Barrett delivered historic 4th quarter when Ohio State needed it most
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer decreed prior to facing Penn State on Saturday that the Buckeyes were motivated by revenge after last year's gut-wrenching defeat to the Nittany Lions, and that's exactly what J.T. Barrett delivered.
Revenge is best served cold, and Barrett's domination gave the Nittany Lions a team-wide case of hypothermia.
He was unstoppable as Ohio State mounted its comeback, completing his final 16 passes en route to going 33-of-39 for 328 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 95 yards.
The streak of 16 consecutive completions was the longest in Ohio State history, with the previous record being 12, according to ESPN Stats & Info. The effort was enough to earn praise from Meyer, who said Barrett was "pretty close" to playing perfect football, adding that he believes "the 'H' word is appropriate after this game," according to Stewart Mandel of The Athletic.
The senior quarterback kept his team in the contest through three quarters, but it was in the final frame that Barrett went to a place few have ever seen him go. Call it a happy place, call it shifting into another gear, call it whatever you want. The man took the game over and had arguably the best quarter, and game, of his career.
|Oct. 28. 2017||No. 2 Penn State||33/39 - 328 yards - 4 TD||17 Att - 95 yards|
|Oct. 14. 2017||Nebraska||27/33 - 325 yards - 5 TD||10 Att - 48 yards - 2 TD|
|Nov. 15. 2014||No. 25 Minnesota||15/25 - 200 yards - 3 TD||17 Att - 189 yards - 1 TD|
|Nov. 8. 2014||No. 8 Michigan State||16/26 - 300 yards - 3 TD||14 Att - 86 yards - 2 TD|
Saturday marked the third-highest passing yard total of Barrett's career, and his highest since last season's 349-yard performance to open the season against Bowling Green. The senior's pass-completion percentage Saturday was also a career high in games with more than four attempts - the previous mark coming just last week against Nebraska (81.8 percent).
Across the board, considering both statistics and strength of opponent, Barrett's effort Saturday can be considered his best in a Buckeye uniform, contested primarily by his 16-of-26 showing for 300 passing yards, three touchdowns, and 86 rushing yards against No. 8 Michigan State in 2014.
It's coy of Meyer to drop the "'H word" nugget following the game, but Barrett has been hot on the trail of the Heisman Trophy race for a matter of weeks. Saturday's victory proves he belongs in the upper echelon of contenders, and a strong finish should earn him a spot on stage at the trophy presentation in December.
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