Barrett & Buckeyes’ Big Bash: Ohio State 39, Penn State 38
Ohio State did just about everything wrong but win. J.T. Barrett and the Buckeyes were able to rally back to pull off a classic – and now the CFP is there for the taking.
Uhhhh, what? How? But …
Ohio State couldn’t seem to do anything right.
It started by kicking off to Saquon Barkley, it continued with drops, bad penalties, and the inability to come up with a meaningful third down stop.
But somehow, Penn State couldn’t put the game away.
The Buckeyes ended up committing ten penalties, they turned it over twice, the D couldn’t rise up in the red zone and gave up 7-of-15 third down conversions.
And then J.T. Barrett happened.
This was supposed to be Barkley’s Heisman moment, and it almost was.
The kickoff return for a touchdown was amazing, and he ran for a score, but he was also held in check for just 44 rushing yards and 23 receiving.
J.T. Barrett was better. And now, he’s deep in the mix for the Heisman, likely just behind Baker Mayfield from here on – unless Mayfield folds at some point.
Barrett hit 33-of-39 passes for 328 yards and four scores, and led the way with 95 rushing yards on 17 carries. With everything crashing around him, with the team playing like hot garbage for long stretches, and with the team needing two touchdowns in the final few moments to win, Barrett came up with an epic performance.
Trace McSorley did his part, too. The Penn State quarterback did almost everything he needed to do to pull this off, completing 17-of-29 passes for 192 yards and two scores, and leading the team with 49 rushing yards and a score. But the door was left open for the Buckeyes after Penn State couldn’t punch in a touchdown and settled for a late field goal, and then J.T. Barrett happened.
So now what for Penn State? It’s not out of the College Football Playoff hunt, but it needs a whole lot of help. First, it has to rip through at Michigan State, Rutgers, Nebraska, and at Maryland – and then it might need Ohio State to lose twice. That’s going to be a big, big problem.
So now what for Ohio State? The Buckeyes got the win they needed to have. They have to go to Iowa, and they have to host Michigan State and Illinois before finishing up at Michigan, but this was the most dangerous date the rest of the way. Now, they can lose and still win the Big Ten championship – but they can’t lose again and get into the College Football Playoff.