Hyde bails out Buckeyes

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Several minutes after Ohio State coach Urban Meyer watched his Buckeyes win their 18th consecutive game and extend the country's longest winning streak on Saturday, a reporter reminded him that OSU had reached the halfway point of its regular season with an unblemished record.

"Do you think you can finish the thing out?" the reporter asked.

"What are you?" Meyer asked. "The guy that sits next to the pitcher throwing a no-hitter, who tells him he's throwing a no-hitter? We're not even thinking about it. We're going to go and get ready for the stretch run."

Let's be honest: Ohio State just finished its two-week stretch run. After the No. 4 Buckeyes came from behind to beat No. 16 Northwestern 40-30 at Ryan Field on Saturday night, there's only one regular-season game remaining that they really have to worry about: their Nov. 30 regular-season finale against No. 19 Michigan.

And with the way the Wolverines have struggled on offense lately, "The Game" might not even be much of a contest.

Here are the teams that Ohio State plays between now and then: Iowa (home), Penn State (home), Purdue (road), Illinois (road) and Indiana (home). It's hardly murderer's row, and it's why the Buckeyes better hope there isn't more than one unbeaten team from power conferences left at the end of the season.

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