1. The Rebels can’t stop J.T. Barrett… or Dwayne Haskins.
As a new season has arrived, so has the quarterback that the Bucks have seen so much of in the past four years. J.T. Barrett has been one of the major factors in the Buckeyes’ consistent success since he began in 2014. The term ‘factor’ doesn’t necessarily mean positive when considering his individual play though.
Barrett has struggled so far this season. That much is clear. However, the conundrum that Barrett is facing boils down to the expectation that comes with being a leader for the Ohio State Buckeyes. This expectation that comes with it all weighs on Barrett heavily.
It’s easy to take things out of proportion and lose perspective when criticizing a team that is consistently at the top of their conference. Expectations are raised with each successful season and continue to heighten as time goes on.
At this point, Barrett is seemingly being expected to be something that he’s not. He is expected to be a consistently laser sharp precision passer. That is just something that Barrett has never been. He did show some greatness with his arm in 2014 but that was before his injury and before all of his great receivers left for the NFL.
Yes, Barrett is the quarterback for the Buckeyes and should be expected to be exceptional at everything but that simply is not going to be the case. What Barrett does bring to the table and has for some time now is his ability to be a competent game manager.
He doesn’t make a whole lot of mistakes and turnovers. Also, he fits the mold for the dual threat quarterback that Urban Meyer likes to deploy as he is mobile which helps extend plays.
In wake of Barrett’s struggles, popular opinion has called for the back up quarterbacks to see more playing time so the alternatives can be weighed upon. This is well merited considering the major concerns the Buckeyes are facing on offense starting with Barrett’s indecisiveness and accuracy problems down the field. Buckeye nation got a glimpse of what the team has in store behind Barrett last weekend.
Redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins saw some snaps late in the fourth quarter against Army which ultimately ended up being the final drive of the game. Haskins made the most of this opportunity completing all four of his pass attempts for 46 yards. Barrett played very well in this game which was to be expected so Haskins won’t be called up just yet. However, Haskins looks to be a good second option if Barrett’s time runs out.
With that being said, Barrett does excel at defeating lower tier opponents. This is where he makes his hay. The Rebels will be in the same boat as the others that Barrett has padded his stats against in the past.
The Rebels have let up 261 passing yards per game which puts them at 82nd in the country. The Bucks should take this opportunity to take some shots down the field. The Bucks’ offense has got to get itself acquainted with stretching the field.
Whether it’s Barrett or Haskins under center on Saturday, the Bucks stand a great chance at coming out with a win. If the play calling stands the way that it’s been, the receivers should have no problem carving up the Rebels with yards after the catch and the running game should continue to be phenomenal. It would be great to see Haskins get even more playing time in this game as well. Should the Bucks once again attain a multiple score lead then there is no excuse for Haskins to be kept off the field until the final drive.