We hope you’ll start your day with us here at the Landof10.com as we work to prepare you for everything that you need to know – Monday through Friday – around the world of Ohio State sports. Whether it’s football, basketball, wrestling, hockey, baseball or just a wild story we hope you’ll find interesting, we’re here to share it all with you.
Today is Friday, Oct. 14, and this is your Ohio State Wake-Up Call.
J.T. Barrett nominated for prestigious award
On his quest for a trip to New York at the end of the season, quarterback J.T. Barrett was named as one of the finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award. One of 15 finalists, the award goes to the top senior or fourth-year junior quarterback in college football.
Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett is one of 15 finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given to the nation's top quarterback pic.twitter.com/We6iQHc76U
— Bill Landis (@BillLandis25) October 13, 2016
Barrett, the only Big Ten quarterback who made the cut, joins quarterbacks such as Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly and Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes as a finalist for this prestigious award. Former winners include former Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook and former Oregon and current Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Barrett has gone a little under the radar this season with the emergence of Louisville quarterback prodigy Lamar Jackson and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson. This season, Barrett has scored 19 touchdowns, accumulating 1,323 all purpose yards in his first five games this season. He also has his highest quarterback rating (166.6) since his redshirt freshman year.
In his weekly call-in show, coach Urban Meyer mentioned Barrett when he was talking about the offensive line. He said “The Slobs” love Barrett because he is a tough quarterback, and offensive lines love tough quarterbacks.
Even though he may not have helped himself with a less than great game last week against Indiana, Barrett is still in the Heisman Trophy hunt with Jackson and Watson. A good performance against the tough Wisconsin defense would help put him squarely back in that race.
Secondary not only important component of Silver Bullets
It’s pretty simple: Ohio State’s defense is really good.
The secondary, with players such as cornerback Gareon Conley and safety Malik Hooker, has been getting a lot of the love, and it’s well deserved. They have picked off 10 passes this season and have only given up four passing touchdowns. They’ve also returned four interceptions for touchdowns. ESPN is even calling them the best secondary in America.
However, the Ohio State defensive line has been pretty damn good as well.
Ohio State's top 8 DL-men (Hubbard, Jones, Holmes, Lewis, Hill, Bosa, Landers, Hamilton) have combined for 93 tackles and 1 missed tackle.
— CFB Film Room (@CFBFilmRoom) October 12, 2016
Yeah, yeah, we get it, that’s good, but they’re not as good as last year. Right? Maybe, but not definitely.
Last year's 2-deep—which was an elite unit—combined for a 92.4% tackle success rate. This year's is at an almost impossible to believe 98.9% https://t.co/dSkRJhZq0z
— CFB Film Room (@CFBFilmRoom) October 12, 2016
Of the 34 tackles for loss, eight different defensive lineman have combined for 20 of them. The majority of those have come from freshman defensive lineman and breakout star Robert Landers, who has seven tackles for loss in limited time.
Larry Johnson Sr.’s line is giving up an average of 97.8 rushing yards per game, and the Buckeyes defense has not allowed a rushing touchdown so far this season. Pretty, pretty good.
Look out, Badgers, it’s about to get real.
Colin Cowherd has high praise for coach Urban Meyer
Fox Sports talking head Colin Cowherd, known for his unhealthy man-crush of former Michigan quarterback Tom Brady, thinks highly of head coaches in both the SEC and the Big Ten. Buckeyes fans will be happy to hear whom he picked number one in his hypothetical coaches draft.
The Big Ten has better coaches than the SEC. pic.twitter.com/ZfLiLwFeGl
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) October 13, 2016
As for the reason why, Cowherd talks about how Meyer has rebuilt many programs in his career as a college football coach. Even though he did say it was a toss up, Meyer wins in a head-to-head against Alabama coach Nick Saban because of the Ohio State win in their last meeting.
No matter what Cowherd thinks of him, Meyer is making history this week if Ohio State gets the win Saturday night against Wisconsin.
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) October 13, 2016
If he retired today, Meyer would be on that short list as one of the best coaches in college football history.
“It’s going to be a damn fight”
Another week, another Ohio State hype video. This time, fans don’t need to be hyped up as much. With the attention of ESPN GameDay and the prime-time slot, the world will be watching as Ohio State takes on Wisconsin.
Luke Fickell gets to Ohio State’s message in no time:
“You know it’s going to be a damn fight,” Fickell bellows. “Your reputation. Our reputation, is on the line. You better take it to their ass.”
Buckeye Nation, get ready for a dogfight. It’s going to be fun.