COLUMBUS, Ohio — Another successful start was in the books, another record had fallen and J.T. Barrett had a hand raised in the air in appreciation for the standing ovation in his honor late in the fourth quarter Saturday.
At the end of the first half nearly a couple of hours earlier, there was a slightly different response for the Ohio State quarterback and the offense he was leading after a drive stalled in the red zone. That one wasn’t quite as positive, but like usual, it did little to faze the unflappable senior.
If the noise and the pressure of delivering for the Buckeyes bothered him, there’s virtually no chance Barrett ever would have been in position to rack up the 107 touchdowns he’s accounted for in his decorated career in the first place.
“I think people have a right to their opinion. That’s something that is a part of our great country — freedom of speech,” Barrett said after the game. “But they really don’t know all the inner workings that are involved with every single game plan, every single game. Really you could go down to every single play. They were kind of speaking things, I don’t know, based off what they see or hear, which is fine.
“But understand they don’t know all the inner workings that we have going on. I was just focused on our team, understanding it’s a process. It’s going to be a long journey getting back to where we want to be, and we’re going to take it one step at a time.”
That step-by-step approach has produced far, far more good things than bad for Barrett in his career.
Yet even after becoming the most prolific touchdown-producer in Big Ten history last week against Army, there are remarkably still more Ohio State records left for him to chase down. Here’s a primer of some of the major ones left for him heading into another prime opportunity at the Horseshoe against UNLV on Saturday.
Career passing yards
Who holds it? Art Schlichter with 7,547
Where is J.T. Barrett? Third.
How many does he need? 409 yards.
Odds of breaking it: Almost certain.
Assuming Barrett stays healthy, he should move into the top spot within the next two games. Even with an uneven outing against Oklahoma in Week 2, Barrett is averaging more than 250 yards through the air so far this season and should have plenty of chances to rack up some stats against UNLV this Saturday and at Rutgers the following Saturday. This mark also will belong to Barrett soon.
Career completion percentage
Who holds it? Todd Boeckman at 63.4 percent
Where is J.T. Barrett? Second.
What does he need to break it? Barrett is currently half of a percentage point behind Boeckman in the accuracy department, so he needs to hit on approximately 64 percent of his throws to move up to No. 1.
Odds of breaking it: Improving.
Barrett hasn’t finished a season with a completion percentage of at least 64 since his breakout freshman campaign, and it actually has dropped during each of the last two years from the season before. But thanks to some retooled play calling and run-pass options that take advantage of his skills reading a defense, he did hit on 25 of his 33 attempts in 38-7 win against the Black Knights. If the Buckeyes can continue to improve on the horizontal passing attack and then open some spots for him down the field, Barrett might be able to move up the accuracy chart.
300-yard passing games
Who holds it? Joe Germaine with 8
Where is J.T. Barrett? Second
What he does need to break it? Three more 300-yard outings.
Odds of breaking it: Decent.
The veteran passer already has one such performance under his belt this season in the opener at Indiana, and once again, there are opportunities ahead of Barrett and his targets to do damage to a couple of suspect defenses. A dynamic rushing attack can sometimes be a hurdle for those individual passing numbers at Ohio State, and Barrett’s own ability to use his legs is a factor, as well. But with coach Urban Meyer intent on establishing a consistent passing threat, Barrett should have a real shot at this record, too.
Career victories as a starter
Who holds it? Art Schlichter with 36
Where is J.T. Barrett? Fourth
What does he need to break it? 9 victories.
Odds of breaking it: Don’t rule it out.
The margin for error got a bit slimmer after the loss to Oklahoma. The Buckeyes still have nine regular-season games left and could be favored in all of them. Plus there’s the possibility of an appearance in the Big Ten title game and some form of postseason football looming after that. So, if Barrett has Ohio State rolling and once again in position for a berth in the College Football Playoff — and stays healthy, of course — he could go down as the winningest quarterback in school history. If not, well, the debate about his legacy with the Buckeyes might not end any time soon.