s his decision making and rushing ability), but Barrett just has “it”.
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Conley had himself a great second half. He had a diving interception in the third quarter and then he blocked a punt in the fourth. Along with Apple, their ability to cover the Rutgers’ wide receivers one on one allowed the Buckeyes front to cause all sorts of problems for the Scarlet Knights. His interception lead to WR Jalin Marshall‘s one yard touchdown catch.
When the television broadcast came back from the commercial break after that score, the stadium had visibly begun to empty. Conley was a big reason why that exodus occurred so early in the game.
Maybe there’s something about the second half that just gets Elliott going? After a 9 carry, 15 yard first half, he finished with 19 carries for 142 yards and 2 touchdowns. His second TD went 55 yards.
‘Zeke now has 13 straight 100 yard games. Most of those games have occurred while he nearly single handedly carry the offense. With Barrett back under center, Elliott’s big year should continue with a bit more efficiency.