EVANSTON, Ill. – The Ohio State Buckeyes rode the powerful legs of senior running back Carlos Hyde to victory Saturday night, beating the Northwestern Wildcats 40-30 for their 18th straight victory.
Hyde ran for 168 yards on 26 carries and scored three touchdowns, the last of which gave OSU the lead 34-30 with 5:22 left in the game.
Hyde’s go-ahead score came after Northwestern redshirt-junior quarterback Trevor Siemian connected with redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Cameron Dickerson on a 12-yard touchdown pass to put the Wildcats ahead.
The Buckeyes fed the senior from Naples, Fla., the majority of the second half, looking to wear down the Wildcats.
“I definitely felt like me and the offensive line wore them down,” Hyde said. “We didn’t run anything crazy, we stuck to our basic runs and our O-line was having success in our blocks and I was having success in the reads. They were just making it easy for me.”
OSU was able to hold the Wildcats on their ensuing drive, stopping them on fourth down at the Buckeyes’ 33-yard line with 2:43 remaining. The Buckeyes were unable to run out the clock, though, and Northwestern got the ball back with 21 seconds to go.
The Buckeye defense was able to stop the Northwestern offense, as OSU freshman defensive lineman Joey Bosa sacked Siemian for a loss of eight yards. After a Wildcat spike, Bosa recovered a Northwestern fumble in the end zone to secure the victory.
The Wildcats (4-1, 0-1) took a 23-13 lead into halftime after a pair of touchdowns by senior quarterback Kain Colter, a nine-yard reception from Siemian in the first quarter and a two-yard run in the second.
OSU coach Urban Meyer blamed himself and the offense for putting the team in a hole early.
“I went for a fake punt, I felt like we need to swing momentum at the end of the first half,” Meyer said. “That was an error though, error by me.”
OSU’s lone touchdown in the first half came off a blocked punt by redshirt-junior cornerback Bradley Roby, who recovered the ball in the end zone for the score.
“They didn’t block me, I thought they were going to try to block me but they didn’t so I just went to go get it,” Roby said. “You’ve got to make plays somehow, if you don’t get action at corner you’ve got to make plays somehow and I just wanted to affect the game.”
OSU junior quarterback Braxton Miller struggled offensively, throwing one interception and fumbling twice. He finished the game 15 of 26 passing for 203 yards. Miller, though, never was taken out of the game. He said fighting through the tough plays is something he’s used to.
“It happened to me a couple times in my career so, I know how to fix my mistakes and just come back-adversity,” Miller said. “Just shake it off and come back stronger.”
The Buckeyes (6-0, 2-0) are off next weekend, but return to Columbus Oct. 19 to host Iowa at 3:30 p.m.