It was a classic Big 10 battle that matched a contrast in teams. The Buckeyes were the consistent perennial power that had reeled off 17 straight victories (12 wins from 2012 and five wins this season) and the Wildcats were the young upstarts looking for their “Rocky” moment.
The Buckeyes were grateful for the tough inside running of senior running back Carlos Hyde.
Entering Saturday’s game, Hyde had been consistently carrying more of the workload for the Buckeyes offense over the last three weeks. Hyde who missed the Buckeyes first three games of the year, had rushed for 126 yards yards and no touchdowns entering the match up with Northwestern.
In his first game back on September 21, Hyde had 5 carries for 41 yards in the victory over Florida A&M. Two weeks ago against Wisconsin, the Buckeyes utilized him on 17 carries for 85 yards in the home victory. Saturday night, however, proved to be his coming out party. On a national stage, Hyde had a dominating performance that led the Buckeyes to the 40-30 victory over the Wildcats.
Head coach Urban Meyer and the offensive staff relied on Hyde to pound the heart of the Wildcats defense. Hyde battled his way to 168 rushing yards on 26 carries and three touchdowns. Hyde was critical to an Ohio State ground attack that had 248 rushing yards on the night. Hyde averaged 6.5 yards per carry and wore down the Wildcats front four late in the second half. By gaining tough yards between the tackles, Hyde took the pressure off of quarterback Braxton Miller to win the game on his own.
The Buckeyes have now won 18 straight games and moved to 6-0 on the year (2-0 in the Big 10). Northwestern fell to 4-1 and is 0-1 in the Big 10.