INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ohio State coach Urban Meyer will not let right guard Marcus Hall start Saturday night’s Big Ten championship game against No. 10 Michigan State.Meyer said Friday that Hall would be replaced in the lineup by freshman Pat Elflein. Meyer did not say how long Hall would sit out.The move comes less than a week after Hall was involved in a scuffle at archrival Michigan. He and kick returner Dontre Wilson were ejected from the game. Before leaving the sideline, Hall threw his helmet to the ground, then made an obscene gesture to the Wolverines fans as he walked into the tunnel.The No. 2 Buckeyes (12-0) could reach a fourth BCS title game if they beat the Spartans (11-1) in Indianapolis.Sports & RecreationAmerican FootballMarcus Hall
Updated: December 2, 2013, 7:08 PM ET By Austin Ward | ESPN.com COLUMBUS, Ohio — The obscene gestures that followed Ohio State right guard Marcus Hall’s ejection for fighting earned him a public reprimand from the Big Ten, but they won’t cost him any more playing time. After reviewing the video of both the on-field tussle that produced three total ejections in a rivalry game at Michigan on Saturday and the actions that followed it by Hall, the conference announced the reprimand for the senior and the coaching staff for the No. 2 Buckeyes. But it didn’t take further action against either, leaving Hall, Dontre Wilson and the staff all available for Saturday’s conference championship against No. 10 Michigan State in Indianapolis. “The Big Ten Conference expects all contests involving a member institution to be conducted without compromise to any fundamental element of sportsmanship … including integrity of the competition, civility toward all, and respect, particularly toward opponents and officials,” a conference release said. “The conference office also issued a public reprimand of the Ohio State football coaching staff for failing in its duty to effectively manage the process of escorting an ejected student-athlete from the playing field to the locker room.” On the way there, Hall violently tossed a helmet, kicked a bench and then made a pair of rude hand gestures before entering the tunnel to the locker room, which clearly separated him from Wilson or Michigan linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone, who were also ejected for the second-quarter dustup. Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer indicated on Sunday that his players had already missed the required amount of action for fighting and wouldn’t tack on a suspension of his own, twice referencing the rule that calls for a player to miss a game for fighting and pointing out that “they lost a game.” Hall won’t lose another one now, getting official clearance to return to the starting lineup one day after posting an apology for his actions on Twitter. “I would like to apologize to The Ohio State University, The University of Michigan, my teammates, my family, the fans and the TV viewing audience for my behavior during yesterday’s game,” Hall said. “Wearing the scarlet and gray and uniform is a privilege and an honor.
Updated: December 1, 2013, 3:50 PM ET By Austin Ward | ESPN.com COLUMBUS, Ohio — If two key Ohio State players are going to miss any additional playing time following ejections for fighting, that punishment will have to come from the Big Ten office. Urban Meyer will have conversations with both athletic director Gene Smith and league officials on Sunday, but the Buckeyes coach twice indicated that the amount of action starting right guard Marcus Hall and versatile offensive weapon Dontre Wilson missed after getting penalized in the second quarter on Saturday at Michigan should fulfill the on-field punishments. And while he indicated no final decision had been made, Meyer certainly seemed to anticipate having both players available for a huge showdown this week in the Big Ten championship when the No. 3 Buckeyes take on No. 11 Michigan State. “I’ve dealt internally with the players, obviously Marcus Hall, Dontre Wilson and also there was another person who came off the bench that we had a discipline conversation already,” Meyer said during a teleconference Sunday. “Certainly I am going to handle the discipline of this situation. “I have not heard from the Big Ten. We’re supposed to discuss it tonight, and also athletic director Gene Smith and I will discuss it shortly. I’m disappointed. There’s no place for fighting in football, and I think the Big Ten did an excellent job getting people out of there on both sides.” The Wolverines also had a player disqualified for throwing a punch, with reserve linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone tossed for his role in the dustup. But they don’t have another game on tap this week, and Hall and Wilson both play important roles for an offense preparing to take on one of the best defensive units in the country. …
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Ohio State and Michigan kicked its rivalry up a notch with punching, shoving and tugging.The third-ranked Buckeyes lost starting right guard Marcus Hall and kick returner Dontre Wilson and the Wolverines lost backup linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone to ejections Saturday. All three players were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and had to leave the field after a skirmish.Hall and Wilson appeared to throw punches after players gathered following an Ohio State kickoff return early in the second quarter. Jenkins-Stone tugged Wilson’s helmet off and tossed it to the turf. While walking off the field and toward the tunnel, Hall put both arms into the air and extended his middle fingers.The punishment might linger for Ohio State if both players are suspended for next week’s Big Ten championship game.American FootballSports & RecreationMarcus Hall
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The best weapons don’t even have to be used to be effective. And if simply showing off the arsenal is enough to get an opponent to back down, right now that makes Dontre Wilson the ultimate deterrent for a defense.
+ EnlargeKirk Irwin/Getty ImagesOhio State freshman Dontre Wilson has 33 touches for 319 yards this season.Ohio State isn’t afraid to use the freshman hybrid as either a rusher or receiver, and there is already enough destruction on film to prove that he is far more than an idle threat when the spread offense trots Wilson out to line up with an attack that’s already dangerous without him. And while he has been explosive with the football in his hands, lately the No. 4 Buckeyes are finding even more success just by using him as a decoy, and at times they don’t even need to snap the ball to figure out how effective that approach can be. “Dontre is an explosive kid, so they’re really trying to key in on him,” running back Carlos Hyde said. “Sometimes when we’re out there together, the defensive guys try to call out if it’s a run, ‘No. 1 is getting the ball, No. 1 is getting the ball.’
“And that’s not the case at all.”
Defenders aren’t having much luck guessing right after the play starts, either.
The Buckeyes have used him in the play-action passing game to open up acres of space for receivers down the field, sucking safeties up near the line of scrimmage as they bite on fake handoffs to Wilson.
They’ve sent him in motion out of the backfield, using the option of tossing a swing pass his way to distract defenders on the perimeter. Meanwhile, the offense works back the other direction in a package that includes two other proven game-changers in Hyde and quarterback Braxton Miller, not to mention a group of wideouts led by Philly Brown and Devin Smith, who have combined for 13 touchdowns.
Of course, that deception wouldn’t be nearly as successful if Wilson didn’t get a few chances to handle the football himself. Lately he has barely needed them to keep defenses off balance, but three touches on offense were enough in last week’s blowout of Penn State to create a few more reasons for coordinators preparing for Ohio State to worry, since the speedy, elusive youngster turned them into 47 yards and a touchdown.
“He’s learning to be a fulltime member, so he’ll be more and more involved,” Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said. …
Back in the day, a college football coach had a stock answer ready when asked to evaluate his latest recruiting class. He’d say to check back in two or three years, after those players had chances to show what they can do. There’s no need to wait anymore. This season has shown lots of freshmen are ready, willing and able to play – and often start. ”For us, we’re going to play the best players, the guys who give us the best chance to win, and right now that’s some freshmen,” UCLA coach Jim Mora said. ”So we’re playing a bunch of them.” The 12th-ranked Bruins and No. 14 Texas A&M each have played 17 true freshmen this season. In fact, 13 are listed among the top 22 players on each team’s depth chart. An Associated Press analysis of the 72 teams in automatic-qualifying BCS conferences and Notre Dame showed that 359 freshmen were listed as first- or second-stringers on this week’s depth charts, not including special teams. That represented almost 12 percent of 3,212 players. Of those 359, 72 were starters. No. 8 Stanford was the only program that did not list a freshman on its two-deep. The rapid emergence of youngsters is no surprise to football people. The consensus, from interviews with high school and college coaches, pointed to several factors. Strength-and-conditioning training has become more sophisticated and closed the physical gap between freshmen and older players. There are more opportunities for year-round, football-specific training through camps, seven-on-seven leagues and personal coaches. The growing emphasis on video study at the high-school level has made players smarter. The up-tempo spread offenses are more common, allowing quarterbacks and receivers to make quick transitions to the college game. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said the reliance on freshmen has naturally increased since the scholarship limit dropped to 85 in 1994. A run of injuries can force a team to go young. But so can a need for talent. ”You don’t necessarily change but you adapt your offense and defense to make it user-friendly for a young player to play,” said Meyer, who noted that the Buckeyes adapt their offense when speedy running back Dontre Wilson enters a game. Receiver was the offensive position that had the most freshmen on the two-deeps, with 66. There were 84 defensive backs…
Making an impact as a true freshman on a national-title-contending team is no easy task, but there are a number of first-year players at Ohio State who are shining early. Dontre Wilson, the 4-star all-purpose back out of DeSoto, Texas, has made a big impression in a limited role for the Buckeyes offense. Wilson is being utilized in Ohio State’s H-back spot (the Percy Harvin position), and through two games, he has 86 yards on just 12 touches. The coaching staff is clearly making an effort to get him the ball, and Wilson has responded by showing flashes of his big-play ability. In the opener against Buffalo, Wilson’s first touch came on a quick swing pass from Braxton Miller. He was one shoestring tackle away from taking it 61 yards to the house. Wilson later fumbled, effectively ending his day against Buffalo, but he bounced back against San Diego State, running for 51 yards on five carries to complement three short receptions. He started off fast against the Aztecs, taking an option pitch seven yards on the first drive of the game for his first career touchdown. Wilson told Doug Lesmerises of The Plain Dealer what he was thinking on his way to the end zone. “I was just thinking no ankle tackles, no shoestrings. I’ve got to score. I’m way faster than a lot of people and I’ve got to prove that,” Wilson said. Wilson isn’t the only freshman playing like he has something to prove. Defensive lineman Joey Bosa, a 4-star prospect from Fort Lauderdale,…
September, 8, 2013 Sep 8 10:00 AM ET COLUMBUS, Ohio — Taking a look at the lessons coming out of Ohio State’s 42-7 romp over San Diego State on Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Dontre Wilson is ready for more: The package is already starting to expand for the touted freshman, and the Buckeyes are only going to keep adding to Wilson’s plate as he gets more comfortable in the offense. Wilson put his speed on full display as a rusher, turning five touches into 51 yards and a touchdown as he worked the perimeter in the option game. His 3 catches didn’t yield much, accounting for just 6 yards, but he’s displayed some sure hands that should allow coach Urban Meyer to throw his way more often and put him in position to explode down the field. Wilson has only scratched the surface, but he’s already starting to live up to the hype.
The defensive line is going to be fine: Adolphus Washington was hampered with a groin injury, but even without the sophomore available to lead the pass rush as the Buckeyes have planned, the unit up front appears to be ahead of schedule in the rebuilding effort. Noah Spence showed up in the backfield to harass the quarterback for the second straight week, Steve Miller came off the bench to chip in an athletic sack and Michael Bennett is finally becoming the force in the trenches he has long been expected to be for the Buckeyes. In all, the unit tallied 3 sacks, forced two fumbles and recovered them both during a performance that should ease some concerns about the lack of experience going into the season.
Corners opposite Bradley Roby will be busy: Technically, Roby didn’t get the starting nod as he returned from his one-game suspension. But he was only on the bench for two plays before getting plugged back in the rotation, and once he was there, San Diego State seemed to have little interest in throwing his way. On the rare occasion the Aztecs looked at his side of the field, Roby was blitzing and still was able to break up the pass by leaping up to get a hand on it with his incredible athleticism. Most teams are likely to take the same approach to avoiding one of the nation’s best cover guys, which will leave plenty of opportunities for Doran Grant or Armani Reeves to make plays in the secondary — and both came up with interceptions as the defensive backs held the Aztecs to 216 yards while completing 22 of their 41 attempts.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Kenny Guiton took over when Braxton Miller left with a sprained left knee, running for one touchdown and passing for two on Saturday while leading No. 3 Ohio State to a 42-7 victory over San Diego State. Miller watched the last three quarters from the sideline after being sandwiched between two tacklers on the Buckeyes’ seventh offensive play. The Buckeyes (2-0) didn’t need him. Guiton, who helped save Ohio State’s 12-0 season a year ago, had the most playing time he’s ever had in a game. He set career bests with 19 of 28 passing for 152 yards and 83 rushing yards. It was another disappointing outing for the Aztecs (0-2), who lost 40-19 to FCS Eastern Illinois at home in their opener. Guiton came in having completed 14 of 25 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions in his 16 career games. He had totaled 59 yards rushing on 14 attempts. Ohio State dominated from the outset, but a crowd of 104,984 at Ohio Stadium sat in stunned silence when Miller was injured on Ohio State’s first offensive series. On fourth and 1 at the Aztecs 12, Miller carried to the right side and then cut back. He was trying to squirm for an extra yard or two when he was hit by defensive back King Holder while going backwards, with middle linebacker Jake Fely then hitting him and knocking his helmet off. Miller lay on the turf for a short time, rubbing his head. He was attended by a doctor, and eventually left the field under his own power, although he limped slightly. A team physician on the bench manipulated his left knee and he grimaced in pain. Miller was taken from the field on a cart. In came Guiton, who on the very next play handed to freshman Dontre Wilson, who sprinted around end for a 7-yard score. The senior from Texas also tossed a 27-yard scoring pass to Corey Brown and then handed off to Jordan Hall for a 4-yard score with 3 seconds left in the first quarter. During the lull before the ensuing kickoff, Miller received a loud ovation as he jogged across the field from the ramp leading to the locker room to the Ohio State sideline. Miller, wearing a large knee brace, remained on the sideline the rest of the game, never putting on a helmet but occasionally speaking to coach Urban Meyer and his teammates. Meanwhile, Guiton was large and in charge. Just like they did a week ago in rolling to a 23-0 lead, the Buckeyes got off to a big early lead. This time, however, they didn’t allow the opponent to get back in the game as Buffalo did in Ohio State’s 40-20 victory…
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller has returned to the sideline after having his left knee looked at in the locker room. Miller left the third-ranked Buckeyes’ game against San Diego State after being pinned between tacklers. He was taken to the locker room on a cart while grim-faced Buckeyes fans looked on. But shortly before the end of the first quarter, in the lull after Ohio State had scored to take a 21-0 lead, he jogged across the field to the Ohio State bench. Miller, a junior tabbed as one of the top contenders for the Heisman Trophy, carried on fourth-and-1 at the Aztecs 12 on Ohio State’s seventh offensive play of the game. He cut inside right end and was hit by defensive back King Holder and middle linebacker Jake Fely, Miller’s helmet popping off as he fell. He lay on the field on his back for a moment, holding his head. He then was helped to his feet and walked under his own power to the sideline – with a slight limp – before getting on the motorized cart and heading for the locker room. With Kenny Guiton taking his place, the Buckeyes scored on the next play for a 7-0 lead. Guiton also threw a touchdown pass and handed off to Jordan Hall for another. Freshman Dontre Wilson had opened the scoring on a 7-yard run on the play after Miller left the game. Guiton, a senior, had taken over for an injured Miller late in last season’s game against Purdue. He led the Buckeyes to an improbable touchdown and then threw a 2-point conversion pass to force overtime. The Buckeyes won 29-22 on the way to a 12-0 season. — Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RustyMillerAP