Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett is starting to figure this quarterback thing out.
Barrett played his best half of football against the Cincinnati Bearcats Saturday at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes lead 30-21 as a result. The sophomore was 14-of-19 passing for 179 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Barrett’s numbers would have been even better if not for key drops by his receivers.
It started with the quarterback spreading the ball around to multiple targets. Eight different Ohio State receivers caught a pass in the first half.
JT Barrett’s decision making has been terrific tonight
— Matt McCoy (@MattMcCoyWTVN) September 27, 2014
The Buckeyes coaching staff has helped Barrett tremendously by increasing the tempo of the offense.
While it may sound like an oxymoron, faster play from the offense makes it easier for quarterbacks to make their reads. Often the reads are far more simplistic, and the defense wears down much quicker without the ability to substitute. Barrett benefited greatly from the Buckeyes’ up-tempo offense.
But it wasn’t Barrett who received all the hype entering the game.
Cincinnati quarterback Gunner Kiel was starting to gain national attention after a tremendous start to his season. And Kiel has kept the Bearcats within striking distance. Kiel threw for 234 yards and three touchdowns, including an 83-yard connection with wide receiver Chris Moore 26 seconds before halftime.
One of these teams simply needs to get a stop or two during the second half and let their offenses take over to claim a victory.