Aug 30, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) runs with the ball during the fourth quarter against the Navy Midshipmen at M&T Bank Stadium. Ohio State Buckeyes defeated Navy Midshipmen 34-17.Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Q: Who is the Buckeyes’ most dangerous weapon on offense after the loss of Braxton Miller?
A: Pick your poison, which is why most Ohio State fans didn’t freak out too much (subjective observation) when Braxton went down. Returning backs Ezekiel Elliott and Dontre Wilson bring speed, while Jalin Marshall and Curtis Samuel have all that and elusiveness. The receiver corps is solid and experienced, and there’s an NFL caliber tight end to account for… All JT has to do is get the ball to the right set of hands.
A: With the loss of Braxton, that makes 9 new starters in the offensive side of the ball. At this point I think the team and Buckeye Nation are still trying to figure this out. After week one I would have to say JT Barrett.
With the exception of an ill-advised throw near the goal line that ended up an interception, Barrett played well. I believe the coaching staff is playing it safe with him at the moment since he’s young but we definitely saw glimpses of what he can do against Navy. With that being said, one thing is for certain…..if the O line doesn’t get better we may no weapons on offense.
Q: After a solid debut against Navy, what are the expectations for J.T. Barrett against a tough Virginia Tech defense?
A: Good question, Tim. Physically, I don’t see a problem against the VT defense. However, psychologically/emotionally, that could be a very different story. Bud Foster’s defense will try to, and could succeed, in rattling a young QB with their pressure coming in various amounts from various directions.
Foster’s defenses aren’t highly respected for no reason; they are flat out impressive. Coach Herman and Brax Miller will need to do sideline counseling to keep J.T. focused and “in the moment”. He won’t “lose” the game, but he won’t “win” it (a la Braxton Miller) either. He’ll let his playmakers make the plays. I don’t see a “Navy” performance, but he’ll be fine.
Q: Can J.T. Barrett get it done against a talented secondary?
Urban Meyer said the offense was too vanilla and vowed to open things up. It depends on his definition of opening things up but I think there are way too many weapons on offense for the Hokies to account for.
Barrett should see some receivers in man coverage and will find them.