Ohio State Buckeyes: Return of Carlos Hyde Main Thing to Watch Against Florida A&M

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Updated: September 21, 2013

As the Ohio State Buckeyes get set to take on the Florida A&M Rattlers in their fourth game of the season, the outcome of this one was likely decided the moment the Rattlers accepted just over $900,000 to make the trip up to Columbus. While the 57-point favorite Buckeyes should handle their lower division foe handedly, the return of star running back Carlos Hyde is something for fans to watch on Saturday.

After being suspended the first three games of the season by head coach Urban Meyer for his activity in an alleged assault of a woman prior to the season, Hyde has been patiently waiting to make his return to the field. After breaking out for 970 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns a year ago, the 6’0” and 242-pound power back should add some much needed attitude to the Buckeyes run game.

That is not knocking the job Jordan Hall (402 yards and six touchdowns), Dontre Wilson (121 yards and one touchdown) and the rest of the running game has done so far this season (856 total yards and nine touchdowns on the ground) by any means. But the return of Hyde adds a bruising dimension this offense just has not had through the first three games.

Hyde overcame the stigma that power backs cannot excel in Meyer’s spread offense last year, pounding out 100 yards on the ground four times during Big Ten play. In fact, his performance was so good that Hall—the man who started for him this year—was working hard in the offseason to convert to a wide receiver in order to guarantee himself playing time.

The Rattlers are nothing more than a tune-up game for the Buckeyes as they head to Big Ten play next week in a primetime contest against the Wisconsin Badgers. But for Hyde, it is an opportunity for the back to take out some frustration that has been building up inside of him while watching his teammates win their first three games.

Hyde has been very vocal on Twitter, although many of his tweets have since been deleted. In regard to the Buckeyes opponents and his return this week, he had Tweeted “#Victims” when the Buckeyes jumped out to a big lead against California last week. While you can no longer view the Tweet, you can see one where he stated, “But don’t get me wrong they’ll have some athletes because it’s a Florida team.”

Translation—Hyde is not very impressed with what he has seen on film.

The other main story to watch Saturday will be the ongoing injury saga with Braxton Miller and the continued emergence of backup quarterback Kenny Guiton. Guiton has looked spectacular in relief of Miller, earning national player of the week recognition for his efforts. Miller continues to attempt to get more practice on with his sprained MCL, but it doesn’t look like he will see extended—if any—work on Saturday. Meyer stated he could see the field, but not for very long.

Overall this game will likely only be important to watch for the brave souls laying money down on that massive point spread in Las Vegas. And the Buckeyes shouldn’t disappoint.

Prediction

Ohio State Buckeyes Win 70 – 7

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