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Ohio State vs. Michigan State: Players Who Will Decide Big Ten Championship

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…

Ohio State vs. Michigan State: Impact Players to Watch in Big Ten Championship

After Alabama’s loss to Auburn last week, No. 2 Ohio State is just one win away from playing for the national title. Scoring that win won’t be easy, however, as it will have to get past Michigan State in what should be a hard-hitting Big Ten Championship Game. The Buckeyes may have more star power than the Spartans, but Michigan State has performed well above expectations this season thanks to a dominant defense. Ohio State has been equally great offensively, so something has to give when these two teams meet on Saturday night. Here is a closer look at the players from both sides who will have the biggest hand in deciding the 2013 Big Ten Championship Game. Carlos Hyde Ohio State is stacked with talent on the offensive side of the ball, but there is little doubt that running back Carlos Hyde is the biggest key to its success. Hyde is perhaps the preeminent big-play back in the nation, as he is averaging nearly eight yards per carry. The senior has racked up a career-high 1,290 rushing yards and his 16 total touchdowns are one less than the career mark he set last year. As noted by the conference’s Twitter account, all of that garnered him the Big Ten’s top running back honor: Although so much attention is paid to quarterback Braxton Miller, there is no way that he would be having so much success if not for Hyde. This is a hallmark of Urban Meyer-coached teams. Quarterback Tim Tebow got much of the credit for Florida’s success a few years ago, but he had…

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