Barrett Efficient, Effective in Ohio State's 34-17 Win Against Navy

By Tim Shoemaker on August 30, 2014 at 6:45p
J.T. Barrett had an outstanding debut for Ohio State.

BALTIMORE — Coming into the biggest start of his life, Ohio State redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett leaned on one piece of advice he received from offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Tom Herman.

“Coach Herman told me, he looked at me in my eyes and was like, 'Hey, don’t try to be something you’re not. Just go out there and play your game, play with confidence.’ I felt like I did that today and that definitely helped me, settled me down."

Barrett didn't do anything spectacular in the Buckeyes' 34-17 win over Navy Saturday, but he didn't really have to. He managed the game, got the ball out quickly and led Ohio State to a 28-point second-half performance.

He finished the contest 12-for-15 for 226 yards and two touchdowns. When Ohio State trailed 14-13 late in the third quarter, Barrett hooked up with Devin Smith for an 80-yard touchdown that changed the game. He also carried the ball nine times for 50 yards. He only made one mistake: an interception in the first half when the Buckeyes were in the red zone.

"J.T., I thought, did OK. I’d grade him a B, I think," Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said. "Every new player’s going to have a certain amount of mistakes. We wanted to open it up a little bit more in the first half and we did. It wasn’t because of him, it was because our offensive line."

The line struggled to protect Barrett in the first half as the Buckeyes were held to just six points and 162 yards of total offense. It was the first time since Meyer has been head coach that Ohio State failed to score a touchdown in the first half.

But something clicked for Barrett and the Buckeyes' offense in the second half, and it started with the long touchdown pass to Smith.

“I think it meant a lot for us as an offense, first and foremost, knowing that we can definitely pass the ball when we need to," Barrett said of the long touchdown. "Once we made that completion, the offense, you could see we got a little juice and started getting going.”

Ohio State had struggled to move the ball through the air until that point, but after Barrett ran a play-action fake to sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliot, he found Smith wide open down the middle of the field for the long TD.

"They were give us run, run, run, run and they caught us sleeping in the secondary," Navy safety Parrish Gaines said. "Ultimately, a big play will always kill you. I'm going to be thinking about that play when I go to sleep tonight."

“I was trying not to miss him, he was so open," Barrett added. "They bit so hard on the play action so I was just trying not to miss him. He made a great catch and ran away from him.”

Ohio State Quarterback Debuts
Year Quarterback Opponent Pass YDS TDs
2014 J.T. BARRETT NAVY 226 2

Six different Ohio State players caught passes from Barrett, who was making his first start since high school after redshirting last season as a freshman. His nickname throughout camp this season had been 'The Distributor' and he looked like exactly that against the Midshipmen.

Barrett was starting for Braxton Miller, who is out for the season after tearing his labrum in his throwing shoulder. Miller is the much more dynamic player, but Barrett did everything Ohio State asked him today entering Saturday.

"Coming in after Braxton, people expect you to do some crazy stuff," Barrett said. "I told myself I’m not Braxton, I’m J.T. and so I just go out there and play my game and that definitely helped me.”

Going forward, Barrett will be the guy leading the Ohio State offense and the Buckeyes, at least from an offensive standpoint, will face a much tougher task when they welcome Virginia Tech to Ohio Stadium next weekend. But for now, Barrett said he's just happy to get a win in his first collegiate start.

“We’re gonna enjoy this win, but definitely there’s a little relief as far as myself getting this one out of the way and under my belt. It was definitely a good team win," he said. "The defense definitely did their job and helped the offense out a whole bunch so there’s definitely a sigh of relief.”


Comments Show All Comments

edr4225's picture

solid performance by JT 

lets go bucks!!

+5 HS
Mortc15's picture

People will criticize some but a 1 in the "W" column is all that matters right now after today. Thought JT looked solid when he had time to throw and go thru his progressions 


+4 HS
BucksFan2000's picture

I thought he looked great for his first game.  Next week will tell us a lot more, but at no point did I think he was the reason for the close score.

+5 HS
Toilrt Paper's picture

Close score??? The line was 14.

+5 HS
BucksFan2000's picture

They trailed at the half and it was still close toward the middle of the 4th quarter.

Also, bookies don't set the spread based on the teams, they set it based on how fans bet.  The line is irrelevant.

Vinsaniti's picture

JT4 played very well, great job young man. Let's continue the second half momentum into next week.

+1 HS
German Buckeye's picture

But Hill at Texas A&M is a red shirt freshman and threw for 500+ yards.  Clearly JT is a failure.  All SEC fans know their QBs are Godlike. 

+3 HS
Gobucks2204's picture

Great job young man. What a crucible of pressure you have on you at OSU, and you handled with grace and poise. Looking forward to JT building a legacy.

"Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends"

+1 HS
BoFuquel's picture


I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

+2 HS
AndyVance's picture

Barrett didn't do anything spectacular in the Buckeyes' 34-17 win over Navy Saturday, but he didn't really have to.


He finished the contest 12-for-15 for 226 yards and two touchdowns.

Um, he had a better debut than the six previous starters listed in that handy graphic, averaged more than 5.5 yards per carry, and effectively led his team to victory. That's pretty spectacular in my book.

+22 HS
gumtape's picture

Not only that, navy is by far the strongest team on he list of debut opponents. Zwick-cincy is close. Great game from the frosh.

High and tight boo boo

+7 HS
VintonCountyBuck's picture

I will agree the toughest debut to a season.. But not to a career.  That Illinois team in 2001 went 10-2.  I can't see Navy doing that in the Big Ten.

“Right now, Michigan is not at the pinnacle of college football, and that’s all Urban Meyer cares about...He’s been there and knows what it takes to get there.” 

+5 HS
southbay's picture

I thought the bomb to Devin was spectacular.  Perfect spiral, on the money, six points.  Tough to please this crowd sometimes.

+1 HS
dubjayfootball90's picture

It was a solid performance. Good stats, looks good in the pocket. The line was real iffy to start the game man, i was getting worried, but they started gelling, and things came together. I thought it was a very good game and the young guns are something to be extremely excited about. This team, god bless it. I just love everything about Ohio State. Great times!!!

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

+5 HS
ibuck's picture

Big Ten teams win OOC, 12-1 so far.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

+6 HS
PasadenaBuckeye626's picture

A win is a win.  I'll take it

Go Bucks!

buckeyepastor's picture

12-15.  Love seeing that sort of efficiency.   I expect Va Tech to create a lot of confusion for Barrett, maybe force a few more mistakes than what he made today.   But he played well, especially on a neutral field, even trailing much of the game.   He resisted the temptation to try to do too much and get sloppy with things.   

If you hold Navy's offense to 17 points, you should win.  And we did.   

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

+3 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

Amen! But truthfully, Navy's first TD was highly questionable. Could've been that we possibly held them to only 10! Tho I think the forced fumble and 61 yd return for a TD evened that score.

But yeah, Navy's gonna score a lot more than 17 on the rest of their schedule. They're so fundamentally SOUND with running that offense.

“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.” ~Carl Rogers

Hovenaut's picture

At the end of the day, he walked away victorious and healthy.

And that stat line?

I'll take it every day of the week.

+4 HS
Woodshed's picture

That little chart reminded me of Bauserman's first game against Akron.

Everyone remember that? At the time, I was thinking this guy looks pretty decent. Things went downhill quickly from there.

-3 HS
BucksFan2000's picture

As an Akron alum, what I remember is our joke of a coach - Rob Ianello - chewing out Fickell after the game for running up the score, and FIckell looking appropriately baffled.

The next two weeks Akron lost to Temple and Cincy, 41-3 and 59-14.  I was wondering if Ianello would have to chew out every coach on the schedule.

Most of the coaching staff were the people fired from ND after Weis went down in flames.  Yeah, hiring them was genius.

+4 HS
dwiz0918's picture

If you add up all of Bauserman's throw away yardage, he's probably the most proficient passer. Ever.

buckeyeradar's picture

Nice work JT.  This was a tough game for a first time starter without game time for nearly two years.  

I may not be the sharpest crayon in the box but I'm one of the most colorful.

+2 HS
buckeyedude's picture

I know I may be nitpicking here, but I truly believe the officials handed that Navy TD to them. He was out of bounds.



+6 HS
buckskin's picture

Not only that one but EZE was not down on that play when he rolled over that guy. They then tried at first to say it was a fumble. I came out of my chair on that one.

+6 HS
robobuck's picture

I was livid. What a botched job by the officials and Meyer.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.  1 Corinthians 9:24

+1 HS
Humbuck's picture

It was one of those plays, had the refs signaled he was short of the goal line instant replay wouldn't have overturned the call. 

+1 HS
robobuck's picture

Yeah, whenever they say that the "call stands," you know they couldn't see enough evidence either way.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.  1 Corinthians 9:24

hhilanders's picture

If you told me that 2 weeks ago your starting, Heisman Trophy hopeful of a QB, would go down with a season ending injury. Then tell me that a red shirt freshman, who has had a torn ACL and not started since high school, would step in with new running backs behind him and a whole new offensive line. Finally, you would say that the offensive line was awful the first half and we couldn't get anything going until the second half. At the end of the day he was 12 of 15 with a 80 yard bomb and made only a single interception. Personally, I will take that type of performance. He's the real deal and all he needs is some experience.

Good job JT, good job!  

+6 HS
Buckeye Chuck's picture

15 yards/pass against bowl-caliber competition is really good. I don't think anyone for the Buckeyes has had that figure since Troy Smith against Sparty in 2005.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

+3 HS
TobyMagic's picture

JT played great, just one real mistake.. Was there any targets for a TE? 

MikeTheBuckeye's picture

The TEs played tight most the game to help a struggling offensive line with some blocking schemes. As much as I'm sure many of you wanted to see the TEs get involved in the offense by getting some targets, they were involved in other ways. I think it was smart to use them how we did considering how dismal our offense was playing in the first half.

+3 HS
ohiobobg's picture

Going to need blocking TE's next week even more. After that they can turn it loose.

"you can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning"

IslandBumBuckeye's picture

Totally agree Mike. Many routes had only 2 targets for 2 reasons: help with pass protection & simplify JT's check-down progression.

"I'm happy as hell, I ain't gonna lie."

Abe Froman's picture

I don't think you want to show your whole play book just yet.  Maybe the TE's will be in the mix by he time PSU rolls around.

Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

kdogg72's picture

Title was correct Barrett was effective. He will only play better with more experience and a more cohesive offensive line

chirobuck's picture

He actually contradicts himself right off the bat....he didn't do anything spectacular.....he got the ball out quickly, I would argue that is spectacular and something we haven't seen in a while because Braxton does the exact opposite


^ best post ever ^

+1 HS
AJBor41's picture

Braxton has had 1 80% completion game with 226+ passing yards in his 3, so has JT.  

I'm not suggesting anything aside from the fact that JT is ready!

+5 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

I think we'd ALL take this performance every time out! But now, J.T. gets to go against a truly elite defense in Va Tech. If he gets a win there, and plays anywhere NEAR this effective and efficient, look out. The sky could be the limit.

“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.” ~Carl Rogers

Toilrt Paper's picture

JT is on his way to a 3500 yard, 30 passing TDs Freshman season.

+2 HS
ohiobobg's picture

I'll take 2,500 passing, 500 running ( but no more than that running!!! )

"you can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning"

Baroclinicity's picture

JT throws a nice pass.  Looks effortless throwing down field.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

+1 HS
BeijingBucks's picture

JT is the Truth! And Navy (take it away Col. Nathan R. Jessup)...

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

buckeyedude's picture

JT is the Truth!

No. JT is "The Distributor." LOL.



+1 HS
IslandBumBuckeye's picture

"...can't handle the truth!"

"I'm happy as hell, I ain't gonna lie."

+1 HS
Poison nuts's picture

I thought he did well. Not spectacular compared to Braxton's moves while running the ball, but certainly spectacular in the the second half by getting the ball out to a variety of people & executing very very well. BTW, Navy is a damn good team. That QB runs that triple option near perfection...good win.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

+1 HS
buckeyedude's picture

Navy's offensive line wasn't too damn shabby either. They were opening some pretty big holes in the first half, especially.



+1 HS
IslandBumBuckeye's picture

That dang reverse-out handback play went for 15+ yards every time. Finally got a handle on it in the 4th quarter.

"I'm happy as hell, I ain't gonna lie."

whiskeyjuice's picture

Good game and something to grow on?

"Championships are not won on Saturdays in November. Championships are won on Tuesdays in August." -- Kerry Combs

+1 HS
Humbuck's picture

Considering the first half was kind of a disaster from the OL, he had a great stat line and a nice start.  The pick was a bone headed move that followed a great escape but entirely expected from a guy in his first half of action.

He is a good enough runner and ought to be able to get somewhere north of 500 on the ground.  He isn't going to hit for 70 yards but he will get a few 10-12 yarders every game.

I don't come away from this game feeling worried about his ability. 

+1 HS
BuckeyeDevil's picture

I really didn't like the call where JT had the pick on the 3 yard line. The previous 4 plays had been passes and I think Navy was thinking pass all the way. Maybe the thought was to keep the passing momentum going as the O line had not been up to par. Granted, he has to learn to throw when the field shortens but I thought a run on 1st down might have been the better call. I don't think anyone could complain about his performance. But VA Tech will be a totally different animal defensively next week. Frank Beemer is licking his chops with a frosh QB at the helm.

crusher's picture

A quick and easy way to get your QB into a rhythm is to run quick slants and to use your TE's. The slant was the go to pass for Troy Smith when the offense was sputtering. Gonzalez made a living on slants. It was almost always open and it always moved the chains. I would love to see that happen with Dontre or Jalin.

A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men

Indy_Buck87's picture

JT would have graded higher if the OL could block. Overall we are in good shape. Defense will look a lot  better against a traditional offense. 

I know of only two things that are infinite, space and human stupidity.....and I'm not sure about space". Albert Einstein.

TURD_BUCKET's picture

He will have a greater positive impact as the season progresses, not to say it wasn't positive against navy. At this point, it is more important that he not have a big negative impact for the team.

A good, solid start to his career.  1-0

“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” John Wooden