Skull Session: J.T. Barrett Defends Accuracy, Scouting Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, and Cable Dispute Could Cost Sooners Fans

By D.J. Byrnes on September 7, 2017 at 4:59 am
Parris Campbell rushes for the September 7 2017 Skull Session
Parris Campbell

No way Oklahoma beats Ohio State this weekend, not with the magical Popcorn Festival getting underway tonight in Marion, the City of Kings. Sooners might as well not even make the trip.


Word of the Day: Malodorous.

 MAKES YOU THINK. Indiana head coach Tom Allen, a former defensive coordinator, admitted after the Ohio State game he game-planned his defense to attack J.T. Barrett's accuracy.

His defense accomplished that.... on downfield passing.

Of course the Buckeyes still rolled up nearly 600 yards and Barrett passed for over 300. 

Barrett, for his part, is secure in his accuracy.

From the Ohio State beat G.O.A.T., Tim May of The Columbus Dispatch:

“Everybody has their opinion, but I think I’m an accurate quarterback,” Barrett said this week. “I think I displayed that (at Indiana), and just try to keep on getting better in that aspect because I can always get better with some throws I missed.”

Truth is, Barrett is the second-most-accurate passer in Ohio State history, tied with 2006 Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith with a 62.7 percent completion percentage, behind Todd Boeckman (63.4). And Barrett (549 of 875 in his career) already has attempted more than twice as many passes as Boeckman and 205 more than Smith.

With 104 touchdowns responsible for (72 passing, 32 rushing), Barrett sits two behind former Purdue great Drew Brees for the Big Ten career record. The first three-time captain in OSU history, Barrett holds 23 school records.

If the receivers continue getting YAC (that's what we in the Biz say when we mean "yards after catch") the lack of downfield connections won't matter.

It'd be a different matter if a defense can keep Buckeye receivers in front of them and stuff the run game. There's a reason Meyer and his staff stressed the deep ball all summer—because they can't win the title without it.

 WHAT ABOUT THAT DEFENSE? Baker Mayfield and the Sooner offense earn top billing. And rightfully so.

But Oklahoma has proven it can play defense (when it wants). One player to watch is senior linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo.

From Kyle Morgan of

An OLB/Jack LB that possesses tremendous athletic ability and speed off the edge. Will align as a stand-up rusher most plays but will drop into coverage on occasion.

Displays rare upfield burst when lined up as an edge rusher and has good cornering ability and bend when running the arc around the tackle. Utilizes good hand placement when engaging at point of attack and shows a good pass rush plan as he is able to use a repertoire of moves to be effective.

His speed and aggressiveness are used against him as he struggles to maintain containment as a force player. Lacks awareness when dropping into zone coverage and has committed a fair share of ill-advised penalties and late hits. Will be a handful for Isaiah Prince and Branden Bowen, but look for the Buckeyes to use his upfield burst to their advantage to create throwing lanes. Can be neutralized with an effective inside running game and misdirection.

The games are more stress-inducing, but I wish Ohio State played teams with Oklahoma-like talent every week. Just more fun that way.

That said, I always love to see "prone to ill-advised penalties and late hits" in an enemy scouting report. It's always a big stage when Ohio State plays, and guys with histories like that tend to self-inflict a wound at the worst possible time.

 CABLE COMPANY 'BOUT TO LEARN TODAY. Few things worse as a sports fan than sitting down in front of the ol' tube for a big game only to find your magical TV box isn't producing a crystal clear picture of a game held over four hundred miles away.

That could be the reality for large swaths of Sooner fans if a cable dispute doesn't go their way.


This coming Saturday, the Oklahoma Sooners will play their highest profile, more anticipated game of the season, against Ohio State in Columbus. And because of a dispute between Cox Communications and the ABC affiliate in Oklahoma City, huge swaths of the Sooner State might be unable to watch.

KOCO-TV announced this week that it has “reached an impasse with Cox,” after the parties failed to reach an agreement despite a five-day deadline extension. According to Ryan Aber of The Oklahoman, Cox stopped carrying KOCO as of 9:15 p.m. CT on Tuesday night.

“We are disappointed that Cox has refused our customary offer to extend our agreement, especially during this period of severe weather,” KOCO wrote on its site. “As a local broadcaster, we are keenly aware of the importance of serving our local viewers during times like these. Our stations work diligently every day to provide access to important news and weather, as well as vital emergency information. Our commitment to the local communities we serve will continue regardless of this impasse.”

Cable companies are the dregs of American corporations. 

My shitty grandkids will one day ask why I tolerated getting gouged for basic services like cable TV and internet. I'll just shake the rotted ham chandelier that is my head and say, "There was a war on, lad."

 NOPE. I'm not sure I believe this, because I assume taking a shoulder from a young Orlando Pace would result in instant death:

Could you imagine Pace going through today's recruiting circuit? No doubt some Ohio State fans would say things like, "The only reason he doesn't have a sixth star with Rivals is because he didn't go to their camp."

 BOSS REVIEWED. A magical time in the calendar for the American worker is the annual review from the big boss man. Even Ohio State's coaching staff deals with it.

From Colin Hass-Hill of The Lantern:

That's the most scathing criticism I've ever heard directed from Meyer to Smith.

Je suis, Greg Schiano. We can do paperwork when we die.

I've known this since 2012, but always good to confirm Meyer would detest me within 30 seconds of casual conversation.

 THOSE WMDs. At 14, Ohio woman married 48-year-old man, says she'd do it again... An enormous, urgent task: Hauling away Harvey's debris... Philly's streets swallowed an NBA prospect... How not to die... Ohio State's 2002 national title team: Where are they now?

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