COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Ohio State redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett has developed a new remedy for helping him get rest on nights before games.
"Last night I could sleep easy and the thing I do now is I take the Sleepytime tea," Barrett said, laughing after he led the Buckeyes to a 52-24 win over Maryland Saturday. "I can go to sleep so I don’t have to be up just sitting there with my thoughts at night.”
It's certainly a far cry from his night's sleep before Ohio State's season-opener and his first career start against Navy, where Barrett said he popped up a few times throughout the night.
His new sleeping regiment seems to have worked, too.
Barrett was efficient and effective for the third-straight game. He finished 18-for-23 passing for 267 yards and four touchdowns, while also rushing 16 times for 71 yards and a score. Over the past three games, Barrett has thrown for 909 yards and 14 touchdowns with just one interception.
"J.T. Barrett is playing very well and the big thing is we can still get better," Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said. "The guys playing around him are pretty good, too. There's a lot of confidence when you start rotating six receivers in there and they are all quality guys."
Barrett, who was dubbed with the nickname of 'The Distributor' during the early stages of this season, dished the ball out to those playmakers Meyer alluded to with ease.
Nine different Buckeyes caught passes and four different players had touchdown receptions from Barrett throws.
"He sees the game really well and every week, every rep that he takes the game slows down for him," Ohio State co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said. "That attribute that God blessed him with continues to get better every time he steps on the field."
Barrett seems to have a strong grasp on the Buckeyes' offense. He checked out of original plays at the line of scrimmage on multiple occasions. All of that, comes with confidence and preparation.
"As far as myself and confidence, I’m just trying to get better during the week and not wait until game day to react to everything," Barrett said. "Just trying to get better with the defense I’m facing on Tuesday and Wednesday so when it comes Saturday then I can have that confidence to go out there and play.”
Added redshirt sophomore wide receiver Michael Thomas, who had four catches for 75 yards and a touchdown: "J.T., he really controlled the offense today. He really made smart decisions. He came out strong and started fast and we appreciate that from him. He was communicating really well."
Barrett's strong play certainly didn't surprise the Maryland coaching staff. Terrapins head coach Randy Edsall knew what kind of player he was facing.
"We said during the week that he was a really good quarterback and you can just see him getting better each and every game," Edsall said. "There were things that we tried to do: pressure him and zone coverage. He's very good. My hat's off to him in terms of how he played."
It sounds like Barrett should keep drinking that tea on Friday nights.