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Ohio State’s Jordan Hall Steals Starting Running Back Job In Season Opener

Buckeyes

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Before today’s game, Ohio State running back Jordan Hall’s career high for yards in a game was 105. Before the whistle blew for halftime, he was well past that mark.

This offseason wasn’t good to the Buckeyes’ backfield. The No. 1 and No. 2 guys on the depth chart, Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith, were both suspended three games and one game respectively due to off-field issues. That left senior Jordan Hall the number one guy for this weekends game against Buffalo and Hall made a great case for why he should stay for the rest of the year.

Entering the week, many believed that Hall had a chance to take over the starting role. Head coach Urban Meyer himself said that Hall was the best running back that the Buckeyes’ had on the roster. After today’s game, the spot is now Hall’s position to lose.

In the first half, Hall rushed for 126 yards and two touchdowns on 12 attempts. He scored on runs of 49 and 37 yards for his two touchdowns. By game’s end, Hall had racked up 159 carries on 21 attempts for a stellar 7.6 yards per carry. He also had three receptions for 14 yards.

On top of what he can do for the offense, Hall can also contribute on special teams. As a returner, he had one kick return for 17 yards. Hall has great speed and agility and can make would-be tacklers miss in the open field. If you’re looking for an x-factor other than quarterback Braxton Miller, who finished with 178 yards passing with two touchdowns and 78 yards rushing, Hall is definitely one to look at.

It’s been quite a difficult run for the fifth-year senior. Last year, Hall was projected to be the starting running back before suffering a foot injury in the offseason that required surgery. He missed all of camp and then returned after missing two games. In his third game back in 2012, he injured his knee and missed the rest of the season.

This fall is a different story. Hall is a healthy back and has proven why he was tabbed the starter before the injury bug bit him last season. Next week, the Buckeyes will get Rod Smith back and he will be a good option for when Hall needs a breather. As for Carlos Hyde, he could become the thunder to Jordan Hall’s lighting when he returns from his three-game suspension.

Brian Skinnell is a writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter, Like him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.