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Commentary: Put Hyde in, coach, he’s ready to play

Thomas Bradley / Campus editor

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After another 100-yard rushing performance, sophomore running back Carlos Hyde has proven that he should be the undisputed No. 2 running back for the Ohio State offense.

I’m not someone who enjoys controversy or likes to stir it up, but in my mind, there should be no controversy. The numbers speak for themselves.

With just eight more carries than junior running back Jordan Hall, Hyde has compiled 183 more yards with a team-high of 513. Hyde also has four more touchdowns than junior running back Jordan Hall.

How can the coaches argue with that production?

One common argument for Hall is his “big play ability.”

Hall’s biggest play against Wisconsin, the last game in which he played, was a fumbled punt return that gave Wisconsin momentum and a chance to get back in the game.

Maybe that is a little cynical, as he did score a touchdown in the third quarter and his final kickoff return gave the Buckeyes great field position to retake the lead for the eventual victory. However, Hall’s touchdown was from two yards out.

With three inches of height and 43 more pounds packed on his frame than Hall, I would be willing to bet that Hyde could have punched it in just as easily.

Also worth noting is that Hall’s longest rush of the year is 20 yards, compared to Hyde’s long of 63 yards.

Is Hall really a bigger play threat than Hyde?

Hyde voiced his displeasure with his spotty playing time after the Buckeyes’ victory against Illinois on Oct. 15 on Twitter saying, “Guess I’m not good enough. Take myself elsewhere.”

He later (wisely) deleted the tweet and said he wasn’t going anywhere. The damage had been done, though, and his displeasure is evident.

But can you blame him?

Hyde is only a sophomore and would be in the Buckeye backfield for another two years. Hall, a junior, only has one more year at OSU. If Hyde were to become disgruntled and transfer elsewhere, the Buckeyes would be missing out on at least one, if not two years, of solid backfield play from the runner.

Senior running back Daniel ‘Boom’ Herron voiced similar confidence in Hyde following the victory against Indiana.

“(Hyde’s) got a great future ahead of him. It was really nice to see him do a great job,” Herron said. “It was great to see him take advantage of the opportunities given to him today.”

Keywords: “great future” and “opportunities given to him today.”

Coach Luke Fickell and the coaching staff would be wise to keep Hyde as involved in the game plan as possible this week and throughout the season to prepare for the future, as well as get the greater production.

With Hall coming off of an ankle injury, Fickell said at his Tuesday press conference that “hopefully (Hall) will be able to go” but “he’ll be a little bit hesitant.”

He also said that Hall will retake his position as punt and kickoff returner while the coaches find a way to move the ball around and give all the running backs opportunities to touch the football.

I guarantee that given an opportunity to touch the football, Hyde will not be hesitant to take it to the Purdue defense.

Put him in, coach.

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