COLUMBUS – Running backs often talk about having “another gear.” But who knew Carlos Hyde’s extra gear was reverse?
A minute and a half into the fourth quarter, Ohio State’s 235-pound tailback scored the go-ahead touchdown in Ohio State’s 34-24 win over Iowa on a 19-yard run that was no ordinary run.
Hyde got to the outside on a sweep play and was rolling when Iowa safety Tanner Miller put a shoulder into him at Iowa’s 8-yard line, which knocked him two yards backward to the 10-yard line.
But Hyde never lost his balance, kept his feet moving and saw a clear path to the end zone. With Miller on the ground, he sprinted to the end zone and launched himself across the goal line with a dive.
Hyde found it all as surprising as the more than 105,000 fans who watched it.
“I never had a run like that,” Hyde said. “The safety hit me, and I came out of it, and I was still up, and I was like, ‘Let me try to catch my balance.’ Once I did, I turned back around, and I saw Philly Brown with an unbelievable block, and I was like, ‘Man, I’m so excited and I haven’t even scored yet.’ Then I just went in for a touchdown.”
“I thought he had me but I stayed up,” he said.
Hyde’s remarkable run came on the play after Braxton Miller had scrambled one way, then another for nine yards and a first down on third down and seven yards to go from Iowa’s 28-yard line.
Miller’s athletic dash made Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz think of 2010 when Terrelle Pryor scrambled for 14 yards on fourth down to keep the game-winning drive alive in a 20-17 OSU win.
“It was déjà vu all over again,” Ferentz said. “There aren’t a lot of players that can make that kind of play.”
While Miller might have taken Ferentz back into the past, combining a healthy Miller with a strong-as-ever Hyde had OSU’s fan base thinking about the future, once the Buckeyes were able to shake the stubborn Hawkeyes.
Hyde rushed for 149 yards on 24 carries and scored two touchdowns one game after going for a career-best 168 yards at Northwestern.
Miller hit 17 of his first 19 passes and finished the game 22 of 27 for 222 yards and two passing touchdowns. But it was his running that signaled he is all the way back or nearly all the way back from the sprained knee ligament that sidelined him for almost three full games.
“I felt pretty good out there,” Miller said.
Hyde felt more than pretty good to have his quarterback at full strength again.
“I definitely feel like we feed off each other. I definitely feed off Braxton. When I see him pull it down and he takes off for a long run and he gets fancy and stuff, I get excited to see that. Braxton got back to his old self today,” he said.
“When Braxton is running, I’m always expecting a big play. You never know. That guy has unbelievable, crazy talent. He can make something from nothing into something. I felt like that was the old Braxton. Braxton is going back to his old self and having more confidence in himself. We all saw that tonight.”
With Hyde and Miller leading the way, Ohio State came back from being behind at halftime for the second week in a row and the fourth time during its 19-game winning streak.
“We can be down by 20 points and still believe we’re going to come back and win the game,” Hyde said.
The Buckeyes, it appears, just like their big running back, are hard to knock off their feet.