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December 3, 2017

J.T. Barrett

Columbus, Ohio

Q. We've learned about sort of the process it took for your knee to get to a place where you could play in the Big Ten Championship. And I guess just with the care for your knee and mind is there any chance you won't play in this game so you can get that thing right for whatever you have to do in the future? Is there a chance your knee could prevent you from playing in the game?
J.T. BARRETT: Are you talking about the next game against USC?

Q. Yes, sir.
J.T. BARRETT: I'm going to play.

Q. With that in mind have you given any thought to the idea that you're going to get to finish your college career basically at home, not far from Wichita Falls?
J.T. BARRETT: Not really, but I think it will be good. If anything, gotta start begging for tickets pretty soon knowing my mom's going to try to have the family reunion at the Cowboys Stadium.

Q. Can you give us a little bit more insight in terms of how it felt during the game yesterday? And you had to put your body through a lot I mean to get to that point to play and then you had, I think, a season-high 19 carries after you put your body through a lot. Is it even more devastating to know what you went through and you guys did get the win that you're on the outside looking into the playoff?
J.T. BARRETT: I think I just try to put myself in the position physically to be able to go out there and still be myself, and, I mean, 19 carries, I didn't know it was that much. But it was whatever it took to win the game, like that's how it always is. You gotta do whatever it takes to win a game. And with that, we was able to do that.

So, I don't know, because it wasn't too crazy as far as like how I felt. I felt normal, playing, cutting fine, fighting for yards and didn't slide and things like that.

Q. With that said, J.T., how would you explain to people who are trying to come to grips with what you went through over the last week of what drives you to want to play football six days after your knee has been worked on?
J.T. BARRETT: So it was funny, when they said like gotta have surgery to clean it up in there and the recovery time is normally three to four weeks, I was like we don't really have that kind of time. So I was here all day, every day whether it be watching film in the training room. I had like a little station set up.

They hooked me up so I was able to watch film and ice my knee, get treatment things like that. So it was just a constant thing throughout last week and just trying to get myself prepared.

But, yeah, normally you get your knee scoped and it's three-, four-week type deal.

Q. I'm saying in your mind, I was talking to Coach Garfield, you came back from a broken collarbone when you were a freshman because you felt it important to play as soon as you could. Where does that drive come from? How long have you had that? What makes a man want to do things like that?
J.T. BARRETT: I think, I don't know, the love I have for the team, honestly. Like what we go through constantly throughout the offseason and those bonds you build through those trying times of working out and just the growth of bringing the team together. I think that's ultimately why you play the game of football is because the team building that it has and the love you have for your brothers.

And Coach asks a question, what would you do for your brother? And it's one of those things, well, I'd do anything. It's something you could say. But I try to also show that through my actions, and I think that's just part of it.

Q. Last time this team played in Dallas you got to watch but didn't get to play. Is it kind of ironic now that your final -- I know you want to be in the playoffs, but your final game is going to be in sort of in front of the home folks?
J.T. BARRETT: Yeah. I never played in Cowboys Stadium even in high school. So last time me playing a football game in Texas was in high school. So I think it will be good to be in the atmosphere and going against a team like USC, it will be good.

Q. Coach Meyer said he expects players to be devastated and feel disappointment not to get in the playoff. How are you feeling and processing that at this point?
J.T. BARRETT: Do I feel like the Ohio State Buckeyes is a top-four team in the country? I do. And I am hurt by us not getting in. And, I don't know, I guess it's to a point like -- it's one of those things that's kind of out of your control type of thing.

And it's going to sting for a minute. But at the end of the day you do what you're supposed to do; we was supposed to go beat Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship, and we were able to do that. And it was up to the committee to make the decision.

Q. It's got to be a wild ride for you guys considering how joyous the celebration was at midnight last night and then 12 hours later it's, like, I can't imagine how that would compare to what was taken -- maybe potentially taken away.
J.T. BARRETT: I feel like that's almost like how the game of football goes, almost. But what we experienced last night in the locker room, knowing what we've been through in the season and then go out there and accomplish one of our goals, and that's to be the Big Ten champs, that's something that can't be taken away from us. We'll definitely cherish that for forever.

Q. Is playing USC, especially in Dallas, for you the next best thing? Obviously you want to get into the CFP, but if you can't do that, is this the next best thing?
J.T. BARRETT: I don't really know how to answer that. I guess so. But it's one of those things, they pick where you go to. So, I mean, it's always, like, well, if I had my choice, you know, it would be in a playoff. But I guess so.

Q. When you think about in hindsight what it would have taken for you guys to have persuaded the committee? Is there any thought that, yeah, we beat Wisconsin but we could have beaten them more decisively and maybe that loss -- or is that not in your mind at all?
J.T. BARRETT: It could be every game if you want to talk about it, like, you win a game, but you missed a couple of things here or there. And it was, like, well, if we would have done this, we would have scored more points here or there.

You could go through every game and be like, well, we could have scored more points. Yeah, but at the end of the day it's about winning the game. And that was a good football team we went against and knowing it was going to be a slug match like it was.

So I don't know it's, like I said, you could win a game by 30 points and we could sit there and watch film and it would be, like, well, we could have actually scored three more touchdowns. But, yeah, we could do that to every game.

Q. The trend of players maybe skipping the bowl game to maybe tend to their own personal matters, do you foresee that happening here? What would you say to somebody who might be thinking of doing that?
J.T. BARRETT: That's wild. Especially the people that we have in our locker room. Like, I mean, I don't know what the people have done in these past couple of years. I don't know them personally. But I guess the brotherhood and the bond that we have in the Ohio State locker room, I would be very shocked.

You ever see Coach Meyer do the taken aback? Like one of those, like, smack me across the face. Somebody was like, yeah, I'm not going to play in the bowl game, Cotton Bowl against USC. I think that would be wild.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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