Meyer: Marcus Hall Will Not Start in Big Ten Championship Game

By Kyle Rowland on December 6, 2013 at 3:57p
"Our offensive line has been excellent, protecting the quarterback and opening the holes for the running back. This will be a challenge unlike any we've had this year." -Urban Meyer

INDIANAPOLIS — The Ohio State offense hasn’t faced this stiff a test in years. On Saturday night, the Buckeyes’ nearly point-a-minute offense will battle the nation’s best defense in a game that matches crystal against roses. If Ohio State wins, it plays for the national championship. At stake for Michigan State is its first trip to the Rose Bowl in more than a quarter century.

Confidence is a trait that the Buckeyes do not lack. But when you’re putting up historic numbers – 48 points and 530 yards – why would there be concerns? This is a team that’s won 24 games in a row and is yet to experience a loss under Urban Meyer.

Both top-10 defenses Ohio State encountered this season held the Buckeyes below their season averaged, but the final result was a W. Ohio State finished with 390 yards and 31 against Wisconsin’s sixth-ranked defense and 495 yards and 34 points against Iowa’s No. 9-ranked unit.

Going head-to-head with the No. 1 defense presents new challenges, especially against a group as disciplined as the Spartans.

“They’ve got a bunch of tough guys,” senior center Corey Linsley said. “Their scheme up front, the things that they do, the level of how sound they are on defense to their principles, it’s something I haven’t seen all year.”

  • Meyer said Marcus Hall will not start on Saturday. From there, Meyer didn't say what Hall's status will be. Meyer’s reasoning for not starting Hall was disappointment in his actions.
  • Pat Elflein is the top backup on O-line, Meyer said. Coaching staff has lots of confidence he can play well on the line.
  • Michigan State is very similar defensively compared to last season when OSU won 17-16 last year, Meyer said. But he added OSU played poorly.
  • Curtis Grant and Philly Brown are banged up, Meyer said, but both will play.
  • "As of Friday afternoon, I'm happy with our focus." -Meyer
  • Playing indoors could help OSU's offense, but Meyer said it won't make the game plan any more aggressive for the Buckeyes.
  • On MSU offense, Meyer said the O-line is "rugged", passing game much improved from beginning of season to now. He’s impressed with Connor Cook.
  • Meyer lauds Guiton for improving Braxton's preparation. Said Miller did not practice well last year, totally different 12 months later.
  • “I am anticipating one of the best environments in college football.” – Meyer
  • Meyer said he saw a team that worked hard this week, worked together. It trickles down from the top with a staff that works well together.
  • Christian Bryant's injury had a galvanizing effect on OSU, Meyer said. Mentioned Ryan Shazier specifically as a player who grew as leader.
  • "I think Josh Perry has solidified himself as a Big Ten linebacker." -Meyer
  • SEC is known for their great defenses during Meyer's time in the south, but he said Michigan State's unit is top 3 he's ever faced.
  • Preparing for Tressel and Dantonio is similar, according to Meyer. I think we all know what he did against that Tressel-coached team.
  • Meyer credits his team for not talking about the national picture at all this week. "Everybody gets it. We have a very smart team."
  • "Appreciate that," -Urban Meyer to reporter who said at some point Ohio State will lose.
  • Meyer said the negatives of watching last year's film is seeing how bad the offense was a year ago. "Much improved this year."
  • Meyer said he doesn't sleep well before games. Said he'll be up and down all night.

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OSU_ALUM_05's picture

Well let's hope Meyer remembers whatever he did to prepare for Tressell that fateful day in January

Yeti's have feelings too.

yrro's picture

Ordered extra gravy for the awards banquets?

741's picture

Wow. Tough on Hall - even though I suspect this will be a token benching. Maybe a series or two?

cronimi's picture

Yeah, depending on how the O is doing without him in the game, I think he's benched for a series or two (if the O is moving, maybe the quarter). It does seem like a move to placate the 'delicate flowers' in the media -- it is, after all, football, not a dog show -- but also a way to show Marcus and the rest of the team that if they do something wrong, he [UFM] will impose punishment, regardless of whatever punishment was imposed by the refs last week.

sharks's picture

That's bullshit, IMO.

Don't give in to the media trolls- he sat for most of The Game. That's enough.

A man got to have a code...

buckeyeEddie27's picture

I'm not sure it's him giving in to anyone.  Who's to say this wasn't decided the moment the mich game was over?  I think it's the right choice.  His actions on the way to the locker room were the exact opposite of what is expected from those guys and can't be tolerated.  This is an appropriate punishment IMO.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

45has2's picture

Agreed. This just goes right along with Urb's philosophy of everyone competing all the time. Screw up and don't conduct yourself as a Buckeye and there is a man right behind you ready to take your spot. The media wasn't calling for Mr. Hyde's scalp and yet Urb suspended him.

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

00Buck's picture

YOU must be a fichigan fan.......... Hall gave the bumble bees exactly what we would all have like to do..... your just to self rightious to admit it ! I agree with above IN FACT HE DESERVES THE AMERICAN FREEDOM AWARD ! 

Upon this Rock, I build my house....and Let no man put asunder

Abe Froman's picture

I'm also okay with it.  Hall will miss the start and it won't be on his stat sheet,  but he will forever be seared into our memory for his exit at Michigan.  Legendary.......

Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

Maestro's picture

Disagree miidly.  He sat for The Game for throwing a punch.  He is not starting for being out of control after he was ejected.  2 separate incidents deserve 2 separate disciplinary actions IMHO.

vacuuming sucks

teddyballgame's picture

This seems like a measured and ultimately reasonable punishment.  The young man feels awful for his lapse in judgement too.   

hodge's picture

No.  He sat out The Game for his involvement in the fight.  Hall's slight suspension for this game is for throwing a tantrum on the sidelines and flipping off the crowd.  Personally, I think this is the right move -- regardless of what the media believes.  His actions represent the program, as are the actions of everyone else on the team; I'm glad Meyer's holding him accountable.

sir rickithda3rd's picture

how well does msu travel?

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

bucksfan92's picture

Not nearly as well as we will.  I expect the stadium to be 75% OSU fans, then a scattering of "non partisan" folks and maybe 15-20% Spartans.  They are generally apathetic when it comes to football.  I've been to a game up there and worked with a few Spartan fans for few years - they almost always expect that next loss to be coming... I will be surprised if they make it anywhere near a 50/50 crowd.

NitroBuck's picture

I checked Stub Hub for tickets yesterday.  There were almost 1400 tickets available, and they appeared to have come from the Sparty allotment.

Ferio.  Tego.

dja.ohio's picture

Ohio St. - UM lore in the Big House:
1.  M Club banner comes down
1a. Marcus Hall Double Bird Salute

Enzo's picture

That Meyer team that made paste of Tressel's had a defense that stifled one of the best offenses that year.
This year's defense can't stifle a cough.
That said it only has to be good enough. Hyde, Miller, and the O-Line will do the rest.
Go Bucks!

45has2's picture

Meyer's '06 Gator team also had an explosive spread offense. Sparty....not so much.

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Lets not forget that Ginn barely played. When he did, Ohio State scored.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

Oldschoolbuck's picture

Yeah, but that Goiter D had some of the same strengths we have this year -- a very, very talented, tough and athletic D-line (props to Vrabel!). The LOS is where the game will be won or lost. I believe our O-line will hold their own against a very, very good MSU front 7. If they pack the box, that should open up plays down field for Brax.
Glad to see that they are focused -- seemed to be really tight last week against scUM.

ibuck's picture

Enzo:  This year's defense can't stifle a cough.

OK, so they haven't performed as well as we would like. But they held Wisky far below their average rushing, and they are the #5 rushing defense in FBS and the #18 scoring defense
Pass D could be better, as could tackling at times. I suspect that "focus" could be a big part of that, along with injuries to LB's and DB's. Some Buckeyes were way too emotional vs TTUN, and that leads to lack of focus on doing your job. I remember one head coach (Tressel?) saying that a big part of college football was calming the players down so they could function. Hopefully, the OSU coaches are on that.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

OSUStu's picture

Two things:

Meyer credits his team for not talking about the national picture at all this week. "Everybody gets it. We have a very smart team."

Take notes Auburn.

"Appreciate that," -Urban Meyer to reporter who said at some point Ohio State will lose.

Absolutely perfect response to a dumb question.  Take notes Saban.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

Maestro's picture

Thought this might happen, especially with Elflein performing the way he did.  Wonder if Feinstein's dumb ass will write a praise article about Urbs.  Not holding my breath.

vacuuming sucks

DeepSouthBuckeye's picture

Not too worried about the Hall impact. And I am sure this will not be a whole game benching. Elfein played well in his opportunity. Good to see considering the amount of guys we will replace next year.

Loving all things Buckeye from SEC country in Alabama.

"How firm thy friendship....O-HI-O"

OSU_ALUM_05's picture

Now what will the national media honks complain about .... that he only did it after they honked for a week?

Yeti's have feelings too.

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

•Preparing for Tressel and Dantonio is similar, according to Meyer. I think we all know what he did against that Tressel-coached team.

Did not think about it that way....

•"Appreciate that," -Urban Meyer to reporter who said at some point Ohio State will lose.

What a dooooooouche.

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

okiebuck's picture

I have a feeling that behind the scenes Urban is stoking the embers with this group; getting them fired up with a controlled burn until 8:17 Saturday night; then, unleash the fury that has been building up these last two years. Go and take what is rightfully yours Buckeyes!!!!!

"Fate has cards that it don't want to show"

buckeyepastor's picture

We are a much more talented, diverse, and patient offense than we were last year.   It should make a big difference.   I think it also makes a difference that the guys who are banged up, and everyone else on the team, cau sell out and go for broke knowing that if something gets aggravated or tweaked they will have close to a month to get healthy. 
Looking back on the year, when our defense gets abused, they respond in a big way the next time out.   Expecting more of the same.  

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

Seattle Linga's picture

Can't wait to fire up the engines - This game will be off and running from the very first whistle. Go Buckeyes!

3-yrds_and_a_CLOUD's picture

They only have the number one defense because they have not had the distinct pleasure of meeting...EL GUAPO!!!!!

“Success is the inner satisfaction and peace of mind that come from knowing I did the best I was capable of doing for the group.”
- Jim Tressel

OSUnathen's picture

Nice to see that Elflein  is considered by Meyer to be the best back-up O-linemen. Nice to see a 3 star kid get serious PTA.

Hovenaut's picture

Nice to see a 3 star lineman come in and play effectively.
I remember 5 star linemen.....uh, well...nevermind. 

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

If the offense can get a similar 31 or 34 point performance like against Wisconsin and Iowa, I really like the Buckeyes' chances tomorrow.  Style points be damned, just win.  MSU's offense is better than last year's, but they don't have the talent that TTUN has on that front, plus I don't think the defense will be that bad again. 

Preparing for Tressel and Dantonio is similar, according to Meyer. I think we all know what he did against that Tressel-coached team.

My reaction to this is a mix of "don't remind me, that sucked" and "oh hell yeah!"

Class of 2010.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Great comments in prep for the game tomorrow!  I don't think I'll be able to sleep that well tonight either.
Go Bucks!!

TBDBITLinWIScantSON's picture

I predict the first play that Hall is back in, will be a run in the wake behind Hall.


BeijingBucks's picture

Sure worked for Hyde. I'm guessing pancakes on the menu?

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

BuckeyeStrong2's picture


buckuar's picture

IMO, all this is going to do is piss Marcus Hall off. Another calculated strategy on UFM's part. Let them think they're going to "feast" on the newbie for a series or two, then bring in the angry sleeping giant. Wouldn't wanna be that D lineman on that first series Hall comes in. 

jenks's picture

Meyer talks a lot about trust. I wonder how much of the Hall decision is about not trusting Hall's emotion in big games and wanting him to settle in first versus merely punishing him for his actions.

Bolt's picture

Jesus, just listened to these guys pile on a young man who's clearly very embarrassed by his actions. Herbstreit went as far as ripping Hall, Meyer and Ohio State fans who aren't deathly offended by a middle finger. Desmond Howard went as far as almost flat out saying that Hall's a disgrace to his family name, etc. while all the others on that set just bobbled their head. First of all, if this wasn't an Ohio State player vs ttun, I promise you Desmond wouldn't be ohhh soo offended. Second of all, I'm done with even trying to defend Herbstreit anymore. I really can't stand him at all anymore. Not even because of the whole is he or is he not for Ohio State discourse...but because he thinks it's his job to sit up on some kind of moral high ground and judge the hell out of everyone. His moral superiority complex has become his shtick and it's getting old as hell.

ibuck's picture

[A] reporter who said at some point Ohio State will lose.

I wonder if a similar question was ever posed to coach Bud Wilkinson, whose Oklahoma squads ran off 31 consecutive wins from 1948 to 1950, then won 47 straight games from 1953-57.
Probably not during the first 2 years of either streak.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.