C.J. Barnett likely out for season

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.