Each game, the momentum can shift from one team to the other on one play. Every week, we will list five plays, elements of plays or series of plays that made the most significant impact in Ohio State’s games. Here’s the five plays that mattered most in No. 8 Ohio State’s 38-7 win versus Army.
Barrett’s 107th career touchdown
Quarterback J.T. Barrett etched his name further into history Saturday with his fourth-quarter touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Austin Mack.
The 9-yard strike with 7:01 remaining in the game was touchdown No. 107 for Barrett, surpassing former Purdue quarterback and eventual NFL Hall of Famer Drew Brees on the Big Ten’s all-time touchdowns responsible for list.
Barrett finished the game 25-for-33 for 270 yards and two touchdowns through the air, with 41 yards and a touchdown coming on the ground.
Erick Smith’s touchdown-saving pass breakup
As expected, Army’s triple-option style offense didn’t put the ball in the air much Saturday. However, with 10:24 remaining in the second quarter, Army quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw fooled Ohio State’s defense and went long to running back Kell Walker who had no one in front of him.
Senior safety Erick Smith ran from the left side of the field, dove and batted away a would-be touchdown. The play was reminiscent of the athleticism former safety Malik Hooker showed last season.
Dobbins, two plays for 74 yards
Ohio State freshman running back J.K. Dobbins had just two carries in the second quarter compared to five carries for 50 yards in the first. When his number was called in the third, he put the game out of reach.
With 8:23 remaining in the third quarter on the Buckeyes’ first drive of the second half, Dobbins turned on the jets for a 52-yard touchdown after unleashing a devastating juke move to get into the open field. The score put Ohio State up 24-7 and was set up by a Dobbins 22-yard gain on the play prior.
18-play, 99-yard, 9:37 Army touchdown drive
Ohio State gained 204 yards in the first quarter and led 14-0 after 15 minutes. It was clear that Army would have to limit the Buckeyes’ possessions if it wanted to keep the score close. In the second quarter, Ohio State had just one drive that ended with three points due to Army’s 18-play, 99-yard touchdown drive that spanned nearly 10 minutes.
The triple-option offense allows a team to have long drives and wear out opposing defenses. Eighteen consecutive plays will tire any defense, and Army’s long, methodical drive was the reason why the game was only a 10-point difference at halftime.
Third-down stop results in Army missed field goal
Army began the second half with the ball and drove all the way to Ohio State’s 23-yard line. A touchdown would have cut the game to just three points, but the Ohio State defense made a stand.
On the 10th play of a six-minute drive, safeties Damon Webb and Jordan Fuller played in the box and attacked the backfield, dropping running back Darnell Woolfolk for a 3-yard loss on third-and-3. The next play, Army kicker Blake Wilson missed left on a 43-yard field goal try, which kept the score 17-7.
Two plays later, Dobbins found paydirt for the decisive score.