It takes a lot to upstage a Buckeye victory over Michigan, especially in Ann Arbor. It takes even more to do so when it’s an emotional comeback win that keeps Ohio State’s national title hopes alive.
Saturday, following OSU’s 31-20 win over the Wolverines, Urban Meyer did just that.
Meyer was enraged by an injury suffered by starting QB J.T. Barrett when a photographer banged into Barrett’s knee behind the Ohio State bench.
“There’s just someone on your frickin’ sideline and he hurts your quarterback. I’ll find out who that was,” said Meyer.
“I’m just so upset with myself. That was a non-football injury. Too many damn people on the sideline and a guy with a camera hit him in the knee. I’m going to find out who,” said Meyer.
The collision happened sometime early in the game, but Barrett was able to play for the first half and part of the third quarter before he aggravated the injury and had to turn the offense over to backup Dwayne Haskins.
“I don’t know who it was,” Barrett said. “Michigan has a lot of people on our sideline, whether it be fans or photo camera people. He bumped me. My knee kind of shifted in.”
Meyer’s anger had reporters wondering whether the incident could have been an intentional act to aimed at knocking the Buckeye starter out of the game. Barrett said he didn’t think so.
“Nah. I hope not. I don’t think it’s that type of rivalry where you’d try to do that,” he said.
Barrett said that he has actually been playing on a bad knee all season, starting when it locked up during the first drive of the season-opener at Indiana.
“It has happened before, my knee has kind of twisted on me. I have to hyperextend it so it can kind of lock out and then it’ll be untwisted,” he said.
Barrett stood up to illustrate the incident during postgame interviews.
“I’m throwing, warming up, and I went to throw and somebody tried to squeeze through, I guess not to get close to our bench. And he hit me. And my knee kind of shifted in, like I said, just twisted up on me.
“I didn’t really see a camera. He was wearing some gray and he just continued to walk. I’m pretty sure he got a little nervous.”
After the person crashed into him, Barrett said he was initially able to get his knee back in shape to take the field.
“I just lock my leg out, it pops back in and I’ll continue to play. I don’t need to go to run to the trainers and tell anybody. I felt fine running around, cutting. Before it happened the second time, I was running, cutting, playing, throwing the ball, all that was fine,” he said.
That all changed when Barrett aggravated the injury after halftime, and couldn’t get the joint fixed again.
He went up the tunnel to the locker room and returned without shoulder pads or his helmet.
However, Barrett left no doubt about his plans for next Saturday’s Big Ten Championship Game against Wisconsin.
“Yeah, I’ll play next week.”