This is the 71st in a series of 100 daily posts, a Countdown to College Football. (Sort of.)
Forgive me, this is the first non-recruiting thing I’ve written in a few days. I’ve almost forgotten what this feels like.
If you have not yet caught up on all of the goings-on around Ohio State recruiting, I’ll help you out.
Urban Meyer held his annual Friday Night Lights camp this past Friday night, which was closed to the public and the media. I was still able to talk to some players afterward, however.
Michigan State quarterback commit Dwan Mathis made a surprise official visit to Ohio State on Friday. The Buckeyes then offered 2019 quarterback Brian Maurer on Saturday. On Sunday, Mathis flipped from Michigan State to OSU.
Now that that is out of the way, we can get back to the here and now. Or, rather, the here, now, and then. In today’s edition, arguably the greatest Buckeye ever, the start of the Big Ten West’s 10-year war, the scowliest scowl that has ever scowled, and a Buckeye pass rusher looking for a target.
If you missed yesterday’s edition, you can find it right here.
Now please join us as we continue our countdown of the 100 greatest Buckeyes of The Ozone era (1996-present).
We will also preview one of the 100 most exciting games on this fall’s college football schedule, and one of the 100 things we’re most looking forward to this fall.
Plus, we’ll preview one of this season’s 100 biggest personnel matchups.
Greatest Buckeyes Of The Ozone Era
#30 J.T. Barrett, 2013-2017
Where do we even begin?
The fact that J.T. Barrett is No. 30 on this list is a testament to the amazing history of Ohio State football.
Or maybe the list is wrong.
I don’t need to go too in depth on Barrett’s background or early years, because we all still remember it quite well. He bailed the Buckeyes out in 2014 when Braxton Miller went down, and put Ohio State in a position to play for the national championship when he went down.
We can skip over the 2015 season because … well, you know. It wasn’t the season that it should have been, and for many reasons.
In 2016 and 2017, Barrett produced the best back-to-back seasons in Ohio State football history. He now owns 34 Ohio State records and five Big Ten records.
Among the most prominent:
- Big Ten records for career total offensive yards (12,697), touchdown passes (104), touchdowns responsible for (147) and player of the week awards (nine);
- Ohio State passing records for career completion percentage (63.5), touchdown passes (104), passing yards (9,434) and passing yards per game (188.7);
- Ohio State career total offense records for most 200-, 300- and 400-yard games and for average total yards per game at 253.9; and
- The Ohio State record for quarterback rushing yards (3,263), and his 43 touchdowns scored are fifth-most at Ohio State, trailing only Pete Johnson, Keith Byars, Eddie George and Ezekiel Elliott.
Barrett was the 3-time winner of the Big Ten Quarterback of the Year Award, the 2016 winner of the Silver Football Award as the Big Ten’s MVP, a 3-time All-Big Ten quarterback, a Second-Team All-American in 2014, a Freshman All-American in 2014, and a 3-time captain.
He is also seventh in school history in rushing, behind only Archie, Zeke, Eddie, Tim Spencer, Beanie, and Braxton.
He is the most decorated player in Ohio State football history.
Urban Meyer will swear by him for the rest of his life, and that’s not nothing.
Oh, and J.T. Barrett’s record against Michigan as a starting quarterback is 4-0, and that’s not nothing either.
Best Games This Fall
#30 Nebraska at Wisconsin
I’ve said it here before and we have talked about it on Accost the Field, but Scott Frost v. Paul Chryst is going to become my favorite coaching rivalry in college football. I firmly believe that Frost will have Nebraska where Wisconsin is within a couple of years and once he gets there, look out.
This year, however, don’t get your Husker hopes up. Not only do the Badgers get Nebraska at home, they get a bye week before their Oct. 6 matchup. The Huskers have a four-game stretch of Michigan on the road, Purdue at home, at Wisconsin, and then at Northwestern.
Frost doesn’t have his group where they need to be, but this is still going to be the start of a great B1G rivalry. Wisconsin has lost to Nebraska just once in Big Ten play, and they responded to that loss with a 70-31 win against the Huskers in the Big Ten Championship Game later that season.
What We Can’t Wait To See
#30 Mark Dantonio’s Scowl
There are few scowls as piercing as Mark Dantonio’s, and after Urban Meyer flipped Dwan Mathis on Sunday, that scowl is pointed southward down Rt. 23.
But Dantonio’s scowl is part of college football as much as that rock thing in Clemson or the spear thing in Florida State or the Diet Coke thing in Ann Arbor. It’s one of the many aspects of college football that we all love.
Matchup To Watch
#30 Rutgers QB vs. Jonathon Cooper
This is probably going to be freshman Artur Sitkowski, which is only going to make Ohio State junior defensive end Jonathon Cooper get after him even faster. Any time there is a freshman quarterback on the other side of the line of scrimmage, the opposing defensive line gets a little faster in their pursuit.
Sitkowski has a big arm, but is the very definition of a pocket passer. He will stand tall looking for receivers. Cooper, meanwhile, will be looking for him.
If the quarterback is sophomore Johnathan Lewis, then Cooper will have to worry about keeping containment. Lewis can avoid trouble, but he is still very raw as a quarterback.
If it is neither of those two and senior Giovanni Rescigno instead, well, he’s started here and there throughout his career and he remains quite sackable.