November 5, 2012
Hyde looking to surpass 1,000-yard mark
Follow Noon | Givler | Axelrod | Birmingham
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- With his 134-yard performance against Penn State two weeks ago, Braxton Miller gave Urban Meyer his first 1,000 rusher in his 11-year coaching carer.
With a couple of big games in Ohio State's remaining two games, Carlos Hyde could give him his second.
The Buckeyes' running back has emerged as the team's clear No. 2 offensive threat this season, amassing a career high 737 rushing yards in his first season in Meyer's spread attack, despite missing two and a half games with a sprained MCL. That total leaves Hyde just 263 yards shy of the coveted 1,000-yard mark, with games against Wisconsin and Michigan remaining on the OSU schedule.
Needing to average 131.5 yards over the final sixth of the season to complete his year-long goal, reaching 1,000 yards won't come easy for the Florida native, with Wisconsin possessing the No. 17 rushing defense in the country, and Michigan owning the 44th. Still, it'd be hard to bet against Hyde, who has rushed for 579 yards in the Buckeyes' last five games alone.
Meyer having a chance at two 1,000 yard rushers in a single season perhaps isn't as unbelievable as one of them being Hyde would have been a year ago. After receiving inconsistent playing time due to injuries and suspensions at Ohio State's running back position, Hyde posted a controversial tweet threatening to transfer out to a different program.
Hyde ultimately opted to stay in Columbus and receive a second chance under Meyer, but the tweet and a a seemingly deep running back stable on the roster left him as a question mark for the Buckeyes heading into the 2012 season.
"He was kind of a guy that didn't have a great reputation," Meyer said of Hyde. "I'd say our first month together was not pleasant."
The first-year Ohio State coach credited running backs coach Stan Drayton with helping Hyde in his turnaround, which has seen him emerge as not only one of the Buckeyes' top players on the field, but one of their leaders off of it.
"I've actually grown to appreciate who he is as a person. I think the perception on him was incorrect," Meyer said. "That might be the relationship between him and his coach. That's a real unique they're very close. And there's a great there's good energy in that running back room right now, really good, if you just watch him play."
The maturity in Hyde is apparent when you talk to him, as he is quick to deflect any of the praise about his recent play. Despite being tied for the Big Ten lead in rushing touchdowns with 13, Hyde said that his emergence in the OSU offense is just the result of the blocking that he's been receiving over the past two months.
"For me, it all has to do with my offensive line," Hyde said. "When those guys go, I go because when they do better, I can do my job better."
Thanks to an Ohio State running game that has seen Hyde and Miller become the country's No. 2 rushing duo, averaging 208.7 yards per game, Hyde is confident that he'll be able top the 1,000-yard mark by the end of the season. That's exciting for Hyde, who's aware that two big games against the Badgers and Wolverines could mean for an undefeated season for the Buckeyes, who enter their bye week with a 10-0 record and ranked No. 5 in the country.
"I run with passion, aggression and attitude. I feel like I can't be brought down and I run with that in my mind, which allows me to run hard," Hyde said. "It doesn't matter who scores more running touchdowns between Braxton and me because I just want to help my team win in whatever way possible."
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