No. 8 Ohio State can't replace Carlos Hyde with 1 back; Elliott, Smith, Samuel share load

Many Ohio State fans were worried when Carlos Hyde took his 1,500 yards with him on graduation day.

They figured with Hyde gone, the Buckeyes would have a hard time finding someone that productive.

But Urban Meyer isn't sweating it. After a 34-17 victory over Navy in the opener, he's pleased with the job done by his three-head tailback, starting with Ezekiel Elliott who gained 44 yards on 12 carries including a 10-yard TD run.

He also believes Rod Smith — previously overlooked, now in the mix — has earned time. Then there's flashy freshman Curtis Samuel, who had a fine college debut.

So while others may question No. 8 Ohio State's running game heading into Saturday's showdown with Virginia Tech, Meyer and his staff are pleased with the possibilities.