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Buckeyes get Hyde back for Rattlers

September 20, 2013
By SETH STASKEY - Buckeye Blitz ( , Times Leader

The Ohio State offense has been extremely proficient through the first three games.

The Buckeyes are scoring at at 44.7 points per game clip and averaging more than 500 yards of total offense a week.

Having said all that, there's a really good chance the Ohio State offense could have even more weaponry available this week when 54-point underdog Florida A&M comes to Columbus for the first meeting between the two schools.

And the more weaponry has nothing to do with whether or not junior quarterback Braxton Miller returns to the lineup this week after sitting out the win at California with a sprained MCL.

The vaunted Buckeyes' ground game, which ranks second in the Big Ten with 285 yards a game, will benefit with the return of senior back Carlos Hyde, who has sat out the first three games due to transgressions this summer.

So, what will Urban Meyer do with Jordan Hall, who ranks third in the Big Ten with 134 yards a game and leads the league in touchdowns?

"I don't know," Meyer admitted at his weekly press conference. "I've been thinking about that. It's a good issue to have, because Carlos did a lot for us last year, a lot."

Hyde ran for nearly 1,000 yards a season ago when Hall was taking a redshirt after dealing with several injuries, so Saturday will be the first time both could be on the field together.

"Jordan Hall has earned the right to carry to ball," Meyer said.

Hall had a huge game at California on Saturday, carrying the ball 30 times for 168 yards and three touchdowns.

Hyde has spent the first three weeks of the season getting his business in order to return. He's served as the scout team running back and, according to Meyer, did everything asked of him to get back into the good graces of the coaching staff.

"Carlos has done a really good job," Meyer said. "He's had a very good attitude and taken care of his business in the classroom, so we're anxious to get him back."

As for Miller's return, Meyer listed him as probable earlier in the week, but he also left the door open for Kenny Guiton, who played exceptionally well after taking over for Miller against San Diego State and again last week at Cal.

"If Braxton's ready, he'll play this week," Meyer said. "I kind of knew in my heart it was going to be hard (for Miller to play last week), but I kept my hope up that he would be ready in an emergency situation."

Guiton passed for 276 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 92 yards.

For his work, Guiton won the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week.

Meyer and offensive coordinator Tom Herman's spread attack is finally getting to the point where they thought it would be. Tempo was also impressive last week with the Buckeyes running 87 offensive plays.

"I think Tom Herman feels better now," Meyer said. "That was the first time that I saw what you guys probably saw. We were going at a very good tempo. The tempo and production from the skilled athletes are getting close."



While the Florida A&M roster has nary a player from the state of Ohio, there are a few past connections between the two universities. William "Big Bill" Bell, who guided FAMU to its first national championship was an OSU graduate. Former Rattlers' head coach Rudy Hubbard was a former running back for the Buckeyes under Woody Hayes and then went on to become an assistant coach with the Buckeyes.

On top of that, current FAMU head coach Earl Holmes and current OSU defensive line coach Mike Vrabel were teammates with the Pittsburgh Steelers.


The game against Ohio State will be the 23rd time that FAMU takes on a FBS - or formerly a Division I - school. All told, the Rattlers are 1-21-0. Their only victory came against Miami in 1979.


The game will be broadcast at noon on the Big Ten Network with Matt Devlin, former OSU assistant Glen Mason and Lisa Byington on the call.

It will also be broadcast on the OSU Radio Network, which can be heard locally on 106.3 FM.



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