Buckeyes QB J.T. Barrett has sprained MCL

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Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett was visibly ailing Saturday night against Penn State, which made his performance in two overtimes all the more impressive. On Monday Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer announced his starting quarterback filling the shoes for Braxton Miller has a sprained MCL. The injury will limit Barrett in practices this week as Ohio State prepares for a home game against Illinois on Saturday.

Barrett and the Ohio State offense were handled by Penn State’s defense in the second half Saturday night in Beaver Stadium. The redshirt freshman quarterback was picked off twice, with one being returned for a momentum-shifting touchdown early in the second half. Penn State battled back from a 17-0 deficit to force overtime, but Penn State’s defense was unable to buckle down on Barrett in the extra sessions. Barrett rushed twice on Ohio State’s first overtime possession to answer a touchdown by Penn State. On the second possession, which was given excellent starting position due to a Penn State leaping penalty on Ohio State’s previous extra-point attempt, Barrett rushed twice more and again reached the end zone to give the Buckeyes what turned out to be the game-winning score.

There is no expectation right now that Barrett will have to miss this weekend’s game against the Illini, but if Ohio State has to put him on the bench with Michigan State looming the following week, the Buckeyes would likely hand the offense off to Cardale Jones. Miller is out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery before the start of the season.