The Big Ten Championship comes at fans Saturday from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. and features the elite defense of No. 10 Michigan State and the explosive offense of No. 2 Ohio State.
The BCS implications are obvious. A win for Ohio State means the Buckeyes will likely play for the title. A win for the Spartans will see them in the Rose Bowl. A loss might, too, but only if Ohio State goes on to play for the title.
But perhaps most interesting is how the two possess strengths that play off of each other. The Big Ten Conference’s Twitter account details this best:
In a game such as this, it will take key performances from a few players to decide the outcome. Here are the players sure to impact the Big Ten Championship the most.
Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State
Ohio State senior running back Carlos Hyde missed the first three games of the season.
Had he not, we would be having a very different Heisman discussion.
Despite the missed time, Hyde has 1,290 yards and 14 touchdowns on 165 carries—giving him an astounding 7.8 yards per carry average. The result was the Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year award:
The Buckeyes need Hyde to be at the top of his game Saturday against the Spartans.
Last year in a narrow 17-16 victory over the Spartans, Hyde gained just 49 yards on 11 carries. Quarterback Braxton Miller handled the bulk of the load with 23 carries for 136 yards.
That cannot happen again. Michigan State’s defense is even better…