J.T. Barrett expected to play Saturday

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A sprained knee couldn't keep J.T. Barrett out of the lineup or the end zone on Saturday, and it won't prevent the Ohio State quarterback from playing again this week, either.

Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer plans to limit the practice reps for the redshirt freshman ahead of this week's prime-time game against Illinois, but Barrett's MCL injury isn't believed to be serious. And Meyer might not even tell Barrett that his snaps during the week are being monitored.

"He's got a sprained knee, MCL, but obviously there's no surgery or anything," Meyer said during his Monday news conference. "I think he will be limited.

"We're going to see how it goes. He's probably going to be a guy that we won't tell him he's limited, but we'll make sure he's limited. It's not throwing that's a concern, it's running."

Barrett had one of his roughest passing performances of his breakout season in a double-overtime win over Penn State on Saturday, but his legs actually looked just fine down the stretch. Despite dealing with the sprain throughout the second half and into the deciding drives after regulation, Barrett rushed for 32 yards on four carries and both touchdowns for the Buckeyes in the overtime periods.

His extra effort on the eventual winning score was still drawing high praise from Meyer two days later. "How many guys could have done that?" Meyer said. "He had a very serious injury, an MCL is a serious injury, and to go in, he got hit on the 3-yard line ... it was unbelievable, he bulls his way in against the Penn State defense and wins the game.

"I think each player is different [dealing with injuries], and he's a guy that's not going to say anything. He's one of the toughest cats I've ever been around."