Northwestern brought their A-game when they hosted the Ohio State Football team in Evanston on Saturday night, and it looked like Ohio State brought their C-game. The Buckeyes escaped with a 40-30 victory, handing the Wildcats their first loss of the season. I took a few days to let the game sink in, and here’s my take on the game.
Up until this week, the Buckeye’s (6-0) were running at full speed on offense. The way the Wildcats (4-1) played, it looked like they should have been the no. 4 team in the country. They had a chance to make a statement win under the bright lights of College Gameday, and maybe even jump into the top 10 for the first time since Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald was a linebacker at his alma mater. They gave it their best effort, with the tandem QB attack of Trevor Siemian and Kain Coulter leading the way through the air.
The Wildcat combo thew for 343 total yards, besting Ohio State’s QB Braxton Miller who only threw for 203. Northwestern only gained 94 yards on the ground, where Ohio State dominated, and ultimately won. Miller clearly struggled and seemed borderline uncomfortable, throwing an interception and fumbling twice after a four-touchdown performance last week against Wisconsin. Head Coach Urban Meyer but the ball in the hands of Ohio State’s workhorse RB Carlos Hyde, and the big man didn’t disappoint.
Hyde ran for 168 yards and three touchdowns on 26 touches, literally carrying his team to victory. After missing the first three games for an off-season incident, Hyde realizes that he let his team down and now feels that he has to make up for his lost time on the field.
“I go out every game with the mindset that I have to make up for those three games,” Hyde said. “That suspension…that suspension really hurt. Being out there with my brothers is the greatest thing.”
This was the first real test the Buckeye’s had, and they showed resiliency in fighting back on the road in order to remain undefeated. It didn’t look pretty, but a win is a win, and Ohio State now has a much needed bye-week to work out the kinks before hosting Iowa on Oct. 19.
In my opinion, the ultimate story after the game wasn’t the victory or the fact that Urban Meyer is still undefeated as the leader of the Scarlet and Gray Brigade, instead it was this:
Ladies and gents, THE 6-0SU Buckeyes are the first bowl eligible team in college football this year. #Next
— Adam Woodard (@AdamWoodard) October 6, 2013
Roll Hyde, y’all.