J.T. Barrett tosses seven TDs to lift No. 9 Ohio St. in rout of Nebraska

By Mike Malloy, The Sports Xchange  |  Oct. 14, 2017 at 11:40 PM
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LINCOLN, Neb. -- The only fourth-quarter drama in No. 9 Ohio State's rout of Nebraska Saturday was how long JT Barrett would stay in the game.

The answer: long enough for the Buckeyes' quarterback to equal a school record by accounting for seven touchdowns in Ohio State's 56-14 win. Barrett set the mark last September in a win against Bowling Green.

Barrett had five touchdowns passing, two rushing, and 325 passing yards in a game that was over early.

Ohio State scored on its first eight possessions dispiriting a Nebraska fan base that expressed itself initially with anger, then absence. Few in the sellout crowd were in place when Nebraska's defense recorded its first, and only, stop with 4:07 remaining. Those that did cheered, perhaps out of relief or spite.

Nebraska (3-4) finished with 44 rushing yards on 16 carries in what was its third home loss of the season. The loss continued an angst-riddled season for the Cornhuskers. Athletic director Shawn Eichorst was fired last month days after a loss to Northern Illinois. Speculation has swirled much of the year that coach Mike Riley, now 18-15 in three seasons in Lincoln, could be next.

Ohio State finished with 633 total yards, 561 accounted for by the starters.

Ohio State's opening kickoff went out of bounds, but little else went wrong for the Buckeyes in the first half. Ohio State scored on all five of its possessions, each covering at least 59 yards.

The first drive went 96 yards. During J.K. Dobbins' 52-yard touchdown run, he shoved away defender Lamar Jackson and then darted down the sideline. Ohio State's next drive covered 85 yards and ended with a short touchdown run from Barrett. Two drives into the game, not only was it 14-0, but Ohio State had outgained Nebraska, 166-5.

Barrett threw touchdown passes on the next two drives, extending the lead to 28-0 and bringing about many boos from the crowd of 89,346.

After picking up its second first down, midway through the second quarter, many in the home crowd sarcastically cheered and released red balloons -- a longtime Nebraska tradition, generally reserved for the Cornhuskers' first score.

Barrett scored his second rushing touchdown with 1:10 remaining, extending Ohio State's lead to 35-0. The Buckeyes finished the half with 366 yards, averaging 8.7 per play.

The biggest setback Ohio State suffered was an injury to receiver Paris Campbell. Three minutes into the game, Campbell needed help off the field after a tackle by Dicaprio Bootle. The ball and Bootle arrived nearly simultaneously, and Campbell did not get up for a minute or so.

NOTES: Ohio State K Sean Nuernberger set a Big 10 record with 148 consecutive extra points. ... Nebraska RB Tre Bryant missed his fifth consecutive game after running for 299 yards in the Cornhuskers' first two games. Backup Devine Ozigbo had rushed for at least 100 yards the past three games before being limited to 24 yards on nine carries on Saturday. ... Ohio State tied Nebraska for fourth in all-time wins. Each program has 892. ... This is the fourth straight game Ohio State has scored at least 50 points. ... Nebraska was 413-124-13 in Memorial Stadium's first 94 seasons, but is 2-3 this year. ... Ohio State senior LB Jalyn Holmes was injured in the third quarter, and laid on the field for about five minutes while teammates knelt in silence near him. He did not return. Buckeyes WR Paris Campbell was knocked out of the game in the first quarter after a hit from DB Dicaprio Bootle. Both Campbell and Holmes needed assistance to leave the field. ... Ohio State converted its first eight third-down opportunities.

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