Ohio State saw ejections of two key players on Saturday that could end up costing the Buckeyes in next week’s Big Ten Championship.
In a thrilling 42-41 victory over rival Michigan, Ohio State had two of its players ejected during a second quarter brawl.
The fight started after Ohio State kick returner Dontre Wilson was tackled by a group of Michigan players. Michigan linebacker Royce ripped off Wilson’s helmet, and Wilson responded by throwing a punch.
Several more players joined in on the pushing and shoving, and when the dust cleared and referees regained control Ohio State faced ejections of two key players —.Wilson and starting right guard Marcus Hall.
The Ohio State vs. Michigan brawl tainted an otherwise thrilling contest. Michigan scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, the final coming with just 32 remaining on seconds left. Though the Wolverines could have tied the game with an extra point and likely sent the contest to overtime, they instead decided to go for a win with a two-point conversion.
Ohio State held tight, intercepting Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner on the play and holding on for the victory.
The Ohio State ejections might not be the end of disciplinary action for the brawl, the Big Ten announced after the game.
“The conference office will wait until after the game for the officials’ written report, review the video and then take further action if needed,” Big Ten spokesman Scott Chipman wrote in an email to The Associated Press.
Ohio State will face Michigan State in the Big Ten Football Championship Game on Saturday, December 7 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Both teams stand at 8-0 in the conference, the first time since 2002 and only second since 1943 that two Big Ten teams finished the season with perfect marks.
But if the Ohio State ejections turn into suspensions for Wilson and Hall, the Buckeyes could be at a disadvantage. Hall is an anchor on the offensive line, while Wilson is a dangerous return specialist, with 442 total kick return yards and a long of 51 yards.