J.T. Barrett hints he will return for fifth year

J.T. Barrett throws a pass against Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 31, 2016.

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J.T. Barrett throws a pass against Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 31, 2016.

Ohio State quarterback says it would be hard to leave after 31-0 loss

The still cameras clicked. The video cameras rolled. J.T. Barrett looked straight ahead and made his way to the line of Ohio State Buckeyes about to sing “Carmen Ohio” for the last time in 2016.

In Ohio State’s 31-0 loss to Clemson, Barrett completed 19 of 33 passes for 127 yards. He threw two interceptions. He rushed 11 times for a loss of two yards. For the first time in his career, he failed to get his team into the end zone.

Barrett is a fourth-year junior. He has one season of eligibility remaining. He has not said whether he is returning but was asked about his decision after the game.

“My main focus was to focus on this year,” Barrett said. “I didn't really give it that much thought, but it will be really hard for me to walk away when we just lost 31-0.”

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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The Buckeyes lost 31-0 to Clemson on Dec. 31, 2016.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

All the worries about the passing game proved warranted as the Buckeyes struggled from start to finish.

“We will become a good passing team, we will,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. “Next year.”

Ohio State converted 3 of 14 third downs and were 0 of 2 on fourth down. They punted seven times.

“(Clemson) did a good job being disruptive, the D-line did,” Barrett said. “There were times I could have done a better job getting the ball out, as far as seeing my reads faster. We just didn't execute really on offense. It wasn't really like we were surprised by the looks that we had. I think we prepared really hard, and coaches did everything they could as far as like throwing us the different looks that we thought we were going to get, and we just didn't execute it anywhere on offense, really.”

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Mike Hartsock takes a closer look at a frustrating finish to 2016.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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