Ryan Ginn: Although he got off to a bit of a rough start with a turnover on his first drive, J.T. Barrett earned my Buckeye Leaf. Excluding the series at the end of the first half where Ohio State chose to take a knee, Barrett piloted the Ohio State offense to touchdowns on his last six drives of the game. His stat line – 14 of 18 for 223 yards and three touchdowns passing, with 13 carries for 101 yards and two touchdowns on the ground – is the type of performance that Ohio State has desperately needed.
James Grega: Without a doubt in my mind, J.T. Barrett gets my Buckeye Leaf. Making his first start of the season, the sophomore collected 324 total yards, including going over 100 yards rushing for the second straight game. We saw the vintage Barrett from 2014, who was efficient with the ball, accounting for five scores and did not turn the ball over. If not Barrett, Michael Thomas was also impressive as he collected his second 100-yard game of the season including a 50-yard burst on a deep bench route from Barrett before breaking two tackles on his way to the end zone.
Tim Moody: It was J.T. Barrett’s night, and all indications now suggest this is J.T. Barrett’s team. The sophomore quarterback deserves a lot of credit for his ability to keep focused as the backup through the first seven games, and he was a huge difference maker for Ohio State against Rutgers. A stat line of 14 completions on 18 attempts for 223 yards and three touchdowns is extremely impressive, but that leaves out his 101 yards and two touchdowns on the ground as well. It was the kind of performance Ohio State fans came to expect from Barrett last season, but argue that was his best performance since first putting on the scarlet and gray.
Blake Williams: Plenty of options on both sides of the ball in the absolute route of Rutgers, but I’ll go with the obvious and honor J.T. Barrett tonight. In his first start of the season the sophomore was nearly flawless, completing 14 of 18 passes for 223 yards with three touchdowns without a turnover while adding 101 yards and two scores on the ground. That’s a devastatingly efficient night for No. 16 and he more than validated Urban Meyer’s choice to give him the reins to the offense. A hat tip to Michael Thomas and Joey Bosa for strong performances, but Barrett owned the state of New Jersey Saturday night and gets some deserved praise in this space.