As J.T. Barrett fired four touchdown passes against Rutgers on Saturday, he made Ohio State football history. J.T. Barrett set the Ohio State career passing touchdowns, and it may not be the last Ohio State record that he breaks this year as well.
Barrett had a stellar 2014 season for the Buckeyes after Braxton Miller went down. He set the Buckeyes record for single-season passing touchdowns, as well as total yards and touchdowns for a single season. Then came his up and down 2015 season where Cardale Jones entered the season as the starter, but Barrett eventually became the starter.
Entering this year, there was no doubt as to who was starting for the Buckeyes, and Barrett responded by tying the Buckeyes record for passing touchdowns in a single game in their opener against Bowling Green.
Now, let’s look at some records that J.T. will either probably break this year, ones that he has an outside shot of breaking this year, and those that he will break next year, assuming he doesn’t hurt himself (knock on wood):
Should break this year:
- Career Passing Touchdowns
J.T. currently has 84 total touchdowns in a buckeye uniform. The all-time leader is Braxton Miller, who had 88 total touchdowns. So with J.T. Barrett only needing five touchdowns to break this record, it seems like a guarantee barring a major injury. He has a good chance to break it next week against Indiana, as Barrett has only failed to register 4 TDs in a single game once this year, and that was the game against Tulsa where the Buckeyes defense had two pick-sixes. The Buckeyes have been throwing the ball a bit more this year, and Indiana doesn’t necessarily have the strongest defense. If Barrett doesn’t break the record against Indiana, then it should fall the next week against Wisconsin.
2. Single Season Passing Touchdowns
If he can do this, Barrett will be breaking his own mark from 2014 when he threw 34 touchdowns. Currently, Barrett has 14 passing touchdowns through four games. That puts him on pace for 42 passing touchdowns this season, which would easily eclipse his 2014 mark. Even if he doesn’t keep up his current pace, which is possible as the Buckeyes schedule will only get harder, it is hard to see Barrett not breaking this record.
Outside chance of breaking this year:
1. Career offensive yards
If my calculations are correct, Barrett sits in 6th place in career yards at 6584. That would put him 2,367 yards behind Braxton Miller for the all-time record. Assuming the Buckeyes play at least nine more games(eight regular season games plus a bowl game), Barrett would need to average 263 yards a game. Obviously, playing for a Big Ten title and a playoff game would change the total number of games that Barrett would be playing, and thus increasing his total yards. So far, Barrett has averaged 273 yards a game, but he has gotten pulled from three games early so far this year. As the season goes on, Barrett should play further into games, and hopefully, earn more yards. There’s an outside chance he breaks this record, but if he doesn’t, it will be a record he breaks very early next year.
2. Single Season Total Yards
This is another record that Barrett set back in 2014 with 3,772 total offensive yards. With 1,093 total yards so far, Barrett would need to average 298 total yards over the next nine games if he were to break the record. If the Buckeyes were to play for a Big Ten title, and perhaps even more, he would only need to average about 243 yards a game to break the record. This is not completely out of the picture, but it would require big performances every game for the rest of the season, something Barrett has shown he is completely capable of. I have doubts that Barrett will be able to break this one. The schedule gets tougher in the upcoming weeks, plus the main goal for this team is winning, not individual records.
3. Single Season Touchdowns
Of all three records in this section, I think Barrett has the best shot of breaking this one. He set the single season total TD record back in 2014 (a common theme for this article) with 45. This year, he has 17 total touchdowns in four games. That would put him on pace for 51 for the regular season, which doesn’t include any conference title games and/or playoff games and bowl games. As noted earlier, he is on pace for 42 passing touchdowns.
If he can keep that pace up for the rest of the season, he will easily have this record. If that pace falls, as I expect it to do slightly, he will need to add some more scores with his legs. Ohio State appears content to let game-flow dictate how much Barrett run, as his weekly rushing attempts for the season go 6, 16, 17, and 5. If the attempts hover closer to 16 or 17, he should eventually find the end zone more, and give himself a better shot at breaking this record.
Check back next year:
- Career Passing Yards:
Through four games this season, Barrett isn’t even in the top 10 for career passing yards at Ohio State, but expect him to be there soon. He has 4,714 total passing yards and is on pace for around another 2000 passing yards this season. That would put him in 3rd place at the end of the year.
Obviously, assuming to keep up his current projections is silly, but Ohio State has shown a commitment to throwing the ball more. This season is really just about setting up how easy it will be for Barrett next year. I’m operating under the assumption that Barrett will be back next year. I’m no scout, but I would imagine he would be a late-round pick and would come back for another shot at a national title. Again, I don’t know anything, but let’s assume Barrett comes back for now.
Even another 1800 yards this year would leave Barrett in third place, and about 1,000 yards behind the current leader. If Barrett stays four years.
Now sure the schedule gets harder as the season goes, but Barrett has proved he is up to the task. He will need to step his game up this year, but the buckeyes appear to be one of the most talented teams in the nation. J.T. Barrett has the chance to be one of the best QBs statistically in Ohio State history. H
e also helped set up the 2014 team for a shot at a national title, as well as placing 5th in the Heisman vote that year.
If he is able to lead this team to another playoff berth this year and goes to New York for the Heisman, he could be remembered as one of the best Ohio State QBs ever.