Starting his first ever game as an Ohio State Buckeye, freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett started off a bit shaky but ended it in glorious fashion with a 34-17 win over a very tough Navy team that had abused the Buckeyes defense most of the day, totally up 370 of rushing yards, with 118 of those from Ryan Williams-Jennings.
Playing in front of mostly Navy members, cadets and fans at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, the Buckeyes were down 7-6 at the half, with Navy taking full advantage of their triple option package, which seemed to completely fool the Buckeyes defense. J.T. Barrett was able to lead the Bucks offense, with many new starters, to 2 field goals but was also intercepted in the red zone.
At the start of the second half, Navy was driving down the field once again, but a fumble recovery by Darron Lee was taken 61 yards for a touchdown to make it 13-7. On the next series, Navy was able to score a TD to make it 14-13. But that was the last lead they’d have against the Bucks. After the kickoff was a touchback to the 20 yard line, Barrett threw a bomb to Devin Smith and took it 80 yards for score to make it 20-14. The offense proceeded to score 2 more TD’s to put the game out of reach, with the Buckeyes D finally being able to settle down and make the stops against Navy.
It was a rough start for the Buckeyes. But once Barrett and the offense as well as the defense settled down, the Buckeyes were able to beat Navy and win their 25 regular season game in a row.
Next week will be another test for the young Buckeyes against Virginia Tech, but this time it will be in the happy confines of The Horseshoe in Columbus.
Play of the game: J.T. Barrett’s bullet to Devin Smith who then outran the defender for an 80 yard touchdown in the third quarter. This played seemed to wake up the Buckeyes offensively.
What defense?: In the past, the defense would usually help out the offense in the first few games. This wasn’t the case against Navy with its triple option running scheme. Missed tackles also seemed to occur just as it had last year. That said, they won’t have to face another offense like this for the rest of the season.
Player of the game: J.T. Barrett, who was 12/15 for 226 yards in the air as well as 50 yards rushing on 9 attempts. Nerves obviously played a big part of his first half but he was still able to get the Buckeyes to 2 field goals before finding a rhythm in the second half. He will face a bigger obstacle next week against Virginia Tech.
Next game: Virginia Tech in Columbus at 8 PM.