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Published: Sunday, 11/4/2012


Ohio State coach credits Hyde with changing his reputation

Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde (34) scores a touchdown as teammate Marcus Hall, right, tries to block Illinois defenders Mike Svetina, left, and Earnest Thomas. Hyde rushed for 139 yards and three TDs. Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde (34) scores a touchdown as teammate Marcus Hall, right, tries to block Illinois defenders Mike Svetina, left, and Earnest Thomas. Hyde rushed for 139 yards and three TDs.

COLUMBUS — Ur­ban Meyer thought lit­tle of Car­los Hyde when he ar­rived at Ohio State last win­ter.

Meyer ques­tioned the ju­nior run­ning back’s work ethic and pri­or­i­ties. Re­call Hyde’s post on Twit­ter that he would “take my­self else­where” af­ter a game last sea­son in which he saw lit­tle ac­tion.

“He was kind of a guy that didn’t have a great rep­u­ta­tion,” Meyer said. “Our first month to­gether was not pleas­ant.”

Now, he is among the big­gest rea­sons the sixth-ranked Buck­eyes re­main per­fect.

Hyde’s bruis­ing per­for­mance in Ohio State’s 52-22 vic­tory over Il­li­nois at Ohio Sta­dium was the lat­est in a line of them. He rushed for 139 yards and three touch­downs on 18 car­ries — his third 100-yard rush­ing ef­fort in the last four games.

Hyde now has 11 rush­ing touch­downs in the last five games and, more im­por­tantly, has de­toured from Meyer’s dog­house to fa­vored sta­tus.

“He’s a gen­u­ine guy,” Meyer said Satur­day night. “I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate who he is as a per­son. I think the per­cep­tion of him was in­cor­rect.”

Hyde, mean­while, said he is sim­ply en­joy­ing the ride.

“I like the po­si­tion we’re in,” Hyde said. “For us to come out with a good game on both sides of the ball, that’s big go­ing into the bye. We know we have two big games left. We know the stakes.”

POWER OUTAGE: No pub­lic ad­dress an­nouncer. No mon­ster HD video screen. No AT&T ads on the rib­bon boards.

Ohio Sta­dium re­turned to a sim­pler time for part of Satur­day.

A power out­age about 20 min­utes be­fore the game left the sound sys­tem si­lent and the score­boards dark. The juice re­turned to the game clock just be­fore kick­off and to the video board min­utes into the game, though the pre­game black­out forced of­fi­cials to make up for lost time — in­clud­ing hold­ing a pre­vi­ously sched­uled mo­ment of si­lence mid­way through the first quar­ter.

REST UP: With Ohio State head­ing into a bye week, Ohio State’s start­ers earned a day off from prac­tice.

“There are no rights around here,” Meyer said. “That’s earned time. If they didn’t play well, we would have been in there [to­day] work­ing and go­ing all week like a nor­mal work week. They earned it. I’m proud of them.”

Meyer said the break in the sched­ule comes at the per­fect time.

“We’ll get their body weights back up,” he said. “This is the first year these kids had to deal with se­mes­ter ac­a­demic [sched­ule]. They’re hit­ting the wall right now with how long they’ve been in school.”

MILLER CLIMBING: Don’t put those record books on the shelf just yet.

Brax­ton Miller, who last week be­came the first OSU quar­ter­back to rush for 1,000 yards in a sea­son, con­tin­ued on Satur­day to close in on sin­gle-sea­son school records for touch­downs and to­tal of­fense. Miller has ac­counted for 27 touch­downs — four shy of the 31 from Bobby Hoy­ing (1995) and Troy Smith (2006) — and amassed 2,919 yards of to­tal of­fense. Hoy­ing holds the school mark with 3,290 yards in 1995.

KYNARD SPARKS ILLINI: Give an as­sist to St. John’s Je­suit grad­u­ate Tim Ky­nard on the Illini’s first touch­down.

Late in the third quar­ter, the ju­nior de­fen­sive tackle re­cov­ered a fum­ble by Rod Smith on the OSU 42 that set up an eight-play, 42-yard Il­li­nois scor­ing drive. Ky­nard en­tered the game with 10 tack­les — in­clud­ing three for a loss — in seven games.

Il­li­nois scored again when Ashante Wil­liams re­turned a way­ward op­tion pitch by OSU backup quar­ter­back Kenny Gui­ton for a 77-yard touch­down.

BROWN OUT: In­jury added to in­sult when the Illini lost their top de­fen­sive player in the first quar­ter.

Junior line­backer Jon­a­than Brown, who had 17 tack­les against the Buck­eyes last sea­son, left the game with a shoul­der in­jury. A semi­fi­nal­ist for the But­kus Award, given to the na­tion’s top line­backer, Brown be­gan Satur­day with a team-high 55 tack­les.

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