Ohio State Football: Realistic Expectations for JT Barrett in His Buckeyes Debut

Discussing what he expects to see from J.T. Barrett in the first start of his college career, Ohio State offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman used a mixed metaphor to explain the responsibilities of the quarterback in the Buckeyes’ spread offense.

“We don’t do a whole lot on offense, despite what some think we may or may not do,” Herman said. “We don’t ask the quarterback to be a rocket surgeon by any stretch of the imagination.”

But while Barrett won’t be playing the role of “rocket surgeon” when Ohio State takes the field for the Buckeyes’ season opener against Navy on Saturday, the redshirt freshman won’t be without responsibility. No matter how much the OSU coaching staff downplays Barrett’s role, the fact remains that he’s the player tasked with replacing two-time Big Ten MVP Braxton Miller, who was sidelined for the season a week ago with a torn labrum.

And while it’s far-fetched to think that Barrett could replace the 263.5 total yards per game that Miller averaged a season ago right away, there’s no denying that a large burden of the Ohio State offense has been placed on the Wichita Falls, Texas, native’s shoulders.

So how does Herman plan on reconciling Barrett’s obvious inexperience with his undeniable responsibility? It starts with a simple game plan that won’t require a rocket surgeon to employ.

“You want to make sure that you call plays that maybe you guys might say are conservative, but yet don’t have…

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