COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State didn’t wind up sweating the points that could have come off the board when a premature Oklahoma celebration was missed during Saturday night’s contest.
But the Buckeyes are fully aware of what they would be facing if one of their teammates was guilty of something similar.
Coaches around the nation have a handful of recent examples of players casually dropping the football to the turf before officially scoring that they could show their teams as a reminder about the importance of maintaining possession all the way across the goal line. Those blunders have surprisingly become more common.
But the rules are clear at Ohio State, and star quarterback J.T. Barrett didn’t need the reminder — even after seeing it happen up close.
“Yeah, here’s the rule — and we do have rules [for scoring],” Barrett said with a laugh after practice on Wednesday. “When you score, you hand the ball to an official and you go hug a big guy. That’s the rule. If anybody got away from that and dropped the ball before they crossed the end zone and the other team recovered it, I could only imagine what that day would be like for that man — or the rest of the year — with Coach [Urban] Meyer. I just couldn’t tell you how awful that might be.
“I gave you the rules, but as for the consequences, God, I don’t know. … That’s a rough day at the office.”
The Sooners had a long night in the 45-24 loss the Buckeyes, even with the officials missing Joe Mixon‘s fumble before he crossed the goal line for a touchdown on a kickoff return. Those points that shouldn’t have been awarded were missed by the officials during the action, and there was no video review, even though replays showed Mixon no longer had possession before he headed into the end zone.
A similar mistake nearly gave Texas a bonus possession and a chance to avoid an upset loss later that evening, after Cal running back Vic Enwere dropped the football before breaking the plane of the end zone. The officials determined there had been no immediate recovery of the ball afterward, leaving possession with the Golden Bears and the opportunity to run out the clock.
But along with another similar play by Clemson, that makes three high-profile incidents already this season — including the one the Buckeyes got to witness in person.
“We don’t really talk about it,” Ohio State H-back Curtis Samuel said.
“We make sure we keep the ball high and tight, and after you score, go give the ball to an official and hug a big guy. That’s what we do.”