It wasn’t the start either J.T. Barrett or Ohio State hoped to have, but, suffice to say, the redshirt junior found a way to very loudly bounce back.
The quarterback’s second pass of the season was intercepted by Bowling Green’s Brandon Harris and returned 63 yards for a touchdown to give the Falcons an early 7-0 lead in Columbus. After that, and with the exception of another pass that should’ve been picked and could’ve been another Pick Six, it was all Barrett.
Barrett, who inexplicably lost his starting job to Cardale Jones last season before rightfully regaining it, tossed four first-half touchdown passes in helping to lead the Buckeyes to a 35-7 halftime lead over the MAC school. All four of those touchdowns went to four different receivers, and it marked the fifth four-touchdown game of his career. That breaks the school record previously held by Troy Smith.
Barrett also added a late touchdown run to push the lead out to four touchdowns.
In addition to the touchdowns, Barrett also passed for 244 yards in completing 66 percent of his 21 pass attempts. Barrett also added 30 yards on six carries for good measure as well.
Mike Weber, making his first career star, led both teams with 84 yards on the ground. All-purpose back Curtis Samuel led the team with 94 receiving yards, while also adding 67 yards on the ground
It wasn’t just the offense and its 456 yards as the defense held the Falcons’ potent attack to just 166 total yards while also producing one highlight turnover.
It wasn’t all puppy dogs and rainbows for the Buckeyes, unfortunately, as starting defensive lineman Tracy Sprinkle went down with a right knee injury in the first quarter of the contest. Sprinkle has already been ruled out for the remainder of the game, and the tackle could be sidelined for an extended period of time.
Not surprisingly, the memorials are pouring in for the passing of a College Football Hall of Famer.
Friday morning, the four daughters released a statement through Ohio State announcing that their father, former Buckeyes head coach Earle Bruce, had passed away at the age of 87. Shortly thereafter, OSU released a statement from its current head football coach on the man who had battled Alzheimer’s for years.
“I’ve made it clear many times that, other than my father, Coach Bruce was the most influential man in my life,” Urban Meyer said. “Every significant decision I’ve made growing up in this profession was with him involved in it. His wife [Jean] and he were the role models for Shelley and me. They did everything with class. He was not afraid to show how much he loved his family and cared for his family.”
Others expressing their condolences included Jim Harbaugh of rival Michigan as well as Iowa State, where Bruce was the head coach from 1973-78 before taking over in Columbus in 1979, and the Cyclones’ current coach for good measure.
Koda Martin‘s collegiate playing career has taken a familial turn.
On his personal Twitter account Thursday night, the offensive lineman announced that he would be transferring from Texas A&M. Not only that, but Martin confirmed that he already has a new college football home — Syracuse.
Martin’s dad, Kirk Martin, was named as the quarterbacks coach at Syracuse earlier this year. Last summer, Koda Martin married Jazzmin Babers, who happens to be the daughter of Orange head coach Dino Babers.
Whether it’s coincidence or not, Martin’s move from College Station comes two weeks after a heat stroke he suffered during an Aggies spring practice session left him near death according to a social media post from his father.
As Martin will graduate from A&M in May, he’ll be eligible to play for the Orange in 2017. The upcoming season will be the lineman’s final year of eligibility.
Martin had started 14 games for the Aggies the past two seasons, including 10 last season as a redshirt junior.
Colorado State’s athletic department coffers will be a little more full thanks to one development this week.
CSU announced Thursday a 15-year agreement with Public Service Credit Union for the naming rights to the university’s year-old football stadium. The long-term agreement will result in the school being paid $37.7 million over the life of the deal. Per the school, “annual escalator clauses for inflation, as well as a signing bonus,” are also included in the agreement.
The on-campus stadium opened in July of last year at a cost of $225 million, with the first game played in August of 2017.
“This is a partnership that makes so much sense for our university community and for Public Service Credit Union, and we’re thrilled to announce this new agreement,” said CSU president Tony Frank in a statement. “Our stadium will carry the name of a Colorado-based business that shares our commitment to creating opportunity and opening doors for people at all income levels. Our mission and our values as a university align so well with those of PCSU, and the investment by the credit union and its members in our campus and programs will bring great visibility to how much they accomplish as a visionary community partner.”
According to the school’s release, the new naming rights deal, when combined with the field naming rights deal previously announced, actually compares reasonably well with some of the agreements reached by Power Five programs.
The agreement, which when added to the $20 million given in 2016 to name Sonny Lubick Field, brings the total naming rights revenues at Colorado State to $57 million for the stadium. This is comparable to the recently announced $69 million United Airlines Memorial Coliseum at University of Southern California and the $41 million Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium at the University of Washington.
Interestingly, Lubick, the legendary former Rams head football coach, currently serves as the vice president of community outreach for the credit union.
The extended Ohio State family is mourning the loss of one its own.
In a statement attributed to the four daughters of Earle Bruce, OSU confirmed Friday morning the passing of the former head football coach. The beloved coach had been battling Alzheimer’s for years prior to his death at age 87.
Below is the daughters’ statement, in its entirety:
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our father, Coach Earle Bruce, early this morning, Friday, April 20. He was a great man, a wonderful husband, father and grandfather, and a respected coach to many. Our family will miss him dearly, but we take solace in the belief that he is in a better place and reunited with his beloved wife, Jean. We thank you for your prayers and good wishes.
His loving daughters: Lynn, Michele, Aimee and Noel
Bruce played his college football with the Buckeyes, and embarked on his coaching career as an OSU student assistant under the legendary Woody Hayes in 1951. He returned to his alma mater as an assistant from 1966-71 and then again in 1979 as the head coach as he replaced Hayes, who was fired after his infamous sideline punch of a Clemson player in a 1978 bowl game.
In nine seasons as the head coach of the Buckeyes, Bruce compiled a record of 81-26-1. OSU won outright or claimed a share of the Big Ten title four times during Bruce’s tenure. They played in a pair of Rose Bowls under Bruce, part of eight bowl games they qualified for in his first eight seasons as head coach.
In 2002, Bruce, who was the head coach at Iowa State prior to coming to Columbus, was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.