Ohio State Football: How Offense Will Change Without Carlos Hyde

During the 2012 and 2013 seasons, Carlos Hyde was the driving force in Ohio State’s offense—piling up 2,689 total yards and 34 touchdowns. The bruising running back set a single-season school record by averaging 7.3 yards per carry last year, and he was leaned on heavily in close victories over Northwestern, Iowa and Michigan.

With Hyde now suiting up for the San Francisco 49ers, Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes are tasked with reshaping an offense that lost its most consistent producer.

How will Ohio State do that? What will the Buckeyes offense look like without Hyde in the backfield?

It Starts with Finding a Replacement

Thanks to Meyer’s recruiting efforts, the Buckeyes are built to replace Hyde. A stable of running backs with five able candidates are vying for playing time in fall camp.

Ezekiel Elliott, the stud sophomore out of St. Louis, Missouri, is leading the charge.

The former 4-star prospect saw little action during his freshman season, but he made the most of his limited opportunities, rushing for 262 yards on just 30 carries (8.7 yards per rush) to complement three total touchdowns. He gained the trust of the coaching staff as the season wore on, which launched him into Ohio State’s No. 1 running back spot this spring.

Elliott suffered a slight setback during the opening week of fall camp when he fractured his left wrist—an injury that required minor surgery. Miraculously, Elliott should be back at practice by week’s end,…

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