Scott Stuart - Buckeye Grove
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Saturday evening's game against Army was not perfect for Ohio state, but quarterback J.T. Barrett walked away with something no one else in the Big Ten has — the most touchdowns scored.
Barrett passed Drew Brees for the most touchdown's responsible for in conference history on a nine-yard touchdown pass to Austin Mack with seven minutes left in the game. It might have been garbage time, but it still was enough to put Barrett in the books with elite company.
"What I keep thinking to myself (is) all these records broken that I have, I never really thought about it honestly," Barrett said. "One thing I go back to is I come Wichita Falls, a little city on the map. I just wanted to come out here, win a lot of football games, being around a great group of people doing it. This was something that came along the way, as far as the records being broken. It's a tremendous honor. Didn't picture it when I committed to Ohio State, but I think ... just credit to all the people that involved."
Barrett thanked a few prominent people who helped along the way, including Tim Beck, Tom Herman, and Devin Smith. And yet, as he watched his name flash across the scoreboard and hear his record announced, there's a small detail that probably was in the back of his mind.
Fans are still asking to see Dwayne Haskins.
Haskins appeared late as a garbage-time quarterback, and went 4-for-4 for 46 yards. His delivery was crisp, his footwork and timing appeared on par, and he helped move the ball down the field.
Haskins will probably be the quarterback most people talk about in the next week, even with Barrett now statistically one of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the Big Ten in terms of touchdowns. Barrett said he heard all the noise from the outside, but stressed that the team still knows who is best for continued success.
"I think that people have the right to their opinion. I think that that's something that's part of our great country. Freedom of speech," he said. "But, they really don't know all the inner-workings that are involved in every single game plan, every single game. Even going down to every single play. With that being said, they were kind speaking things based off what they see or hear, which is fine. But, understand that they don't know all the inner-workings that we have going on."
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer has directed his fair share of college quarterback talent, with names like Alex Smith and Tim Tebow. Now, with the record-setting day, Barrett's name might be mentioned alongside memorable college football signal callers.
Meyer still sees a bright future for his quarterback.
"I've known about the Big Ten Conference for probably 40-some years, and of all the great players that have played here, to say you're the No. 1 touchdown maker in the history of the Big Ten Conference, that's awesome," Meyer said. "That's something that ... that's going to be a hard one to break. He's got a lot of games left. Much credit to him and I appreciate him."
Even with Meyer's praise, the outside voices are not going away anytime soon. Even as Barrett continues to add to his career numbers, there will always be a divide in how the Buckeye fanbase views the Texas native.
Barrett is fine with all the remarks and criticism, and he's found that moving forward is the only way to keep doing the things he wanted to when he committed to play in Columbus.
"Being the quarterback, you get a lot of praise when we win, which is a lot of times not needed. Then when we lose, you get all the blame, in which I'm okay with," Barrett said. "I don't wanna place that on anybody else in our program. I accept the blame. But, with that too, just understanding the skills I have, because if you start getting down on yourself, you're gonna just end up digging a hole you ain't gonna climb out of."
With nine games remaining in the regular season, Barrett will look to keep furthering his lead in the record books. But, those things won't matter to him in the end, as long as Ohio State stays in the win column.