What does perfection look like? It isn’t always a fairy-tale. Down by 15 with 13:13 left in the fourth quarter, J.T. Barrett’s fumble was recovered by Penn State’s Shareef Miller. The miscue set up a first and 10 at the Ohio State 42. Any hope of a comeback against the No. 2 team in the nation dimmed.
But then something funny happened on Penn State’s drive that would surely put the dagger in. Ohio State’s defense stood firm. And, Denzel Ward, shot from pistol – blocked the Penn State punt.
J.T. Barrett would get the ball back – and not make another mistake – going a perfect 11/11 for three touchdowns leading the Buckeyes to a 39-38 victory. Barrett completed his last 16 passes on the night, finishing 33/39 for 328 yards through the air and four touchdowns against the nation’s No. 1 scoring defense. Barrett added 95 yards rushing, leading OSU – and more than doubling up the total of Penn State Heisman front runner Saquon Barkley (Barkley finished the day with 44 yards on 21 attempts and a TD, in addition to his opening kick return TD).
After the game, Urban reflected on Barrett’s performance, “I’ve never had a kid play perfect, but damn he was close tonight – 33 of 39. I can count four drops off the top of my head and two penalties that kept him from big completions. And he’d be the first one to tell you he’s a product of those around him, which he is – receivers and offensive line played. That’s the No. 1 defense in America, we have great respect for. And I just can’t – just how proud of J.T.”
HEADLINES: AP – Comeback! No. 6 Ohio State rallies to beat No. 2 Penn State; Eleven Warriors – Ohio State Overcomes Early Deficit, Penalties to Stun No. 2 Penn State; SB Nation – Ohio State overcame a whole lot to beat Penn State, thanks to J.T. Barrett and this defensive front; Sports Illustrated – J.T. Barrett’s Fabulous Fourth Quarter Leads Ohio State to Comeback Victory Over Penn State; ESPN – ‘What the heck just happened?’ Ohio State’s rally for the ages; Washington Post – In shocking Penn State, Ohio State and J.T. Barrett refused to let go; Columbus Dispatch – Ohio State 39, Penn State 38 | A rally for the ages; Plain Dealer – No. 6 Ohio State rallies; J.T. Barrett delivers in 39-38 win over No. 2 Penn State
AROUND THE BIG: Wisconsin 24, Illinois 10; Michigan State 31, Northwestern 39; Rutgers 14, Michigan 35; Indiana 39, Maryland 42; Minnesota 10, Iowa 17; Nebraska 25, Purdue 24