Ohio State’s offense has been lacking the big play in recent weeks, but with J.T. Barrett at the helm, the Buckeyes broke free for multiple long-yardage scores.
One of which was a beautiful 30-yard touchdown pass from Barrett to wide receiver Curtis Samuel to open the third quarter against Rutgers Saturday night.
Formations and blitz pick up:
The Rutgers defense lined up in a 4-2-5 look and rushed their front six defenders playing man-under with one high safety over the top.
The Buckeyes lined up in a very standard two-by-two formation with running back Ezekiel Elliott lined up directly behind Barrett in a pistol look.
As the ball is snapped, Barrett turns his back to the Buckeye sideline and carries out a play action fake to Elliott while left guard Billy Price pulls from left to right to show run.
Meanwhile, the Scarlet Knights initially rushed their four defensive linemen, along with linebacker Steve Longa (No. 3) and appeared to spy Barrett with middle linebacker Kaiwan Lewis (No. 14).
As Price pulls around, he kicks out Longa to create a seemingly clean pocket. But Lewis, seeing a clear path to Barrett gets a shot on the Ohio State signal caller. Lewis would later be called for roughing the passer as he took a clear shot at Barrett’s head with his forearm.
As Barrett carries out his fake to Elliott and goes through his progression, he is taught to look at the one-high safety (Cover 1).
When you watch the play, you will see Barrett look not at his receivers, but directly at the safety. Backside, Jalin Marshall was running up the seam and the safety seemed to be leaning to Marshall’s side.
On the short side of the field, Curtis Samuel and Jeff Greene were dealing with one-on-one coverage with Samuel covered by a cornerback-turned-free safety Anthony Cioffi.
Samuel makes Cioffi bite on a double move to the inside, then bolts toward the corner of the end zone where Barrett had lofted a near perfect pass headed for the back pylon. The rest, as they say, is history.
The touchdown reception was Samuel’s second of the season and it put Ohio State ahead 27-0 prior to the extra point.