Last season, some people said Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett took a step backwards. His head coach even fell on the sword and took the blame for the team’s play calling and sluggish offense. For at least one game, Barrett seemed to have regained his mojo and returned to his 2014 form, as the Buckeyes rolled past the Bowling Green Falcons 77-10 in the season opener for both teams in Columbus.
Barrett tied his own school record, which he shares with former Buckeye Kenny Guiton, with six touchdown passes. He also ran for another score and finished 21 of 31 for 349 yards passing. Barrett’s only real mistake, ironically enough, was his second pass of the game, which was picked off by the Falcons’ Brandon Harris and returned 63 yards for a touchdown.
The Falcons lead only lasted a little over two minutes, as Barrett found K.J. Hill on their next possession for a 47 yard touchdown to tie the score 7-7. It didn’t get much better from there for the Falcons. Barrett would throw four first half touchdowns and rush for another as the Buckeyes sprinted to a 35-10 lead at the intermission.
Barrett would only play for two series in the second half, both resulting in touchdowns, as the Buckeyes began inserting its second unit players midway through the third quarter. The Falcon defense could never put any pressure on Barrett and its defense backs were no match for the speedy Ohio State receivers.
The Buckeyes’ Mike Weber, making his first career start, led the Buckeyes on the ground with 136 yards on 19 carries. Curtis Samuel added 84 yards rushing for the Buckeyes. Barrett threw touchdown passes to four different Buckeye receivers. Curtis Samuel led the way with nine receptions for 177 yards and two touchdowns. Dontre Wilson also had two touchdown receptions for the Buckeyes.
Quarterback James Knapke was 12 of 33 for just 110 yards passing for Bowling Green, as the Falcons only managed 243 total yards in the game…with many of those yards coming on the final two drives of the game. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes rolled up 776 yards of total offense against the Falcon defense as Ohio State scored it most points in a game since 1950.
The good news for the Falcons is that they appear to have come away with the game against the Buckeyes without any serious injuries. The Falcons will open the home portion of their 2016 schedule next week in Bowling Green against North Dakota.