Hall keys powerful Ohio State offense from backfield position

Jeannette graduate Jordan Hall is a force for the Buckeyes.
Jeannette graduate Jordan Hall is a force for the Buckeyes.
| Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Two weeks into the 2013 season and Jordan Hall is continuing to impress in his quest to become the Ohio State Buckeyes' feature running back.

At the very least, he's proven he'll be a key weapon in Ohio State's offense … and he's doing so with a new jersey number, one familiar to Jeannette fans.

In the Buckeyes' 42-7 home win over San Diego State on Saturday, Hall — wearing No. 2 , like his former Jeannette High School and Ohio State teammate, Terrelle Pryor wore — came up huge. Hall led the team with 13 carries and was second with 75 yards, including a four-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

Through two games, Hall, a fifth-year senior, leads the team with 34 carries and 237 rushing yards (a 6.9 per carry average) and three touchdowns.

Hall, who previously wore number No. 7, is now No. 2, for the Buckeyes, flip flopping numbers with fellow running back Rod Smith.

Smith, who now wears No. 7, is also a key special teams player, and the number switch means he and teammate Christian Bryant, who wears No. 2, can be on the field at the same time during special teams. Rules forbid two players with the same number to be on the field at the same time.

The NCAA Division I Buckeyes are now 2-0 winning by a combined score of 82-27. However, the competition will get tougher this Saturday when they visit California of the PAC-12. Cal, a traditionally competitive program, is off to a 1-1 start with a surprising 44-30 loss to Northwestern and a closer-than-expected 37-30 win over Portland State. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on FOX.

Cox collects tackle

Also in Division I action, Jeannette graduate Demetrious Cox, a redshirt-freshman safety, had a tackle as his Michigan State Spartans downed South Florida 21-6 on Saturday to improve to 2-0. Cox continues to be used in nickel and dime packages for the Spartans. The team will host Youngstown State (2-0) on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

Mahoney, Mount Union win

Defending Division III national champion Mount Union took the first step toward another undefeated season with a win over Franklin on Saturday. However, despite the fact that Franklin is ranked No. 19 in Division III, the win was closer than expected at 30-27.

Mount Union, featuring Jeannette native Pat Mahoney at center, scored the go-ahead touchdown with 4:17 remaining to pull on the win. The victory was the 26th consecutive opening day win for the Purple Raiders. It was also the first win for new head coach Vince Kehres, who replaced his dad, Larry, who retired as head coach after 27 years at the helm earlier this year.

Mount Union is idle this week; the Purple Raiders, ranked No. 1 in the country, visit Muskingum on Sept. 21.

Paulone, Waynesburg win

Speaking of Muskingum, the Fighting Muskies were the first opponent of the year for Waynesburg and Jeannette grad Thomas Paulone when the teams met Saturday.

Waynesburg got off to a 1-0 start with a 21-17 win; Paulone, a senior running back, had one carry for two yards.

The Yellow Jackets take on Frostburg (0-1) Saturday at home beginning at 1 p.m.

Brian Knavish is a contributing writer.

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