J.T. Barrett thought about apologizing to Drue Chrisman on the Ohio State sideline Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.
The Buckeyes were up 56-14. The offense had rolled up more than 600 yards and 41 first downs. So quarterback Barrett was on the sideline watching the Ohio State backups and chatting with the punter.
“I go out there and try to score points,” said Barrett, who threw for five touchdowns and ran for two. “If we get a touchdown on a drive, I’ve done my job. As far as keeping the ball going, I did talk to Drue late in the game and said ‘It’s cold out here on the sideline, huh?.’ He said ‘Yeah, you’re right, I didn’t punt tonight.' I almost wanted to say I apologize. But I didn’t."
The Buckeyes scored touchdowns on their first eight possessions, failing to score only after Barrett left the game following a 6-yard TD pass to K.J. Hill three plays into the fourth quarter.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said Barrett played one of his better games Saturday, completing 27 of 33 passes for 325 yards on a very windy night.
“That was not an easy environment to throw the ball in,” Meyer said. “Early in the game, they were determined to stop the run, they had nine guys around the line of scrimmage, which is not the style of defense they’d played in the past. They were going to force us to be beat them throwing and he had one of the better games he’s had.”
While Barrett was the star of the game, and 11 receivers caught passes, Meyer’s praise for his offense began with the big men in the trenches.
“It all starts with the offensive line,” Meyer said. “This was a bend-but-don’t-break defense we were coming into play. We had to be methodical in that kind of environment. They’re not going to give you the deep ball ... they make you work for everything. ... I’m very proud of those guys. J.T. played exceptional. His confidence level is elite right now ... the quarterback runs the show."
That said, the first score of the game came when running back J.K. Dobbins ripped through the Nebraska defense on a 52-yard run that gave Ohio State a 7-0 lead fewer than 5 minutes into the game.
“When I see green, I’ve got to score,” Dobbins said. “I saw all the guys blocking for me. It was a beautiful thing to see.”
The Buckeyes finished with 354 yards passing and 279 yards rushing, just the balance Meyer wants to see from his team. And, as the chilled Chrisman will attest, no punts.
Ohio State held Nebraska to just a pair of third-quarter touchdowns. But Meyer said the defensive effort didn’t match the offense’s perfection.
“You look up and they have 300 yards passing,” Meyer said. “We have some issues to work on. Our run defense was outstanding.”
Ohio State has the week off before hosting No. 3 Penn State on Oct. 28, starting a five-week stretch in which they will also face Michigan State and arch rival Michigan.
“We’re going into the bye week on a high,” said center Billy Price. “But we know what we’ve got left to do.”