Saturday morning, my dad asked me who the key player needed to be for the Ohio State Buckeyes in their biggest road test of the season against Northwestern.
“Carlos Hyde, easily,” I replied. “He didn’t have it last week. He needs to pack a lunch tonight.”
Northwestern took it to the Buckeyes in the first half, holding the OSU offense to just two field goals and building a 20-13 lead at the break. But then in the second half, two things changed:
1) The Buckeye defense began to get stops.
2) Carlos Hyde began to barrel over and through the Wildcat defense.
On a night when QB Braxton Miller didn’t have his mojo (2 fumbles, INT, missed TD throw to Chris Fields on 3rd and goal in 2nd quarter), his backfield mate Hyde showed up ready to plow. Hyde, a 6-foot, 242-pound mack daddy from Naples, FL, monstered through the Northwestern defense 26 times for a career-high 168 yards and three touchdowns.
After a bit of a rough game a week ago against Wisconsin (17 carries, 85 yards, but had trouble in the second half), Hyde was the key in a game that required OSU to control the ball in the second half and wear down Northwestern in front of a raucous crowd at Ryan Field.
And so OSU head coach Urban Meyer has still not lost a football game since taking over in Columbus–18 wins in a row.
Most Incredible Cover Ever?
The other thing my dad and I talked about yesterday morning was the point spread on the OSU-Northwestern game. All week, the Buckeyes were favored by 4.5 points. Enough people laid cheddar on the Buckeyes throughout the week to push the spread to seven points by game day.
I told my dad it was a no-brainer to take Northwestern to cover. Those night games on the road, when your team is the higher ranked of the two…usually those result in either an upset or at least a very close game.
It looked like I was dead right. Ohio State scored the go-ahead touchdown with 5:22 left in the game, giving the Bucks a 4-point lead at 34-30. OSU then stuffed Northwestern on 4th-and-1 with just over two minutes to go. The Wildcats got the ball back inside their own 20 yard line with about 25 seconds to go. After a sack and an incomplete pass, Northwestern was down to their last play. They tried a hook-and-ladder pass and lateral deal, but on the second lateral the ball came loose and trickled into their own end zone. OSU’s Joey “Votto” Bosa fell on the ball as time expired…
Ohio State covers the spread on THAT play!
Thousands of bettors went from feeling real smart to shitting their pants in the blink of an eye.
I can’t remember a crazier cover in all my years watching sports. Insane.