ANN ARBOR, Mich. —
The Buckeyes lost starting right guard Marcus Hall and kick returner Dontre Wilson, while the Wolverines lost backup special teams linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone to ejections after all three players were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and had to leave the field after a skirmish.
Hall and Wilson appeared to throw punches. Jenkins-Stone tugged Wilson's helmet off and tossed it to the turf. This all happened after Wilson returned a kickoff 16 yards after Michigan scored to go up 21-14. At the 14:28 mark, punches were thrown and a melee ensued on the field with coaches chasing other key players away from more ejections. Sanctions to players after the fight will be up to the Big Ten office after an official’s written report is submitted, then further action if necessary.
“I don’t think we will lose guys next week but I didn’t see what (exactly) happened so...” Meyer said. “I was very disappointed in that. I don’t know where that came from. We had a little chat about that at half time and it is unacceptable.”
Hall was escorted to the Locker room and his behavior resulted in him flipping off the crowd. Backup quarterback Kenny Guiton was trying to get Hall off the field and into the tunnel as soon as possible after being dismissed from the game.
Thrown into the fire was 6-3, 295 Pat Eflein, a redshirt freshman who replaced Hall at right guard.
Hyde had averaged 156 yards while ripping off six straight 100-yard games, with an 8-yard average and 13 touchdowns. When games are in doubt, or need to be put away, the Buckeyes have leaned on their senior running back with smash mouth football.
Although it was his fumble that set up a Michigan’s 13-play, 41-yard tying scoring drive to make it 35-35.
“He’s a great leader,” Eflein said of Hyde. “He brings juice to the huddle and we were hyped up and he said it was my time. Once he gets rolling it is hard to stop us and him.”
“I was real disappointed with the fumble,” Meyer said. “He pulled through tackle I warned him a couple of times, as he got loose with the ball. We blocked them, and I thought (offensive coordinator Tom Herman did really good job because we made a lot of adjustments to try to get our perimeter running game. They did a great job taking that from us. I did not feel real comfortable about our throwing (Miller 6 for 15, 1 INT) and I should have been. They were playing real good pass defense. We were changing at the line of scrimmage from them. That’s why we went with the (running game) from the first quarter on.”
Hall is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.