Barrett shares glory with Dobbins, defense
Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett went past Purdue legend Drew Brees’ Big Ten career record of touchdowns responsible for by adding three Saturday, increasing his total to 107, including a run and TD passes to Terry McLaurin and Austin Mack.
Freshman running back J.K. Dobbins set the crowd at Ohio Stadium buzzing with his rollicking start to the second half, a 22-yard carry followed by a 52-yarder to the end zone. The Buckeyes' defense gave up one drive of note, and it was a 99-yarder for a TD. Otherwise, it controlled Army’s triple-option offense.
Dobbins gained 172 yards on 13 carries and scored two touchdowns, including a 2-yard rip at the end of a 13-play, 94-yard drive in the first quarter. Barrett ran 5 yards for a first-quarter score while rushing for 32 yards overall. He was 25-of-33 passing for 270 yards and two TDs. Tuf Borland replaced injured linebacker Chris Worley in the second quarter and had 12 tackles.
Tracy Sprinkle, Robert Landers, Dre’Mont Jones and Jashon Cornell did the grunt work on the inside of the defense against the option, the work toughened by the physical runs of fullback Darnell Woolfolk. The Buckeyes played five defensive backs all game, which meant the first extended playing time for safety Erick Smith. He excelled on a pass breakup at the goal line in the first half. Linebacker Jerome Baker was a major presence, too, attacking inside and out. Strategically speaking
Offensively, Ohio State attacked the edges and took a couple of shots downfield, but it based a lot of its work on running inside with Dobbins and occasional option keepers by Barrett or option pitches to the outside. In other words, the Buckeyes gave the Black Knights a bit of their own medicine and things loosened in the ranks in the second half. Defensively, the Buckeyes used three safeties — Smith, Damon Webb and Jordan Fuller — along with two cornerbacks and two linebackers to provide cloud cover against the Army attack.
Some might say the run defense, but Army runs the option so well that it’s going to gain yards against most teams. Considering 99 of Army’s 278 total yards came on one drive, it was a great day with an asterisk for the defense.
Stat that matters
30: First downs for Ohio State, compared with 16 for Army. For the Black Knights to have had a chance, those numbers had to be reversed.
Worley limped off after getting cut-blocked late in Army’s first half 99-yard TD drive and did not return. He was replaced by Borland.
By the numbers
8.5: Yards Ohio State averaged per play
2: Completions (out of eight attempts) that Army had passing
The Buckeyes host UNLV on Saturday, the same team that was upset 43-40 by Howard in the season opener. The Rebels bounced back to beat Idaho before taking Saturday off. Ohio State will be a prohibitive favorite, which means poll voters and the like won’t be watching to see how, just checking the score to see how much.
Ohio State safety Erick Smith, left, and defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones upend Army running back John Trainor during the fourth quarter. Smith helped patrol the secondary while Jones was a force in clogging the middle for the defense.