Ohio State Buckeyes Football: 5 Reasons Why Jordan Hall Is Key to Team's Success
Since his return in Week 3 against the Miami Hurricanes, Jordan Hall has been by far the Buckeyes' most productive player. Whether out of the backfield or in the return game, he has exceeded expectations thus far. Hall was the only offensive player with any sign of life against Miami, and he followed that up with another very impressive showing this past week against Colorado.
His return to the running back position has done wonders for Ohio State's rushing attack, but his contribution goes beyond his carries. Hall has exceeded expectations so far this year and he is the key to the success of this season for multiple reasons.
5. His Experience
Usually Jordan Hall's limited experience wouldn't be so beneficial, but due to how young the Buckeyes are on offense this year, every bit of experience helps.
Carlos Hyde is a very talented sophomore, but his lack of experience did hamper the rushing attack during the first two weeks of the season. Hyde has struggled with his vision and patience, and this is solely due to his inexperience. Hall, on the other hand, has shown great patience as a runner and is reaping the benefits tremendously.
It almost looks like the light has turned on in Hall's head as a running back, much like how it did for Boom Herron last season. In his first two games, Hall has rushed for a solid 171 yards on 32 attempts and has churned out an impressive 5.3 yards per carry. This sort of production on the ground is absolutely key to an offense that has struggled mightily through the air.
4. His Change of Pace
Carlos Hyde's bruising and downhill style is extremely better when paired with Hall's shiftiness and explosiveness.
Since Hall's return, both backs have experienced much more success due to their drastic change of pace. Defenses are now forced to deal with two completely different types of running backs and the impact has been apparent. This change of pace also allows both players more rest, which enables Hyde to run even more brutally and Hall to remain explosive throughout the game.
Even with Boom Herron's return in a few weeks, Hall will still offer a vital change of pace. Although Herron and Hall differ far less than Hyde and Hall, the two backs will still offer different skill sets. Hall enables the other backs to remain fresh and effective to the final whistle, and will be a huge part of the Buckeyes' rushing attack.
3. His Versatility
While Hall has showed the potential to be a very productive as a runner, his contribution doesn't stop there. Hall shows the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and even split out wide in certain looks.
With a young quarterback like Braxton Miller under center, a solid receiver at the running back position will be huge for the offense. Miller will have the ability to check down to Hall with confidence. Hall also has the ability to turn short throws into solid gains, which will keep Miller from making the tough throws. Not to mention the great match-ups that will be presented to the offense when Hall lines up at the split end.
When Herron comes back, Hall's versatility will enable the Buckeyes to keep both talented players on the field which will only spread the defense out more.
2. His Explosiveness
Nobody on the Buckeyes is better in the open field than Jordan Hall. He has the ability to break a big play anytime he touches the ball in space.
So far this season, the Buckeyes have struggled mightily through the air, but Hall offers the ability to turn a quick pass or screen into a solid gain. His ability in the open field is one of this offense's only ways to gain yards in big chunks. Hall is just about the only home run threat on the offense right now with the suspensions of Boom Herron and DeVier Posey, and he possesses the explosiveness to break off a huge run or turn a short throw into a momentous gain.
1. His Contribution on Special Teams
Probably Hall's most overlooked contribution is by far his most impactful. Opposing coaches hold their breath every time Hall gets the chance at a punt or kickoff return. Although he doesn't possess the speed and touchdown threat of former Buckeye Ted Ginn, Jr., Hall consistently puts the Ohio State offense in great field position.
Last season, Hall was one of the top returners in the nation, and he hasn't missed a beat this season. Against Miami, he had an impressive punt return that he almost broke for a touchdown, which gave the offense great field position. The next week against Colorado, Hall constantly gave OSU tremendous field position throughout the game, including a kick return he took all the way to the 10-yard line.
With the way the Buckeyes have struggled offensively, field position means absolutely everything.