COLUMBUS — Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer expects running back Jordan Hall to play on Saturday against California, but the details of how much he will play and when he will play are still being debated.
“I think he will play Saturday, I’m just not sure how much,” Meyer said after practice on Wednesday.
Hall was Ohio State’s No. 1 running back before he had surgery to repair a torn tendon in his foot in late June.
Ohio State lost Carlos Hyde, who had been the starter in Hall’s absence, for at least this week when he suffered a sprained knee ligament in a 31-16 win over Central Florida last Saturday.
That means either freshman Bri’onte Dunn, Rod Smith, Zach Boren or even Hall could be the starting running back this week.
“We’re going to name a starter on game day. I’m still going to evaluate how they prepare. I’m very pleased with what they’ve done,” Meyer said.
Hall has been cleared medically and had his first contact since spring practice earlier this week. His health is not a concern and neither is shaking off the rust from several weeks away from football. What concerns Meyer is that in trying to do too much, Hall could injure himself in a different way.
“A guy who hasn’t done it, all of a sudden he strains and you get a hip flexor or something,” Meyer said.
DEFENSE ADDS TWO: Defensive end Nathan Williams, who missed the Central Florida game because of soreness in his surgically repaired right knee, is expected to play this week.
Also, linebacker Storm Klein who was suspended after being arrested on a domestic violence charge, then reinstated when he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, will play for the first time.
“He will play. He’s back. He has worked hard. He has handled things the right way,” Meyer said.
MEYER’S VISION: After the win over Central Florida, Meyer said Ohio State was not where he expected it to be after two games.
Wednesday, he returned to that theme and said he wants to see the Buckeyes play in a way that will make Ohio Stadium “an inferno.”
“I expect our stadium to be an inferno. I expect players to be diving over each other to hit the quarterback. I expect our offense to score a multitude of points and celebrate in the end zone. So it's nothing close (to what I expected),” Meyer said. “I understand the journey, (but) what we have done the first two weeks is nothing close.
“I have a vision of what I think this place should be like. I think that stadium ought to be absolutely electric. I think it's been O.K., but we need to play better. You want to get a stadium going? Go hit a quarterback. You want to really get a stadium going? Go get a hand on a punt. That's when people come out of their seat.”
Asked when he wanted to see this, Meyer said, “Three days.”
MEYER ON THE OFFENSIVE LINE: On his weekly radio call-in show on Thursday, Meyer said OSU’s offensive line played better in the opener against Miami of Ohio than it did last week.
“We played O.K., which to us is lousy. O.K. is not good enough at Ohio State,” Meyer said.
Also on the radio show, Meyer said cornerback Travis Howard has been held out of contact this week because of “stingers” he suffered during the UCF game but will play on Saturday. He also called the kickoff defending team the “shining star” so far this season.