Dominant Hyde closes in on 1,000 yards
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- This season has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for Carlos Hyde.
Many would-be Hyde tacklers must feel like they've been standing in front of a roller coaster at times.
With a streak of five straight games over 100 yards rushing highlighted by last week's career best 246 in a romp over Illinois, Hyde stands 53 yards short of becoming Urban Meyer's first tailback to have a 1,000-yard rushing season. Meyer's offenses have produced plenty of big numbers and Braxton Miller ran for 1,271 last year, but no true tailback has gone over 1,000.
Hyde is about to become the first, despite serving a three-game suspension at the beginning of the season for his role in an early-morning incident at a Columbus bar. He sat out two plays last week after missing class, then came in, scored five total touchdowns and tied Archie Griffin for the third-biggest day an Ohio State running back has ever had.
The trends indicate getting 53 against Indiana, the nation's 122nd ranked run defense, will not be a problem for the 230-pound Hyde, but that he could be a big problem for Indiana.
"The offensive line and Carlos Hyde have proven over and over again they can take over games," Meyer said this week. "That's who we are."
Meyer said Hyde is growing up, turning from "very immature" to very productive, shedding weight to get to 230 to become more explosive and dangerous at the defense's second level and "much faster. He's got the acceleration now. He's playing more aggressive, too.
"One thing about Carlos Hyde is, because of our formation, we're really just running him into a stack of 20 guys. From the spread with his skill set, he's the perfect back for what we're looking for."
Before the season, Hyde said he felt "a responsibility" to post a 1,000-yard season.
"Any running back at Ohio State should feel that responsibility," he said. "The tradition at Ohio State, the backs that have come before us, like Archie Griffin, Eddie George, Keith Byars, all those guys, they all had that 1,000-yard mark and then some in their career. So I feel like as a running back at the Ohio State University, that is something you shoot for.
"And for me to have a chance to be Coach Meyer's first 1,000-yard rusher as a running back, that's huge."
Meyer is always thinking about what -- and who -- is next. He said this week that Hyde's success is helping with recruiting true tailbacks of the future, and there's no secret that as the Buckeyes try to finish a second straight unbeaten season, the power game with Hyde will continue to drive the offense.
"When we had Tim Tebow (at Florida), and now Braxton, they are such unique talents when it comes to running the ball, but thatís not what we want to rely on," Meyer said last summer. "I need to have Carlos go for well over 1,000 yards this year. That would help in recruiting, in proving our point."
Consider it proven, or at least darn close.