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Today is Wednesday, Oct. 19, and this is your Ohio State Wake-Up Call.
J.T. Barrett gets some more hardware
Another week, another win for Ohio State. This time, though, quarterback J.T. Barrett was the star of the show. After his performance at Wisconsin, he has the hardware to prove it.
After being named Big Ten co-offensive Player of the Week earlier this week, Barrett was named the Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week on Tuesday. This came after Barrett combined for 318 all-purpose yards while scoring three times, one through the air and two on the ground.
— Davey O'Brien (@daveyobrien) October 18, 2016
Statistically, there is no doubt whether Barrett is or is not the top quarterback in the Big Ten. When it comes to the Heisman watch, he is right up there with the big boys.
Barrett is seventh in the FBS with 132 points responsible for, tied for 12th with 16 passing touchdowns and 10th in passing efficiency. Although some of those numbers will not compare to the freakish numbers Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson or Washington quarterback Jake Browning are putting up, Barrett has winning on his side.
For many analysts, Barrett is behind Jackson, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and even Michigan utility defender Jabrill Peppers in the Heisman race. What does Barrett have going for him though? Multiple chances remaining to prove himself on a national stage against at least two, maybe even three, top-10 games left in their schedule.
While Jackson likely sits at home championship weekend, Barrett could be leading Ohio State to a Big Ten title. If he has elite performances against teams like Nebraska, Michigan and possibly Wisconsin or Nebraska again, Barrett will be in serious contention for a trip to New York City.
First Clement, now Barkley
This two-week stretch of schedule for Ohio State has been tough. After beating No. 10 Wisconsin on the road, the Buckeyes have to turn around and go to Beaver Stadium and take on a Penn State team that has had their number for a very long time. That’s always been a tough place to play, for everyone.
That is not the most challenging thing for the Buckeyes on this road stretch. Even though the Buckeyes hold the third-best run defense in the Big Ten in terms of yardage, the defensive line has been tested tremendously, first with Wisconsin’s Corey Clement and this week with Penn State’s Saquon Barkley.
With Clement, they lost the battle, at least yardage-wise. Averaging 6.6 yards a carry, Clement rushed for 164 yards on 25 carries. Clement’s running mate, Austin Ramesh, ran for a touchdown, the first given up by Ohio State on the ground all season.
— Aaron Taylor (@AaronTaylorCFB) October 18, 2016
As Ohio State defensive end Sam Hubbard said, the defense as a whole needed to be put in their place a bit, and Wisconsin did just that.
“We really needed to kind of get smacked in the mouth a little bit,” Hubbard said. “Face some adversity at least because I feel like we came together on Saturday night and pulled it out for the win. It’s something we can really lean on as the moment where we came together.”
It does not get any easier for the defensive front Saturday night with Barkley in the backfield. Already passing his touchdown total from last year in 65 fewer carries, Barkley averages 5 yards a rush and 13 yards per pass completed. The scary part is that Barkley is only a sophomore.
Urban Meyer said Saquon Barkley is a future first-rounder at tailback. Said the Penn State receivers are some of the best they’ll face.
— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) October 17, 2016
Be like Zeke
Even though the defense has been facing some tough running backs, Ohio State has a talented running back of its own. Averaging 6.5 yards a rush, redshirt freshman Mike Weber has four touchdowns this season. In his first four games as the starting running back, Weber rushed for more than 90 yards in each of those games. His production has slowed a bit of late though, rushing for a combined 117 yards against Indiana and Wisconsin.
It is hard to be the successor to such a legendary running back in Ezekiel Elliott. In his first six games as a Buckeye, Weber has done his part to make up for what Ohio State lost in the NFL Draft a season ago.
Ohio State RB Mike Weber is having a very Zeke-like season pic.twitter.com/CxxV80nSyA
— CFB Film Room (@CFBFilmRoom) October 18, 2016
If this is any indication of what Weber will provide in his career at Ohio State, we could have another pro-ready running back in the backfield before long.
Battle of the hype videos
With another primetime game ahead for the Buckeyes, it’s time for another round of the Hype Video Showdown. After a strong performance against Wisconsin last week, Penn State and their White-Out game is up.
— My Name is Kenton (@CoachHessler) October 18, 2016
With these kind of videos posted everywhere on social media, it’s hard not to feel hyped for the game Saturday night. #BeatPSU