Cody Cousino / Photo editor
After missing the first two games of the season due to a suspension, junior running back Jordan Hall has become Ohio State’s most reliable source of offense for the last two games.
In Miami, Hall rushed for 87 yards, which at first glance may not seem like a lot. But in a one-dimensional offense that only accumulated 209 yards, two field goals, and 35 total yards of passing, Hall was the one good thing to come out of the disaster in South Beach.
Against Colorado on Saturday Hall put up similar numbers on the ground. He rushed for 84 yards and had a touchdown.
“It definitely felt good to be out there the whole game because last week felt like I let my team down because I couldn’t play in the second half,” Hall said. “So it definitely felt good.”
Hall’s worth was much more than in head coach Luke Fickell’s pro-style offense. Hall was able to make a huge difference on special teams.
“Coach says we want to use special teams as a weapon,” Hall said.
Hall was that weapon.
In the third quarter, after Colorado had narrowed the margin to 17 after a 47-yard field goal from CU kicker Will Oliver, Hall took the ensuing kick-off 90 yards down the field to give OSU a first-and-goal.
Sophomore running back Carlos Hyde punched it into the end zone on the next play for a five-yard touchdown run.
After the game, Hall was laughing at himself for his inability to take the kick return to the end zone himself. Hall was caught five yards short. He said he received playful ridicule from his teammates after the return.
“They already said what they had to say on the sidelines,” Hall said. “So I ain’t worried about it.”
Fickell said Hall gave the Buckeyes much needed lifts in the game against Colorado.
“Obviously Jordan (Hall) can do a lot of different things. He can be a weapon back there. People have to be aware where he’s at, kicking the ball to him, whether it’s punts or kickoff returns,” Fickell said.
In two weeks, senior running back Daniel “Boom” Herron returns to the field after a five-game suspension for his involvement in the tattoo scandal. Herron along with former quarterback Terrelle Pryor, senior wide receiver DeVier Posey, senior defensive lineman Solomon Thomas and senior offensive lineman Mike Adams received a five-game suspension for their involvement that led to former head coach Jim Tressel’s forced resignation.
Coach Fickell has said all along that every player has to earn their starting roles each week, and nothing is assumed. Hall said that when Herron returns, it will just add one more weapon opposing teams have to prepare for.
“We’re just going to feed off each other and just make the defense have to… account for all of us,” Hall said. “I think when he gets back, it will definitely spark the offense even more.”
To start the season, Hall was suspended for the games against Toledo and Akron for receiving impermissible benefits from a former booster at a Cleveland-area charitable event earlier in the year. The NCAA reinstated his eligibility before the Miami game. It was determined that Hall took $200 from the booster, and was ordered to repay it to a local charity.
Hall said that while the running game looked good against Colorado, there is always room for improvement. Between Hall, Hyde, freshman quarterback Braxton Miller, sophomore running back Jaamal Berry and freshman running back Rod Smith, the OSU running attack picked up 226 yards on the ground.
“I think you can always get better,” Hall said. “I think we’re just going to have to keep working and practicing and use it on the field on Saturdays.”