COLUMBUS, Ohio — Preseason practice is wrapping up at Ohio State and it’s full speed ahead for the opener at Indiana on Thursday, Aug. 31. That also means our Camp Questions series is hitting the homestretch, and with the depth chart taking shape, that narrows the focus for our Land of 10 reporters.
All week they’ll be looking at key areas on the roster and forecasting some statistical leaders for the Buckeyes this season. Up next: Will J.T. Barrett go over or under Bovada’s listed line of 2,650 yards in the regular season?
Austin Ward: Over
With an improved cast of weapons around him, a veteran offensive line and Kevin Wilson now calling the plays, it’s hard to envision Barrett struggling to clear this bar. It’s possible that a dynamic rushing attack, one that includes him calling his own number, could deflate his passing totals. But the redshirt senior feels destined to smash the 2,834 yards he threw for during his breakout freshman season.
Barrett is poised to continue his mission of rewriting the record books both at Ohio State in the Big Ten, particularly if his accuracy in games follows the sharpness he’s shown during spring practices and training camp. He was low on the list of problems last season when the offense sputtered, but there were areas of his game that needed improvement. Barrett has tackled those with his infamous work ethic all year. It’s a safe bet that the results will show on the field in his final season.
Jeremy Birmingham: Over
In 2016, a year that many Ohio State fans would view as a disappointment when it comes to J.T. Barrett, he threw for 2,555 yards. In 2014, the year Barrett burst into the national spotlight, he threw for 2,834.
If he stays healthy and the offense improves even a little, he should eclipse that easily.
Barrett has an improved offensive line and a deep stable of talented (but unproven) wide receivers. There’s a solid running game to mix things up. Ohio State fans should see much more offensive balance from the Buckeyes in 2017. That means more games where Urban Meyer’s goals of both 250 yards passing and 250 yards rushing are met.
Barrett has worked overtime this spring and summer on his footwork and delivery, and a more aggressive play-calling duo in town – offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day – should give him the confidence he occasionally struggled to find in 2016. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Barrett throw for 3,000 yards this year.
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