Hall Scores TD On First Drive Of Final Game

Because of a preseason ankle injury this year, Roy Hall's season got off to a somewhat inauspicious start but he ended it in a big way, having a big part in Ohio State's opening TD drive. Hall had two key third-down receptions to keep that opening drive alive before he was on the receiving end of Troy Smith's one-yard TD pass to tie the game at 7-7 at the time.

On three separate occasions during the very first Ohio State offensive drive of the game, it was Roy Hall who was the Buckeye wide receiver who turned in big plays each time.

Michigan took the opening drive of the game and marched right down the field and scored a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead. Hall's one-yard touchdown catch on the ensuing drive capped a 14-play, 69-yard drive to answer.

"All year everybody has been working hard, I've been working hard, handling adversity, handling everything and, no matter what, I never put my head down," Hall said. "And I just had the opportunity to go out there and catch a couple of balls and so did everybody else, and I was real thankful for that."

Hall's three catches for 38 yards on that drive turned out to be his final numbers for the game. His first big catch came on a third-and-16 situation that was good for 27 yards and a first down. His second catch on the drive went for 10 yards and another first down on a third-and-5 situation.

"Troy just found me," Hall said. "If you know Troy, he goes through his options and he likes to pick-and-choose who he wants to work on and off of. I don't think I was the first read in either scenario, I just happened to get open. We've been practicing hard all week, I knew exactly where to be and he found me."

Hall was all alone on his touchdown reception in the front corner of the endzone.

"Actually, Robo (Brian Robiskie) and I, we don't really like that play because usually we never get the ball," Hall said. "But in that situation, we always have to run our routes like we're going to be open or like we're going to get the ball so we just ran the routes and it just so happed that he found me in the corner."

He certainly made a major contribution in his last game ever at Ohio Stadium.

"We just had a great day, I had so much fun out there," Hall said. "I'll never forget this experience ever."

In all the Buckeye offense ran up 503 total yards of which 316 yards came through the air and 187 yards on the ground.

"It was like a kick-punch attack," Hall said. "They were loading up to stop the run and we ended up throwing the ball, and then they tried to stop the pass and we ran it a little bit. We had two long runs, one in the second half and one in the first. We just executed today. We had a couple of turnovers and we overcame those but, for the most part, we did a great job of executing the game plan."

Antonio Pittman's long touchdown run of 56 yards with 8:04 left in the third quarter sort of got the momentum back in Ohio State's favor after the Buckeyes 28-14 halftime lead was narrowed to 28-24. Pittman had 139 yards on 18 carries in the game.

"It was huge," said Hall of Pittman's touchdown run. "It just seemed like everything was going wrong at the time and it was almost like we were giving the game away for a second because we weren't staying focused as a team. If you know our offense, we often make big plays and today, Pitt happened to be the guy to get that got that momentum back on our side and after that we didn't look back."

The 42-39 victory was certainly a long and memorable day for Hall, from the skull session, to the Tunnel of Pride, to the celebration at the end of the hard-fought football game.

"As a senior, the hardest part is knowing that you won't be able to do this again," Hall said. "You won't be able to run out in the ‘Shoe, you won't be able to go to the skull sessions or eat at the golf course, which has great food by the way. It's sad but you're just coming to an end of a particular part of your life and you have to move on.

"The bowl game in itself is a whole different season but this is the end of the regular season. There is no more Horseshoe for all of the 18 seniors that ran out today. It's a sad time but I'm happy and excited right now because we're going to the national championship. So it's a great way to go out. It's just back and forth, it's just hard to really sum up the emotional experience. If I was an old guy I probably would have had a heart attack or something."

And after the game, Hall said it felt like there was a million people jumping on top of you.

"I couldn't breathe for a second. I felt claustrophobic for a second with all of those people around me," Hall said. "But I got into the locker room and Tress, he was emotional in there, and all of the coaches and people were crying. It was just a great feeling."

Getting a touchdown in his last home game at Ohio Stadium was another great feeling for Hall.

"It was a great feeling. I was just hoping that Troy was going to find me," Hall said. "As always he makes good decisions and that was the best decision at the time and I happened to be on the receiving end of that pass."

Hall is obviously proud to be an integral part of this particular receiving corps.

"I had a long talk with the other receivers today and I just told them how much I loved them and cared about them and thanks for the good year and thanks for always being there for me," Hall said. "For the last five years I've been pretty close with a lot of receivers, Mike Jenkins and Santonio (Holmes). But a group as a whole as far as talent, as far as going out there and being the best receivers that we can be, this is the best group by far. And it shows. It was just an emotional experience for me and I enjoyed every bit of it."

However a preseason ankle injury probably limited Hall's overall contribution to the team this season.

"The ankle injury was hard as any injury is for anybody," Hall said. "It was just a situation where I had to suck it up and get better. And I got better and I had a nice showing at Iowa and it was a great feeling scoring that touchdown. But it doesn't compare to scoring a touchdown in this game on senior day, the last home game.

"Life is (all about) ups and downs and it's all about how you handle it. And I think I've handled it pretty well and my teammates have helped me through a lot of things. And we're going to the national (championship) and I don't have nothing to complain about. So everything's cool, everything worked out."

And that pretty much goes for his career in general at Ohio State.

"Everybody comes to college with big dreams but I'm a realist so I understand that everything doesn't fall the way that you want it to fall at all times. And depending on what kind of cards you're dealt dictates what hand you play. I was dealt different types of adversities but at this point, I wouldn't change it for the world at all. The way things have fallen for me, I appreciate everything."

The Michigan game just happened to be a really special day for Hall.

"I was talking to the guys and I said ‘God has a plan for everybody.' And His plan today just happened to be my good day, may good fortune in that first quarter, that first drive and we've just got to keep it moving," Hall said. "That's pretty much it."

And after the bowl game in January, Hall will likely have a chance to at least pursue a career at the professional level but he has something to fall back on.

"I really feel like I can contribute at the next level but however it falls, it falls," he said. "And if not, I graduate in about three weeks with a business marketing degree from the Fisher College of Business and I'm excited about that. So, either way, as long as I keep working hard I'm going to be a successful person."

It would certainly be hard for Hall to have any better of ending to his up-and-down football career as a Buckeye.

"It feels great," Hall said. "But most of all I'm proud of all of our guys, all our seniors our whole team. We're going to the national championship. I came in on the team that won a national championship and now I'm a part of our senior class, our team, and we're going back out to Arizona so it's a great feeling."

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