Thursday, November 20, 2014

J.T. BARRETT NOW A HEISMAN CONTENDER, AS OSU FACES INDIANA

COLUMBUS — Not only has Ohio State thrust themselves onto the short list of College Football Playoff contenders, they have done so on the shoulders of a freshman ... wait for it ... Heisman Trophy contender!

Don't believe the Buckeyes' young quarterback, J.T. Barrett, is worthy of the most coveted individual trophy in collegiate sports? Well let me provide you with a little food for thought. 

Through 10 games this season, Barrett has combined for more total touchdowns (29 passing, 9 rushing) than nine Big Ten teams. In fact, he has gotten the rock across the chalk more than 60 teams have in the FBS. 

"I have been fortunate to coach some guys that have been in New York, and he's a Heisman candidate," OSU head coach Urban Meyer said of Barrett on Monday, during his weekly media luncheon in Columbus.

Barrett is currently tied for second in the FBS in passing efficiency (171.6), has already eclipsed Braxton Miller's school-record for most total yards in a season (3,127 and counting), and is just two touchdown passes from breaking Troy Smith's mark of 30 set in 2006 — the year he won ... wait for it ... the Heisman!

Barrett's also a perfectionist — another trait of a Heisman winner.

"J.T. is a Heisman candidate that knows that he could have played much better Saturday, and that's the best thing about coaching these guys right now," Meyer said. "I hope it doesn't change."

This Saturday in Columbus, Barrett and the Buckeyes (9-1, 6-0 Big Ten) will look to pad their resumes, as they host Indiana (12 p.m., BTN), who 0-6 in conference play this season.

However, the Hoosiers are far from being void of talent, as junior tailback Tevin Coleman may be the most talented runner in America — not named Melvin Gordon.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Coleman, who is second in the FBS in rushing yards (1,678), has gained more than 100 yards in nine of the Hoosiers' 10 games this season, including a 307-yard performance in last weekend's loss at Rutgers.

"I have not studied him. I see his statistics; they're ridiculous," Meyer said of Coleman. "I met with our defensive staff again this morning, last night and this morning, and they think he's an outstanding, great back. Not real big but fast, extremely fast. 

"I have not studied him. That's usually Wednesday I do that, but I know our guys are clear that's the threat, the number one threat on their team."

Bottom Line

There's not enough Tevin Colemans in all of Indiana to derail the Buckeye train at this moment in time.

Lee's Prediction: OSU 63-21