Senior guard Marcus Hall
(79) was ejected from last Saturday's game at Michigan
. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
By Pete Thamel
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer announced on Friday that guard Marcus Hall will not start against Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game.
Meyer declined to elaborate when he’d insert Hall in the game, only saying that he’s “very, very disappointed in his actions.”
Officials threw Hall out of Ohio State’s game against Michigan last weekend. While being escorted from the stadium, Hall flipped a double middle finger to the Michigan Stadium crowd, a scene reminiscent of something from the WWE.
Hall, a senior who starts at the right guard slot, is a linchpin of an offensive line that Meyer considers one of the Buckeyes’ biggest strengths. Hall’s role will be especially important against Michigan State, which boasts the country’s top-ranked defense.
Hall will be replaced by redshirt freshman Pat Elflein, who performed admirably in his stint against Michigan.
“Pat was a lot better than maybe any of us had expected,” Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman told the Columbus Dispatch this week. “Not necessarily because we didn’t think that he was capable of it, but maybe because of the stage and the limited amount of reps and preparation that your No. 2 offensive line gets. But he did a whale of a job in there.”
How long Elflein plays will certainly be an intriguing storyline for the Big Ten title game on Saturday.
On Friday, Meyer gave Elfein a strong endorsement: "Just a tough nut. I love Pat Elflein. He's going to have a great career here. (I have) a lot of confidence in him."