Jordan Hall

Buckeyes’ projected starting RB undergoes wrist surgery

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The bad news is that the presumptive heir apparent to Carlos Hyde has reportedly undergone surgery.  The good news is that it’s not expected to cost him much practice time, let alone any games.

Citing a source close to the situation, the Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that Ezekiel Elliott underwent surgery on an injured wrist Saturday morning.  The running back suffered a fracture in his wrist during practice at some point this past week, with a pin being inserted to help the healing process.

Despite that, Elliot is expected be back participating in practice this coming Thursday.

The school has yet to address any injury Elliott may have incurred, for what it’s worth.

Last season as a true freshman, Elliott rushed for 262 yards — averaging 8.7 yards per carry — and a pair of touchdowns.  With the departures of Hyde and Jordan Hall, the 6-0, 225-pound Elliott, a four-star member of OSU’s 2013 recruiting class, is expected to take over as the Buckeyes’ lead back.

UPDATED 1:11 p.m. ET:  Ohio State released the following statement addressing Elliott’s health.

Sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott had surgery on his left wrist this morning at the OSU Medical Center East for a minor injury incurred at practice on Friday. Elliott, from St. Louis, Mo., and Burroughs High School, rejoined the team in time for lunch today. He will continue to attend practice and work on conditioning with a full return to the fields expected around the middle of next week.

Guiton guides Braxton-less Buckeyes to offensive win over Cal

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Braxton Schmaxton.

Playing without starting quarterback Braxton Miller, who was ruled out just prior to kickoff with a knee injury, Ohio State’s offense didn’t miss a beat, cruising past Cal for a 52-34 non-conference win in Berkeley.  The Buckeyes rolled up a season-high 606 yards of total offense, thanks in large part to Kenny Guiton and a punishing rushing attack.

Making his first career start, Guiton passed for 276 yards — more than 200 of those coming in the first half — and four touchdown passes; the senior entered the game with five career touchdown tosses.  Guiton added 92 yards on the ground.

Guiton set the tone early, connecting with Devin Smith on a 90-yard touchdown pass on the Buckeyes’ second play from scrimmage.  Speaking of plays from scrimmage, that one was the longest in OSU history.  On the next possession, Guiton hit Smith again on a 47-yard bomb that was part of OSU’s 21-0 run-out to start the game.

For those asking, no, there’s no quarterback controversy; Miller’s the starter when he gets healthy.  Still, Urban Meyer and his offensive coaching staff can rest firm in the knowledge that they have a viable option should Miller’s injury history continue catching up to him.

As for the other part of OSU’s offensive onslaught, the Buckeyes controlled the tempo of the game by rushing the ball 60 times for a BYU-vs-Texas-like 332 yards.  Jordan Hall rushed for 168 yards and a career-high three scores, adding another layer of uncertainty to where Carlos Hyde will fit into the backfield pecking order upon his return from suspension.

In easily getting past the Bears, OSU extends its winning streak to 15 games, the longest such streak in the nation.

The Buckeyes will now play their final scrimmage of the season next Saturday against Florida A&M before heading into Big Ten play against Wisconsin in Columbus.

Buckeyes (somewhat) easily extend nation’s longest winning streak

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With football program immortality just off on the horizon, it’s 13 down and 11 to go for Urban Meyer’s Ohio State Buckeyes — but not after a bit of a scare.

A 35-point(ish) favorite over MAC member Buffalo, OSU came out strong, stumbled a bit in the middle, then ultimately trudged away from Buffalo in a 40-20 win.  The margin of victory is not exactly a surprise as the Bulls were coming off a 4-8 season that included seven double-digit losses; the fact that it was as close as it was late into the third quarter was.

Braxton Miller, the preseason Heisman favorite, was particularly sharp in the passing game, completing 15-of-22 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns.  Known more for his legs than passing acumen, the junior had just 17 yards on 12 carries before a 41-yard run early in the fourth quarter; he finished with 78 yards on the ground.  Jordan Hall, starting in place of the suspended Carlos Hyde, more than shoulder the running-game load, rushing for a career-high 159 yards and two touchdowns.  Hall’s two scoring runs came from 49 and 37 yards out.

As a team, the Buckeyes totaled 458 yards of offense (259 rushing, 199 passing) while a defense that featured nine new starters held the Bulls to 265 yards.

The win wasn’t as easy as some had expected and the way final score seemed to indicate, however.

Trailing just 30-20 in the middle of the third quarter, the Bulls recovered a Miller fumble at OSU’s one-yard line on a third-and-eight play.  That game-changing turnover, though, was negated by a Buffalo personal foul; the Buckeyes took the fortuitous call and turned it into a 91-yard touchdown drive that pushed the lead to 37-20 and, effectively, put the game out of reach — well, that along with the fourth-quarter goal-line stand by the OSU defense and Miller’s 40-plus-yard scamper a couple of plays later.

Despite that mild mid-game stumble, the Buckeyes have now won a nation’s best 13 consecutive games, a streak that stretches back to the first game of a 2012 season that saw the Buckeyes go undefeated but bowl-less thanks to NCAA sanctions.  OSU now stands just 11 wins shy of breaking the school record of 23 set back in the late-sixties, and could potentially set the new program mark… in The Game against Michigan in the regular-season finale.

While such talk is premature at the moment, the Buckeyes have a very “manageable” schedule that finds them as one of five FBS teams that are, at the moment, favored in every game this season.  Still, though, there are plenty of areas to work on before the Buckeyes can even begin to think of making history — and you can be certain that Meyer and his staff will stress that over what was an expected “W.”

Braxton Miller off to great start vs Buffalo

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Ohio State’s Heisman hopeful Braxton Miller wasted no time in putting together his in-season Heisman campaign material. Miller connected on a 47-yard touchdown to Devin Smith to get the Buckeyes off to a fast start against visiting Buffalo. At halftime Miller had two touchdowns and 172 passing yards, completing all but five pass attempts.

Buckeyes running back Jordan Hall has taken advantage of the running back situation, rushing for 126 yards and two touchdowns in the absence of suspended Carlos Hyde. Eight different Buckeyes had caught a pass in the first half as the Big Ten favorites built a 30-13 lead going in to the break.

Ohio State’s offense put together just over 300 yards of offense and held Buffalo to just two third down conversions. It could be a very good year in Columbus and so far they are avoiding any signs of a sluggish start.

Buckeyes RB granted medical redshirt

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Multiple injuries, both on and off the field, led to limited playing time for Ohio State running back Jordan Hall in 2012. Thankfully for him and the Buckeyes, this past season won’t be Hall’s last.

Ohio State announced Thursday that Hall, a senior, has received a medical redshirt and will be able to play in 2013. Thought Hall played in just three games of the Buckeyes’ 12-0 season, his 218 yards actually ended up being good enough to make him the team’s third-leading rusher behind quarterback Braxton Miller and fellow running back Carlos Hyde.

Hall missed the first two games of the season recovering from foot surgery because of an accident over the summer where he stepped on glass barefoot. Hall then injured his PCL during a win over Michigan State and did not return for the rest of the year.

(Hat tip: AP)