Sunday, October 7, 2012
Hyde seeks his blockers
By Austin Ward BuckeyeNation
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The celebration has to include at least one blocker, but with the kind of party Carlos Hyde was having, that wasn't enough.
As the final seconds of the Buckeyes' sixth victory ticked away, the Ohio State running back made his way down the sideline searching for all the guys who had done the dirty work while he made trip after trip into the end zone.
Carlos Hyde (left) seeks out an offensive lineman after every touchdown, and that role was filled by tackle Reid Fragel after a second-quarter score.
At a far end of the bench, Hyde finally found three of them wearing huge smiles and wrapped his arms around them one at a time, offering his thanks to the linemen who had given the Buckeyes so many opportunities to cut loose in a 63-38 win over Nebraska on Saturday night at Ohio Stadium.
But in case that message wasn't delivered clearly enough, Hyde added to Ohio State's Big Guy Rule by making sure to include them first and foremost when he showed up to his postgame news conference.
"I have to give all the credit to those guys," Hyde said. "They're the reason why I got into the end zone, because they did their job. I have to give all the credit to those guys.
"As a team, it's just all love. They tell me good job, I tell them to keep doing their thing, you know, and we're going to keep scoring."
Once the Buckeyes got started, they never stopped putting up points in the rout over the Huskers. Hyde, in particular, wore out the paint in the end zone, punching in four touchdowns and capping the scoring with one more easy stroll from 16 yards out in the final minute, thanks to more road-clearing blocks up front.
This group of linemen had prompted plenty of preseason skepticism from coach Urban Meyer, and they hadn't won him over after a couple of games. But they spent the last three quarters Saturday plowing through the Huskers, opening enormous holes for Hyde and Braxton Miller as Ohio State racked up 371 yards on the ground and six rushing touchdowns.
While that first quarter left something to be desired, everything afterward gave Hyde no shortage of reasons to find those guys on the sideline and praise their work.
"Carlos is great, and it's cool for us -- but he knows if he doesn't come find a big guy, that's our rule: If you don't come find a big guy after a touchdown you're going to get in trouble the next day," left tackle Jack Mewhort said. "Those guys make it a point to come find us and we love it, man. It's a lot of fun.
"But by the time he's done busting off 30-yard touchdowns, by the time we get to the end zone, you're kind of so tired you just give him a nod and get moving."
Hyde obviously deserved some credit as well, as he fought through tackles, pushed the pile and continued to rack up yardage after initial contact on the way to 140 yards in his second game back from a knee strain.
Without starting running back Jordan Hall, the pressure to take some of the load off Miller's shoulders on the ground was squarely on Hyde. After 28 carries and all those visits to the end zone, he certainly did more than his share -- though the Buckeyes all made sure the spotlight was shining elsewhere.
"There were post-contact yards, but I also saw the line of scrimmage change," Meyer said. "You could see the line of scrimmage, and when he was getting there it was 2 or 3 yards down the field.
"That's a big guy, and you get him started, it's hard to bring him down. He wasn't getting started in the first quarter -- that offensive line did it in the second quarter, third and fourth."
Hyde scored in each of the last three. And there was a lineman to celebrate with every time.