Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes are getting set to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions, who have the most dynamic running back in the nation at their disposal, Saquon Barkley.
An X-factor if there ever was one, Barkley is undoubtedly atop the Heisman hopeful list heading into Week 9. He has tallied 1,221 all-purpose yards from scrimmage through Saturday, rushing for 757 yards, receiving 32 passes for 448 yards and even throwing a 16-yard touchdown pass on a trick play (watch).
Looking ahead at the challenge of trying to stop this young man, Meyer uttered the biggest possible compliment about Barkley.
Ohio State's Urban Meyer on Penn State running back Saquon Barkley: "He's the best all-purpose guy we've probably faced in maybe my career."
— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) October 23, 2017
The words, “in maybe my career” are pretty astounding. We’re not arguing this point whatsoever, because Barkley is a rare bird, indeed. There have only ever been a handful of players that can consistently do things like this while going full speed.
But Meyer has been around some pretty elite talent during his three decades of coaching at the collegiate level. So this comment cannot be taken lightly. Meyer’s words mirror what Barkley’s own coach, James Franklin, recently said about the elite running back, too.
Barkley and quarterback Trace McSorley made minced meat out of the impressive Michigan defense last Saturday and will be looking to do the same in Week 9 against Ohio State. The game will be played in Columbus, Ohio, so it’s going to be tougher in terms of the mental fortitude needed to dominate on another elite team’s home turf.
We cannot wait to see if Barkley can prevail, or if Nick Bosa and Co. swarm the running back and run away with a victory.