ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Those who have played and coached in Ohio State-Michigan games always have talked about how cleanly The Game is played. But no one will be saying that about a second-quarter melee yesterday that left three players ejected.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Those who have played and coached in Ohio State-Michigan games always have talked about how cleanly The Game is played. But no one will be saying that about a second-quarter melee yesterday that left three players ejected.

Ejected were Ohio State freshman running back Dontre Wilson, who was in the midst of it all after being tackled on a kickoff return, and right guard Marcus Hall, who came onto the field with the offense and threw a punch at Michigan defensive end Keith Heitzman, a Hilliard Davidson graduate.


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Hall also made an obscene gesture on each hand while leaving the field.

A Michigan player was ejected, too, linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone, who ripped off Wilson's helmet.

"I'm disappointed with that. I don't know where that came from," Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. "We had a little chat about that. That's unacceptable."

Of Hall's gesture, Meyer said, "I'll take care of that."

Several others were involved in the fracas, including Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, who said he stepped in to try to protect "the little guy" Wilson, and receiver Michael Thomas, who is being redshirted this season.

Big Ten spokesman Scott Chipman told The Dispatch via text message that there could be more punishment for those who were ejected, and perhaps for others who were not.

"The conference office will wait until after the game for the officials' written report, review video and then take further action if needed," Chipman wrote.

Michigan players said such things occur when old foes meet.

"It's a rivalry game. Stuff's going to happen," senior tackle Taylor Lewan said. "There's going to be punches thrown. It's not necessary, but we don't like each other, so stuff's going to happen."

Answering the call

Hall's ejection put Pat Elflein into the game at right guard, but the redshirt freshman from Pickerington North said he wasn't nervous.

"It was pretty overwhelming, but we prepare so well during practice," Elflein said. "I was ready for the moment. I'm always ready. Every game, I'm always on the sideline, helmet strapped up, mouth guard in, because you never know when your number is going to be called. Today was my day."

Ohio State's offensive line is the foundation of the team, and it didn't crack with Elflein in it. In fact, he made the key block on Carlos Hyde's 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

"That was awesome," he said. "I knew my number was called running that play."

Feeling for Hall

Center Corey Linsley was on the sideline with the rest of the offense when the melee began, then "I saw Braxton run out there and I said, 'Man, I've got to get that guy,'" he said. "That's actually what started the whole pull, me running out there (to try to break it up). I feel a little of the responsibility for Marcus getting ejected, because he saw me run out there and I shouldn't have done that."

When Linsley saw Hall after the game, "We just hugged each other, and he cried. We told him we did it for him (won the game), and we truly did," Linsley said.

Hall was not available for comment.

Pass defense exposed

Just when it appeared the Ohio State defense had gotten a handle on Michigan's offense in the third quarter, the Wolverines came storming back, and did it by throwing the ball.

"Our pass defense is rearing its head again," said Meyer, and he meant that in a concerned way after Michigan passed for 451 yards - the most given up by OSU this season by far - and four touchdowns.

Ohio State safety C.J. Barnett said the Wolverines were running "a lot of trick plays, a lot of things to attack our perimeter," including throw-back screens that the Buckeyes never did figure out. "We've got a fast defense, we run to the ball … so when you have misdirection stuff like that you've got a chance to get us," he said.

Banged up

He never came out of the game, but Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner was wearing a walking boot on his left foot afterward. Gardner said he suffered an injury during the game. When he was asked the severity of the injury, Gardner said only, "I'm going to be all right."

Gardner's teammates lauded the quarterback for staying in, and Michigan coach Brady Hoke said he had shown him some tough love in recent weeks as he has noticeably looked to be playing through injuries on multiple occasions.

"He's a kid," Hoke said. "I think he's learning how to be a Michigan quarterback, and I think that's a daily thing. He's beat up like everybody else. He was limping a little bit and I said, 'I don't want to see you limping. Every guy out here could limp. You've got to go play.' He did that and I'm proud of him."

Kicker switch

Hoke said he knew on Tuesday that Michigan would be without one of the most-prolific kickers in program history. Fifth-year senior Brendan Gibbons, who sits fourth with 45 made field goals, tweaked an unspecified injury during practice and was replaced by junior Matt Wile.