Can El Guapo Still Reach the 1,000-Yard Mark?

By Michael Citro on October 10, 2013 at 4:25p
You can run, but you can't Hyde.

Last season, Carlos Hyde missed two games due to injury and fell just 30 yards short of becoming the first running back to gain 1,000 yards under Urban Meyer.

It seemed like a healthy and determined El Guapo would have no trouble reaching the mark with 12 regular season games, a potential Big Ten title game and a bowl appearance. But then Hyde got suspended for the season’s first three games for the much-publicized incident at the Sugar Bar 2, and that seriously put his goal of 1,000 yards in jeopardy.

His return against Florida A&M didn’t help much, as he carried only five times in a complete annihilation of the Rattlers. Suddenly, a third of the regular season was gone and El Guapo had only 41 yards to show for it.

Ohio State’s bruising tailback turned in a respectable 83-yard performance against a Wisconsin team that stacked the box and dared Braxton Miller to beat them over the top (which he did). Then came the breakout game in Evanston. Hyde carried 26 times for 168 yards and three touchdowns in a workhorse effort on the road against a Top 25 team.

Sitting on 294 yards for the season, Hyde is surprisingly still on pace to reach 1,000 yards, provided he stays healthy and the Buckeyes play in both the B1G championship game and a bowl game—they have already qualified for the latter.

If he maintains his current pace of 98 yards per game, El Guapo would end up with 1,078 yards for the season in a 14-game schedule. But can he do it?

In Wisconsin, Hyde has already faced the best overall defense he’ll see in the regular season. However, Iowa, Ohio State’s next opponent, is actually better against the run than the Badgers. The Hawkeyes are yielding just 88.5 yards per game this season—although, to be fair, they haven’t played a very impressive schedule.

Penn State isn’t too bad against the run either (111.4 YPG), but Illinois, Purdue and Indiana are the league’s three most generous teams against the rush. Michigan is giving up 90.4 yards per contest on the ground.

Touchdowns are fun.Hyde leaves a trail of destruction in his wake when he runs.

For Hyde to maintain his average, the OSU rushing attack will have to become a statistical outlier against Iowa, Penn State and Michigan, or put up such big numbers against the other three teams to make up the difference. In Indianapolis, he would then presumably have to face the Wolverines or Northwestern again, or the very stingy defense of Sparty (51.2 YPG against), or the generous Nebraska Cornhuskers (182.6 YPG).

So it would seem doable, at least on the surface.

But there’s another factor in play, and one that might be enough to derail his bid for 1,000 yards. That factor’s name is Jordan Hall.

With Hall’s injury last season, Hyde didn’t have to split carries and was Ohio State’s bell cow throughout the year. Provided Hall bounces back quickly from a tweaked knee, Hyde will likely lose at least a few carries a game to his teammate, who himself was on a tremendous pace before rushing only once against Wisconsin.

Even with only the one carry against the Badgers, Hall was putting up 85.4 yards per game before missing the Northwestern tilt. He was on pace to reach 1,024 yards in the regular season. Provided he’s healthy when Ohio State returns from its bye week, Hall will snipe some carries from Hyde, which would put a 1,000-yard season in jeopardy for both Buckeye backs.

Meyer insisted after the Wisconsin game that Hall would be more involved moving forward than he was against the Badgers.

"We knew it was going to be very hard to run in there the way they play their defensive line,” he said. “I want to make sure we get Jordan Hall involved."

How many of Hyde’s carries will be siphoned by Hall is unknown. Both backs are capable of reaching the 1,000-yard mark in this offense. But both may be hampered by the other’s capability.

Then again, maybe both guys will do it. If Hyde and Hall continue being productive, Braxton Miller’s number of carries will be reduced. Miller ran for more than 1,000 yards in 2012, becoming the first player under Meyer to do so. If he’s not going to be running, it leaves plenty of yards for the running backs to gobble up.


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buckeyepastor's picture

As the weather gets colder, windier, and possibly wetter moving through the fall, field conditions will call for more of Hyde and less of Hall.   
One of the things I'm waiting to see with our "much improved" passing game is whether they continue to get it done colder, windier days than what we've already seen.   Curious to see if we "button up" the pass game in the second half of the season.   I know that we did it last year in part because of the receivers and QB not really progressing as much as the coaches had hoped.   But in previous years with Pryor, for example, the second half of the season saw us lean more on the run game.   
I think we can ride Hyde to 13-0, but I think it takes several other dynamic playmakers having a big part in things to get us even a modest consideration for a title shot.  

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

BuckeyeQ6's picture

If you look at his 2 full games he accumulated 253 yards (average of 126.5).  Granted this is a small sample size, at that rate he would reach 1,000 during the regular season (6 more games).  If he averages 100, he could do it in 7 games.  This 253 is impressive especially considering his longest run so far is 21 yards.  He's likely to break off a few long ones along the way.  I'd say he makes it even with the other RBs cutting into his carries unless our 2nd stringers are in a bunch.

ABrown07's picture

I know I'll be pulling for El Guapo to get it done. He put in the work necessary to come back and play after the suspension and he's a big bruising back, he'll get the job done for the Bucks.

I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people.

-Woody Hayes

The Butler's picture

In order for El Guapo to be successful, Miller has to be successful - especially agains the better run defenses. If Iowa, Penn State, and Michigan can key on the Handsome One, he may not get the yardage he needs in those games. Hall and Wilson could hinder his attempt also. Hall deserves more carries and if he gets hot, Hyde could spend considerable time watching the game. If Dontre Wilson becomes multi-dimensional, he too, could limit Hyde's carries.
I hope he reaches the mark, for his sake. I was really on the fence about his commitment to the team until after his NW press conference. Now, I want nothing but the best for him. 

I've trained Canaries in the sport of falconry.


Hovenaut's picture

Man, I didn't doubt the guy before the NW game. Not doing it now either - especially after his post game presser. 
The only concerns I have are these: He gets banged up and misses more time, and the offensive gets nutty and starts to pass heavier/distributes the ball around. 
The o-line is doing their part, agree that Braxton will have to become more effective on the ground moving forward (can't believe I'm even writing that). 

bigbill992001's picture

Re:'re right, it DOES seem weird.   But, Brax is not the runner he was last yr.   The injury has definitely changed him.

Hovenaut's picture

Agreed....I think he's still looking to really get comfortable after being banged up. Not sure if he can be as dominant like he was early on last year, but there are more than enough playmakers now to where he doesn't have to be.

Upvote to counter the downer.

BassDropper's picture



dwcbuckeye's picture

I am not sure if he will be able to do it just based on the remaining games scheduled - at least the next 5.  Let's face, those games should not be tests for the Buckeyes.  My assumption is that in those games, the ball is going to be shared more, not just with Hall but also Eze and Dontre and also Smith.  He certainly could do it, if he gets 20 carries per game, but I don't think he gets the carries, on average.  And if he does, then these next games are likely tighter than what I am hoping they will be

tunehtraef's picture

Agree with this theory. If some of the games coming up are blow-outs, he has to get to the century mark in the first half, as he will see limited if any action in the third and fourth quarters.
That said, with the 14 game schedule, I think he gets to 1,000.

dwcbuckeye's picture

Yea, I would say probably better than 50/50 now that I think of it.  He has nearly 300 yards now with 8 games to go.  If he averages 100 yards the final three games (Michigan, B10 Championship, Bowl game) he would still need 400 yards in 5 cupcake games.  100 yards a game on average in those last 3 games I actually considered to be a solid effort.  We may face a Oregon team in the bowl game and have to pass a lot.  Could even be an Alabama with a staunch defense.  Anyways, in those remaining 4 cupcake games he needs to average 80 yards per game and at 6 YPC needs about 14 touches a game.  Doable, but will be a good test.

JLP36's picture

Miller's production on the ground was best in the first part of last year.  As teams saw more of him they began to scheme to take him away.  That makes a lot of sense given the number of long runs he was breaking.  Ohio State responded with more Carlos Hyde later in the year - with great success.  I think teams would still rather be beaten by having Hyde run 8 times on a long drive than have Miller break one for a quick 75 yd score.  The passing game is improving (though a work in progress).  I think teams are going to end up deciding that their best bet is to make the Buckeyes drive the field with Hyde because that will mean having to convert some third downs and avoid turnovers.  I think that actually plays into our hands because at its heart this team is best at POUNDING THE ROCK.  This is OHIO STATE FOOTBALL.  A big, strong Sr laden offensive line with a beast running back.  All the flash is great, but to me there is nothing like smashing your opponents with a power running game and that O line and Hyde are going to do some damage.


Buckabroad's picture

"There is nothing like smashing your opponents with a power running game." Great statement and +1. It is what we have done often in the past, especially in the colder months. I think it is likely that Hyde gets the necessary carries simply because we will need him to carry the load down the stretch. If our O-Line continues its exemplary play, El Guapo's chances of reaching 1,000 yards should be pretty good. Couldn't happen to a better guy.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

Qujo's picture

I would love it for el Guapo, but I hope not. Too many playmakers. Let's spread the ball around and freak out every D coordinator scheming against the Buckeye offense. That includes Smith, Wilson and Hall when and if he is good to go. Then let el Guapo go off off on scum as Mattison won't know who to defend. 

Our arch rivals.... 11 National Championships, 10 before 1949 - eight of eleven shared. Trying to respect them... trying.... Ugh!

pjtobin's picture

I like Dontre a whole bunch. Urban said he needs to improve. So I'm fine with him getting only a few carries per game. Move Hall to the h back spot. You got both backs doing their thing. It could be a deadly combination. Hall has looked great this year. He can make guys miss and he does it very quickly. Hyde breaks tackles and runs guys over. I think he is pretty fast too. Let's use em both!

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

13THandSummit's picture

Amazed that he is on pace to break the mark. Thanks for breaking it down.

Wesleyburgess1's picture

How did you up vote and downvote?

Hovenaut's picture

Hi Wesley.

You need 100 helmet stickers to vote, please read the commenting policy (contains a more detailed link on the site's voting guide within).

Upvoted your post, keep plugging away.