OSU lowered the boom on Illinois 60-35 as Carlos Hyde beastballed his way for 246 yards and 4 TDs.
Miller added another 184 yards of his own on the ground, but struggled in the passing game in the gusty Champaign winds. Also struggling was the OSU defense, giving up almost 300 passing yards to Nate “Grandpa” Scheelhaase. (Is it just me, or hasn’t he been playing since about 1990?)
The Buckeyes started and finished at full throttle – a point that will likely go unnoticed by the talking heads. After going up by four touchdowns, the team lost focus and allowed the Illini to chip away at the lead. The game didn’t officially become in-hand until a 9-point swing in the 3rd quarter when OSU converted a safety and a subsequent TD back-to-back.
As much as fans may wish all OSU games could be as easy as the past few; a game like this is a good thing. The defense clearly was suffering from a bit of hubris after its domination of the B1G bottom feeders these past few weeks. Getting punched in the mouth, and being forced to respond, is good for this team as it continues to prepare to play real teams in the months ahead.
But the story of this game should be about Carlos “El Guapo” Hyde. Benched for the first part of the game (rumors indicated he missed a class this week), he still managed 246 yards in just over two-and-a-half quarters of football. He’s now about 50 yards shy of a 1000 for the season, a stat that of course should be considered in the context of him not playing the first three games against OSU’s weakest opponents. Had Guapo not been suspended earlier this season, there’s a very good chance he’d be at least a 1500 yard back this year.
Next week, Hyde should easily eclipse the 1000 mark, and perhaps exceed Keith Byars’ and Eddie George’s TD records. Most appropriately, he will likely do so during his last home game at the Shoe.
Stay tuned to MotSaG… Chip will have a more in-depth analysis of the game to be posted tomorrow.