Ohio State Football: Will Carlos Hyde Be Urban Meyer's First 1,000-Yard RB?
When you look at Urban Meyer's 11-year career as a head coach, it's hard to find an accomplishment that he hasn't been able to check off his to-do list.
Meyer has an astounding 83.4 winning percentage, going 116-23 at four coaching stops throughout his career (Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State). His teams have won five conference titles and two national titles. He also has a perfect 6-0 record in games that went to overtime and a 4-0 record in BCS bowl games.
Meyer has coached one Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (Tim Tebow) and another who was the No. 1 overall NFL draft pick (Alex Smith). Meyer has also seen 36 players that he coached for a minimum of two years go on to become NFL draft picks, including nine first-rounders, according to Ohio State's official website.
In 2009, Meyer was even named "coach of the decade" by both the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.
Despite all of his accolades, there is something that has eluded Meyer during his 11 years as a head coach.
No running back on a Meyer-coached team has eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards in a single season.
A few players have come close. Joe Alls rushed for 801 yards during Meyer's second year coaching at Bowling Green, Marty Johnson rushed for 802 yards at Utah in 2004 and Brandon Warfield came the closest with 976 rushing yards the year before.
Carlos Hyde was 30 yards shy of breaking the 1,000-yard mark last year, something he certainly would have achieved if an early-season MCL sprain hand't cost him two-and-a-half games.
Hyde will get another crack at it this season, but with a deeper and healthier Ohio State backfield, is 1,000 rushing yards out of reach?
In 2012, a season-ending knee injury to Jordan Hall forced Hyde into a featured and heavily used role in Ohio State's backfield. After Hall went down against Michigan State in Week 5, though, Hyde thrived, carrying the ball 150 times for 812 yards (and 14 rushing touchdowns) in the Buckeyes' final seven games.
During that seven-game stretch, Hyde averaged 21.4 carries. The next running back on the depth chart, Rod Smith, averaged just 2.8 carries per game.
It's hard to imagine Hyde getting that kind of workload in 2013. Meyer has four ball-carriers who looked very good this spring in Hyde, Smith, Bri'onte Dunn and Warren Ball, and that's not to mention 4-star running back Ezekiel Elliott (via 247Sports.com), who will be arriving in Columbus this summer.
But Hyde will likely get to play in more games in 2013. If he can stay healthy and Ohio State runs through the Big Ten like it did last year, it's conceivable that the Buckeyes would play 14 games this season (12 regular-season games, the Big Ten title game and a bowl game).
In that scenario, even if Hyde only averaged 15 carries a game, he'd still finish the season with 210 carries. And again, if he could maintain a similar 5.2 yards-per-carry average like he did in 2012, Hyde would eclipse 1,000 yards before Ohio State played in their bowl game.
Of course, this is all purely hypothetical. Injuries, offensive lulls or another player emerging could keep Hyde from rushing for 1,000 yards in 2013.
If everything plays out like it should, though, Meyer will likely be able to scratch this off his list at the end of the year.
David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report.
Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.
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