Ah, yes. This is how it was supposed to be all along.
The Cardale Jones experiment was nice, but this is who Ohio State was supposed to be all along: J.T. Barrett running point for an Ohio State offense that unloads on opponents with both barrels, as they did Saturday night in a 49-7 dumping of Rutgers.
Barrett earned his first start since breaking his ankle last November against Michigan and played, outside of a fumble that killed Ohio State’s opening drive, flawlessly. The sophomore completed 14-of-18 throws for 223 yards and three touchdowns while rushing 13 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns. More importantly, Barrett mirrored Chris Paul in his prime in the way his presence opened things up for his teammates. Ezekiel Elliott rushed 19 times for 142 yards and two touchdowns. Michael Thomas caught five balls for 103 yards and a score. Braxton Miller snagged two passes for 55 yards and rushed once for 16 yards. Curtis Samuel caught a 30-yard touchdown pass.
This was such a thorough destruction that ESPN broadcasters Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit entertained themselves by creating a parlor game wondering when Urban Meyer would finally get Jalin Marshall his touchdown – in the middle of the third quarter of a road conference game. Marshall’s score came on a one-yard pop pass with 4:34 remaining in the frame, pushing the Ohio State lead to 42-0.
Elliott put a cap on the night for the Buckeye starters with a 55-yard scoring dash with 13:42 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Rutgers opened the game with the type of oomph you’d expect from a team with the top-ranked defending national champions and a national TV audience on campus. The Scarlet Knights took the ball to open the game and moved 64 yards over 12 plays, but the drive was undone when Kyle Federico clanged a 29-yard field goal off the left upright. The Knights forced a Barrett fumble to close Ohio State’s opening march, but that was basically that for Rutgers. Rutgers punted on its next eight possessions, a string only broken when Chris Laviano was intercepted by Gareon Conley, setting up Ohio State’s sixth touchdown drive of the night. The Scarlet Knights did not dent the scoreboard until only 13 seconds showed on the fourth quarter clock.
Ohio State, winner of 21 straight now, moved to 7-0 (3-0 Big Ten) on the season, one week closer to facing the two teams that actually have a chance of beating them. But as long as Barrett remains healthy and employed, this Ohio State team will continue to resemble that Ohio State team we thought we’d see all year.
Already with a crowded quarterback room, UTSA has added another player at the position to its football roster.
In early March, Josh Adkins took the first step in leaving New Mexico State by entering his name into the transfer portal. On Twitter nearly a month later, Adkins announced that he will be transferring into the UTSA football program.
As a graduate transfer, Adkins will be eligible to play immediately in 2020. On top of that, he will have another year of eligibility he can use in 2021 as well.
A three-star 2017 signee, Adkins was rated as the No. 61 pro-style quarterback in the country. Adkins was the highest-rated signee in the Aggies’ class that year. He also took a redshirt for the 2017 season
Adkins was a two-year starter at New Mexico State. In that span, the Spring Branch, Tex., native completed nearly 60 percent of his 830 passes. He finished the NMSU portion of his career with 5,151 yards, 27 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. He also scored four touchdowns on the ground and one through the air.
As noted earlier, Adkins will enter a crowded quarterback room when he officially joins the UTSA football team. How crowded? Dave Campbell’s Texas Football website explains:
With Adkins’ addition, the Roadrunners are set to have six quarterbacks on campus in the fall: Adkins, Frank Harris, Jordan Weeks, Lowell Narcisse, Suddin Sapien and 2020 recruit Cameron Peters. The first four have each started at least one college football game. Adkins is the first quarterback fully recruited by new coach Jeff Traylor.
When he’s not lighting up Twitter, Mike Leach has been busy adding transfers to his Mississippi State football roster. This week, Leach has lost one to Ye Olde Portal. Possibly because of the Twitter machine.
Thursday, the Mississippi State football head coach sent out a tweet in which he apologized for anyone he offended in a previous tweet. In the tweet in question, the caption read “After 2 weeks of quarantine with her husband, Gertrude decided to knit him a scarf..” The picture attached to it? An elderly woman knitting a noose.
A handful of Leach’s followers were offended by the tweet. In response to Leach’s original tweet, Mississippi State football player Fabien Lovett wrote simply, “Wtf.”
Coincidentally or not, Lovett used his personal Twitter account a day later to announce that he has entered the NCAA transfer database. The defensive lineman didn’t specifically cite Leach’s tweet as the trigger for his decision to leave the Mississippi State football team.
Lovett was a three-star 2018 signee. He was rated as the No. 7 player regardless of position in the state of Mississippi.
The past two seasons, Lovett appeared in 15 games. 13 of those appearances came in 2019. A year ago, the defensive end was credited with 19 tackles, 2½ tackles for loss and a sack.
Because he appeared in four or fewer games in 2018, Lovett was able to take a redshirt for that season. That will leave the lineman with three years of eligibility. However, he Will Likely have to sit out the 2020 campaign if he transfers to another FBS school.
Jan. 9, Leach was named the new head coach of the Mississippi State football team. Since then, the Pirate has added at least four transfers. All of which, incidentally, will come in from Power Five programs:
Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin is looking to the future even if spring in the SEC has been put on pause as a result of the coronavirus.
Per FBS Schedules, the Gators have added Florida A&M to their 2025 non-conference football schedule on Oct. 11 of that year. The move completes that season’s slate and will interestingly result in UF featuring every non-conference game against an in-state opponent.
Yes, we’ll have a good idea of who is truly the Sunshine State champ for real come 2025.
In addition to the game against the FCS Rattlers, the Gators will host USF in Gainesville and play at Miami in late September. Their traditional season-ender against another team from Tallahassee in Florida State will take place on Nov. 29.
The all-Florida non-conference schedule comes just as the program has actually been trying to do the opposite. The Gators were long criticized for rarely venturing outside the state’s borders for non-league games but have changed their tune recently. This has resulted in big home-and-homes with Utah, California, Colorado, Texas and Arizona State among others.
In 2025 however, football will come a lot closer to home even with those long trips on the future docket.
You can add Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens to the growing list of people in college athletics taking pay cuts as the result of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a story posted to the university’s website on Thursday, UO confirmed that Mullens would be joining 10 other vice presidents in taking a 10 percent pay cut for the next six months. School president Michael H. Schill also announced he would reduce his salary 12 percent for the same term.
“Simply put, we are all going to have to make sacrifices,” Schill said at a virtual town hall for faculty. “I am working hard with other administrators to try to preserve as many jobs and benefits as we can as we face uncertain economic times.”
Mullens is coming off a stint on the College Football Playoff Selection Committee and served as its chairman the past two years as the face of the weekly rankings.
The Ducks top boss is in the middle of a contract that runs through 2025 according to The Oregonian. Mullens is set to make $717,500 this year though it’s not known if he will no longer get his six-figure retention bonus due at the end of June. Given the state of finances at colleges across the country, we’re betting that likely gets deferred.
The pay cut for Mullens and others at Oregon is scheduled to last six months but the school noted that it’s possible they will continue through the end of the 2021 school year.
The move to slash salary is not limited to Eugene. Already we’ve seen Wyoming’s AD do the same and even larger across the board cuts be made at Iowa State.
Given the revenue shortfalls we’ve seen this spring and the potential for the COVID-19 to impact the football calendar, it seems likely these are just the first of many such announcements coming from schools across the country.