No doubt the biggest storyline of this year’s Big Ten Championship Game has been the matchup between Ohio State’s high-powered offense and Michigan State’s stingy defense.
Who wins out in the biggest battle of the game will depend on stopping the biggest weapons Ohio State can throw at you. That means trying to stop Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde.
If you are MSU, though, you can only pick one to contain. The question is, which one do you pick?
According to ESPN college football analysts Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and David Pollack the answer is very simple—you stop Carlos Hyde.
“This offense is where it’s at because of Carlos Hyde, it’s not where it’s at because of Braxton Miller,” said Pollack. “Carlos Hyde is a man-child. When you turn on the tape of Carlos Hyde there’s a lot of takers in the first quarter, in the second quarter there are less takers and in the third quarter it becomes a business decision. I don’t know if there is a more improved running back from last year to this year.”
Hyde has rushed for over 200 yards in two of the last three games and despite missing three full games due to suspension, he ranks 16th nationally in rushing yards with 1,290 yards.
Miller is no slouch either, though, averaging 6.8 yards a carry. But, if you are Michigan State, putting him in a position to have to win the game is a better proposition than stopping him and letting Hyde go off in the run game.
The passing game is…