Ohio State’s national title hopes took a slight hit on Monday, as running back Carlos Hyde was indefinitely suspended. The Columbus Dispatch reported Hyde was dismissed on Monday morning, which came after reports the running back had been involved in an incident at a bar. However, the school announced Hyde had been suspended later in the day.
Hyde’s suspension isn’t a huge blow to Ohio State, but it does take away one of the Big Ten’s top running backs. The senior ranked second on the team in rushing yards last season, recording 970 yards and 16 touchdowns on 185 attempts. Hyde will likely return at some point in 2013, but the suspension length could vary depending on the outcome of the investigation.
With Hyde out of the picture for now, the Buckeyes will lean on junior Rod Smith, sophomore Bri’onte Dunn and redshirt freshman Warren Ball. Incoming freshman Ezekiel Elliott is also expected to factor into the mix, while hybrid receiver/running back Jordan Hall will factor prominently into the offense.
There’s no question that Hyde will be missed, but if there was one position where Ohio State has depth, it’s at running back. And with quarterback Braxton Miller returning, the Buckeyes should remain one of the Big Ten’s top rushing attacks in 2013.
Losing Hyde for a short period of time isn’t going to derail Ohio State’s national title hopes, but this certainly isn’t something that coach Urban Meyer wanted to be dealing with just a month before the season starts.
Ohio State's Leading Returning Rushers for 2013 (outside of Carlos Hyde)