Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett suffered a fractured ankle in Saturday’s 42-28 win over Michigan and will miss the remainder of the 2014 season. Barrett was injured during the fourth quarter of the Buckeyes’ victory and was carted to the locker room with an air cast on his leg.
Barrett will be replaced in the starting lineup by sophomore Cardale Jones in the Big Ten Championship and in Ohio State’s bowl game. Jones completed 2 of 3 passes for seven yards and rushed for 19 yards on two attempts in limited snaps against Michigan.
Jones has attempted just 16 passes during his career in Columbus. The sophomore has rushed for 316 yards and one score during that span.
Jones will have a huge opportunity in his first start next Saturday in the Big Ten Championship. If Ohio State emerges with a victory next week, it will stay in the mix for a playoff spot.
However, Barrett’s injury is a huge blow to Ohio State’s playoff hopes. The committee will take into account injuries, and a team with a third-string will be an interesting evaluation for the rankings after the final weekend – assuming the Buckeyes win the Big Ten title.
Prior to Week 14, Barrett was considered a top-five candidate for the Heisman Trophy. Sure, the redshirt freshman was a longshot, but his candidacy was remarkable considering what transpired for Ohio State in the preseason. Starter Braxton Miller was lost for the year, and Barrett – with zero career attempts – was pushed into the lineup.
Barrett’s final 2014 numbers were impressive by a first-year starter, as he threw for 2,658 yards and 33 scores and added 849 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground.