Guiton and Hall Spectators in OSU Win
By Rob Ogden
Statistically, the Buckeyes' 31-24 win over Wisconsin Saturday came with their two most productive offensive players riding the bench.
Running back Jordan Hall carried the ball only once while backup quarterback Kenny Guiton served entirely as a spectator for the first time this season.
"Those are two guys that I've got to make sure we handle the right way, because they deserve to play," coach Urban Meyer said after the game.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Hall entered the game ranked first in the nation with eight rushing touchdowns and 13th with 422 yards rushing.
Most of those yards came in the first three games of the season, while last year's starter, Carlos Hyde, served a suspension.
Meyer previously said that the starting job would belong to Hall until Hyde took it away. The numbers indicated that he has done just that.
Hyde started the game and got the majority of the carries, rushing for 85 yards on 17 attempts.
Meyer called the commitment to Hyde a coach's decision.
"No issue. Just a coach's decision," he said. "We're going to keep evaluating it, because (Hall) deserves to be more involved in that game. So I'm going to evaluate that tomorrow."
Just two weeks ago, Hall carried the ball 30 times for 168 yards and three touchdowns. He was reduced to four carries against Florida A&M, though the first-team was pulled by halftime.
Hyde had five attempts against Florida A&M, and was Ohio State's primary back in 2012 when he averaged 18.5 carries per game.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Guiton was coming off a game in which he tossed a school-record six touchdown passes. He threw for 276 yards and four touchdowns a week earlier at Cal. The senior started a game for the first time in his career after starter Braxton Miller injured his knee during the Buckeyes' Sept. 7 win over San Diego State.
Guiton entered Saturday's game ranked fourth in the country with 13 passing touchdowns and was coming off back-to-back Big Ten offensive player of the week honors.
Meyer said earlier in the week that he wanted to find a way to keep Guiton involved in the offense even with Miller healthy, but in a close game, he decided to stick with his starter.
"I'd like to get Kenny in the game," Meyer said. "Just in the moment it didn't happen."
Miller said he didn't feel the need to prove anything after Guiton performed so well in his absence.
"Not at all," Miller said. "I was just going out there to have fun and lead my team.
"I am proud of Kenny and the way he led the team while I was out. I look at him as a big brother, so no controversy with that."
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