EVANSTON, Ill. — Ohio State took Northwestern’s best shot on a wet and raucous night at Ryan Field and Carlos Hyde and the Buckeyes are still perfect.
Hyde ran for a career-high 168 yards and three touchdowns, and No. 4 Ohio State rallied to beat No. 16 Northwestern 40-30 Saturday night and extend the nation’s longest win streak to 18 games.
The Buckeyes (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) remained undefeated since Urban Meyer took over as coach last year.
On a rain-soaked field and with a prime-time audience watching, they rallied from 10 down in the third quarter to take out a team aiming to show it could beat the best in the conference.
Hyde, who was suspended for the first three games after an alleged conflict with a female in a bar this summer, prevented that. He scored on a 4-yard run late in the third and added two more touchdowns in the final quarter to lift the Buckeyes.
“I go out every game with the mindset that I have to make up for those three games,” Hyde said.
And when he was asked what he would think about when he goes to bed, he cleared his throat a few times and placed his fingers on his eyes as he teared up.
“First I’ll give thanks to God. That suspension. That ... that suspension really hurt. Being out there with my brothers is the greatest thing,” Hyde said, his voice cracking.
He was credited with a 2-yard touchdown after a replay review early in the fourth to put Ohio State ahead 26-23.
Then, after Northwestern’s Trevor Siemian connected with Cameron Dickerson on a 12-yard score, Hyde ran it in from the 7 with 5:22 left in the game. That made it 34-30.
The Wildcats’ Kain Colter then got stopped on fourth-and-1 at the Ohio State 34 with 2:43 left after he picked up his own fumble, wiping out a late threat. The game ended with Northwestern (4-1, 0-1) lateralling and the Buckeyes recovering the loose ball in the end zone.