COLUMBUS, OH — Led by former Wichita Falls S. H. Rider High School alumnus J.T. Barrett, the Associated Press No. 6 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes beat No. 2 Penn State 39-38 Saturday at Ohio Stadium, rallying from 18 points down to add another team the list of former unbeaten.
With Heisman Trophy favorite Saquon Barkley in tow, the Nittany Lions entered Columbus’ “Horseshoe” undefeated and in front of 110,000-plus loud Buckeye fans.
After Barkley took the opening kickoff back 96 yards for a touchdown and added a 36-yard touchdown run later in the first quarter to silence the Ohio State crowd, everything seemed to be set against the Buckeyes.
Turnovers. Penalties. Dropped passes.
Ohio State found itself down 18 late in the third quarter, running out of options, time and the ammunition needed to lay seige to Penn State on its own turf and stage an upset. With Barkley and the Lions seemingly a step closer to securing one of the four playoff berths, J.T. Barrett, found a phone booth, tied on his cape, and went to work.
Barrett completed 13 of 13 passes for 170 yards and three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, leading an improbable comeback and beating the previously undefeated Nittany Lions. He finished with 328 yards passing, 95 rushing yards and four total touchdowns while completing 85 percent of his passes. Barrett’s four TD performance helped him pass former Austin Westlake High School alum Drew Brees for first place in Big Ten All-Time touchdown passes.
Barrett was a three-sport standout at Wichita Falls S.H. Rider. As a junior, he rushed for more than 1,500 yards and threw for more than 1,600 yards. The 247Sports and ESPN 4-Star recruit was limited by injury his senior year but earned a scholarship to Ohio State.
He started the majority of the Ohio State 2014 national championship run, but sat out the final three games due to injury. Three years later, Barrett has the Buckeyes in position for another National Championship run. His performance may also earn him some Heisman Trophy consideration.
Ohio State has 6 other players from Texas on their roster, including freshman J.K. Dobbins, from LaGrange High School. Dobbins carried the ball 13 times for 88 yards, outperforming Penn State’s Barkley who was held to a total of 44 yards on 21 carries after his 36-yard first quarter TD run.
Despite the loss, Barkley should still remain in the Heisman Trophy race. Penn State still has hopes of winning the Big Ten and making the College Football Playoff, but Barrett and the Buckeyes may now the favorites to win the Big Ten and get back to the College Football Playoff for the third time in four years.
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