COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett suffered a season-ending fractured right ankle in Saturday’s 42-28 victory over Michigan and is out for the season.
Barrett will have surgery on Sunday, an Ohio State spokesman said.
The quick response on the field to Barrett’s injury early in the fourth quarter indicated it was severe. Doctors placed an air cast on Barrett’s right leg before he was carted off the field as chants of "J.T., J.T.," filled Ohio Stadium.
"We lost a Heisman candidate today," Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said after the win.
Redshirt sophomore Cardale Jones replaced Barrett and will become Ohio State’s starter.
With the win, the Buckeyes, who were No. 6 in last week’s College Football Playoff rankings and already clinched a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game, improved to 11-1. Meyer said he hadn’t thought of how the loss of Barrett — who broke the Big Ten record for touchdowns in a season with 43 in Saturday’s first quarter — would affect his team’s chances of playing in the inaugural four-team playoff.
"We won the game," Meyer said. "I think it’s all going to be on how we play next week. And I think we’ll have Cardale Jones ready to go next week."
Barrett took over the starting job in August following Braxton Miller’s season-ending shoulder injury. As late as July, Meyer said that Jones was ahead of Barrett in the battle to be Miller’s backup this season.
The Buckeyes were leading 28-21 when Barrett was injured.
"Just a sick feeling," Meyer said of seeing Barrett on the turf, awaiting the cart.
Barrett’s 25-yard touchdown run before halftime Saturday tied the game at 14-all. He had 15 carries for 89 yards and two touchdowns and was 13-of-21 passing for 176 yards and a first-quarter touchdown pass to Nick Vannett.
Barrett carried on second and 1 at the Ohio State 33 with 14:45 left in the fourth quarter. He lay on the field for several minutes before his right leg was put into a temporary air cast and he was lifted onto a cart.
Tight end Jeff Heuerman said he was one of the first players to get to Barrett.
"I heard him yell and I ran over to help him up," he told The Associated Press after the game. "When I went over I saw his ankle and it wasn’t pretty. I just told him, ‘Stay down, stay down.’ It kind of hit me, ‘Oh man.’"
Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner came to Barrett’s side and spoke to him before he was taken off the field, as did several Ohio State teammates.
"It’s like having a little brother get hurt," Gardner told the AP. "I didn’t like to see that at all."
He expressed respect for how "humbly" Barrett had been since he had grown into a start since taking over for Miller.
Ohio State’s Darron Lee, who ran back a fumble for a touchdown in the waning moments, said he was greatly affected by Barrett’s injury.
"J.T.’s been a warrior for us all year," Lee said. "With all the scrutiny he’s been under since the loss to (Virginia Tech), for him to rebound the way he did and for him to lead our offense it’s been huge. Next man up when it comes to quarterbacks."