J.T. Barrett's record-setting day reminds us why he's a dark horse Heisman contender
J.T. Barrett should be considered a Heisman contender if he can continue his dominant play
Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett got off to a rough start in 2016, throwing a pick six against Bowling Green less than three minutes into the season opener. But unlike last season, there was no one looking over his shoulder, and Barrett bounced right back with a record-setting performance on a record-setting day for the Buckeyes.
Barrett threw six touchdown passes and ran for another, setting a new Ohio State single-game record with seven touchdowns and contributing to the school-record 776 yards of offense. Barrett did almost all of his work in the first half, pitching the ball around to Curtis Samuel, Dontre Wilson and the rest of the Buckeyes' talented stable of skill position players.
Here's all seven of Barrett's touchdowns, via the Big Ten Network:
"He's a cagey veteran," Urban Meyer said after the game when asked about Barrett. "There's a lot of things happening in his football career already. Throwing an interception for touchdown, we don't like that. But rebound, let's go, and he went right back and said that's on me. And it was. So let's go back and attack them. So I thought J.T. played great."
Barrett has a chance to put together an impressive statistical resume this season. The description of "cagey veteran" tells me that Urban Meyer trusts him to handle any situation, and there's enough speed and athleticism on that offense for Barrett to continue putting up big numbers. What's going to make the difference for Barrett in terms of individual accolades (Heisman Trophy, All America teams, etc.) is Ohio State's place in the Big Ten standings.
Competition in the Big Ten East is going to provide big-time moments where Barrett will need to bounce back from a bad play against a much better defense. Getting Barrett to deliver against Michigan and Michigan State, for example, like he did against the Falcons will be much more impactful for his perception. These wild numbers are going to draw headlines (like this one), but he's still a step back from the Deshaun Watson-Christian McCaffrey-Leonard Fournette trio in the Heisman Trophy discussion.
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