OU football: Five players Sooners need to especially account for this season

STILLWATER, OK - SEPTEMBER 17 : Wide receiver James Washington
STILLWATER, OK - SEPTEMBER 17 : Wide receiver James Washington /
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NORMAN, OK – SEPTEMBER 17: J.T. Barrett /

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett, jersey No. 16

J.T. Barrett, a fifth-year senior in 2017, was a First Team All-Big 12 selection in 2016. and led the Buckeyes to an 11-2 overall record and a return trip to the College Football Playoff after a one-year absence.

Barrett had a field day in Ohio State’s blowout win over the Sooners in Norman last season. The OSU quarterback orchestrated a Buckeye offense that churned out 443 yards of total offense. Barrett completed 14 of 20 passes for 152 yards and four touchdowns, and also carried the ball 17 times for 74 net yards.

The Sooner defense got to Barrett only one time for a sack in last season’s contest. If you can’t get pressure on a quarterback with as much talent as Barrett, you are flirting with disaster, and that is precisely what happened to Oklahoma a year ago.

Barrett will be at the Ohio State controls again this season, when the Sooners travel to Columbus. The fifth-year senior is a veteran quarterback and he is again surrounded by top talent. His 6,381 passing yards ranks third most in the Buckeyes’ celebrated football history. He is a dangerous dual-threat quarterback who can beat you with his arm and with his legs. In three seasons at Ohio State, Barrett has delivered 69 touchdowns through the air and has run for 31 more.

If the Sooners are going to pull an upset at Ohio State on the second weekend of the 2017 season, it is an absolute must that they put pressure on the Buckeye quarterback and disrupt his passing rhythm and contain him in the pocket. If not, Oklahoma may be looking at a repeat of last year’s game.