C.J. Barnett likely out for season

Updated: September 14, 2010, 12:36 PM ET
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com

Ohio State sophomore strong safety C.J. Barnett likely will miss the rest of the season following knee surgery.

Barnett, who started the first two games for the Buckeyes, suffered a right knee injury late in the third quarter of Saturday's 36-24 win against Miami.

Coach Jim Tressel confirmed Tuesday that Barnett needs surgery and likely will miss the rest of the year.

The 6-foot, 190-pound Barnett moved into the starting spot following a preseason injury to Orhian Johnson and performed well in the first two games, recording several hard hits and a pass breakup that likely saved a touchdown against Miami.

"We really hate to lose him," Tressel said, "because I thought he was playing very physical and he was really starting to learn the game."

Tressel expects Johnson, who has recovered from a pulled calf muscle, to step into Barnett's place.

Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com.