The big question for the Ohio State Buckeyes going into their game with the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday afternoon was whether or not their offense would be able to run against a good Iowa rushing-defense.
Going into this game, the Iowa rushing-defense was eighth in the nation and had not given up a rushing touchdown yet this season. Ohio State’s goal this week was not only to win the game and remain undefeated, but also to end Iowa’s streak.
The Buckeyes achieved what they set out to do by winning the game and breaking the streak.
The streak ended in the third quarter when running back Carlos Hyde ran the ball in from a yard out. That was not the only rushing touchdown the Iowa defense gave up in this game. Hyde ran it in again in the fourth quarter from 19 yards out to give the Buckeyes the lead.
Hyde was able to run all over the Iowa defense. He had 24 rushes for 149 yards and those two touchdowns.
Quarterback Braxton Miller was successful against the Iowa defense as well. Not only was he 22-for-27 passing with 222 yards and two touchdowns, he also had 18 carries for 102 yards and no turnovers.
I would call that a successful day for the Ohio State offense, but especially for the running game.
Running backs Jordan Hall and Dontre Wilson even got some playing time. Head coach Urban Meyer had been using Hall sparingly or not at all the past few games because he was suffering from a knee injury. Hall only rushed for 11 yards, but despite that and missing playing time from his injury, he still leads the team in rushing yards with 427 and rushing touchdowns with eight.
Meyer had been using Wilson sparingly as well, but not because of an injury. Meyer wants the freshman to become a better all-around player and not just a running back. He looks to be developing slowly but surely. Wilson rushed for 16 yards on three carries against Iowa and also caught a pass for nine yards.
Iowa is one of the best rushing defenses in the nation and they gave up 273 rushing yards to one of the best rushing offenses in the nation on Saturday. Ohio State’s rushing offense is ranked No. 11 in the country.
Ohio State’s rushing attack is just that good. They were even able to run against a good Wisconsin Badgers defense earlier this season that shut down a previously explosive Northwestern Wildcats offense last week.
It always helps when you have a mobile quarterback like Miller and plenty of other weapons to use in your running game. Switching them out and using them for other things like receiving or blocking are sure to confuse opposing defenses and turn into plenty of rushing yards every week.
It is a formula that has definitely worked for the Buckeyes so far. A well-balanced offense with a strong rushing attack is a great thing for any team to have.