Playing in Urbana Champaign, the Buckeyes secured their record-tying 22nd straight win over the Illinois Fighting Illini. Playing a game that was a lot more competitive than anyone anticipated, the Buckeyes held off Illinois by a final of 60-35. Braxton Miller struggled a little today throwing the football, connecting on 13 of 29 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 184 yards a touchdown and a fumble on 16 carries. Nathan Scheelhaase had a better day hitting 32/49 for 283 yards, 2 touchdowns, but also 2 interceptions. He picked up an additional 48 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.
Carlos Hyde was again the star of the game for the Buckeyes. Carlos put together an impressive running day with 24 carries for 246 yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground, along with 2 receptions for 26 yards and a touchdown. While not a 300 yard game, it was strongly reminiscent of Eddie George’s huge game against Illinois in 1995. Corey “Philly” Brown added 7 catches for 49 yards and a touchdown, while Chris Fields picked up 2 catches for 58 yards. On the other side Josh Ferguson carried the ball 15 times for 69 yards and a touchdown, while Steve Hull had 8 receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown.
The Buckeyes started the game with the ball and put the exclaimation point up early. Starting with a strategy that was very similar to the previous two games, Miller began throwing the little dump pass to the outside, once to Dontre Wilson on a short wheel route that he missed, and once to Corey “Philly” Brown on a WR screen. But it was the third play that broke it all open. Miller faked one defender out with the play action, then blew through two defenders that had no idea what was going on. By time the Illinois defense had recovered, Miller was 10 yards past them with a full head of steam on the way to a 70 yard score.
The passing game for the Illini is one of the best in the conference, with Nathan Scheelhaase leading the conference in passing yards. Not surprisingly, Illinois went to it early and found some success moving the ball. On his third pass, Scheelhaase tossed it over the middle into a crowd of Buckeyes that connected squarely with CJ Barnett for a pick. Unfortunately, the Buckeyes screwed up the center to quarterback exchange on first down, and were forced into a 3rd and 19 that they couldn’t convert.
After trading punts that put each team deep in their own territory, the Buckeyes offense got moving again. It was apparent that the wind in the stadium was having a major effect on things. Not only was Miller struggling a little to hit targets down field in the passing game, both under-throwing and over-throwing Devin Smith on long passes, but the entire offensive strategy seemed a little more constrained. Using the short passing game, and taking advantage of the power in the running game, Miller was eventually able to connect on short pass to Hyde in the flat that the runningback was able to put into the endzone from 18 yards out.
The #3 Ohio State Buckeyes (9-0, 5-0) visit the Illinois Fighting Illini (3-6, 0-5) for a 12-noon kickoff in Memorial Stadium in Champaign, IL Saturday. Ohio State comes off a much needed bye week while Illinois stumbles into week ten after a 35-52 loss to Indiana. Ohio State has won 21 consecutive games under Urban Meyer while Illinois has lost 5 consecutive games and is suffering a 19 game conference losing streak.
Illinois, under 2nd year coach Tim Beckman has struggled to be competitive on the field. Despite these struggles, he has remained compassionate; for example, offering a home to disaffected PSU players.
Illinois brings a not-too-good defense, allowing 483 yards and 34.7 points per game. In the B1G, only Purdue’s and Indiana’s defense are worse, and not by much. Offensively, they accumulate 425 yards and 30 points per game. So, they can put points on the board, just not enough to overcome what they allow.
There is nothing than returning to the podcast and ripping anything and everything to do with TTUN! On this week’s show, Joe and Clair have fun with the latest in Michigan failure — including Marie Sue Coleman’s Drunk Halftime speech, Ron English’s adjective to explain the type of football his former Eastern Michigan team plays, plus a Michigan fan that literally blamed all his drunken sorrows on Al Borges.
Oh, and we get you ready for Illinois/Ohio State on Saturday too!
Joe and Clair also talk about the current state of football through the recent bullying scandal in Miami, Where this coaching staff could end up after the season and how Luke Fickell could be a wanted commodity by more than just Florida Atlantic.
One school that comes up is the zero win Miami of Ohio program.
This and much more on the program this week! Thanks for listening!
Subscribe to iTunes by clicking here
Andy and I break down the highlights from yesterday, Jim Delany’s diatribe, Tim Beckman’s acquired taste for the Microphone(literally), The winners and losers from yesterday, Urban Meyer’s appearance, and the best food Andy ate yesterday as a member of the media..
We also asked Andy for his best dressed. Let’s just say Coppens should stick to football..
Thanks to Andy for his always great insight!
I’m pretty certain everyone was well entertained this week. Nothing like Illinois to cure what ails you!
4 Quarters of Offense.We scored with 4 minutes left in the first quarter. I feel like this isn’t quite “early” enough, nor “often” enough for your taste.
Defense…more, please. It was a pretty solid effort from the defense, and probably would have been better if the offense hadn’t coughed the ball up twice. But you really can’t complain with 170 total yards for the Illini.
XBrax360. 223 yards passing, 73 yards running, and 3 total touchdowns. Pretty solid video gamey numbers.
Electricity in the ‘Shoe. Maybe it was electric in the first quarter, but I doubt it lasted much beyond halftime. Cold weather plus a blowout does not electricity make. Not having been there, someone will have to let me know if they felt differently.
No more Illini Dancing on the Block O. I very much doubt there was any Illini dancing going on after this one.
Throw It Over Top. There were certainly some nice throws over the top. The wheel-route to Rod Smith was a thing of beauty.
Silver Bullets. They made steps in the right direction, and they would have likely held Illinois to only 6 points all game if it wasn’t for those meddling backups and their fumbles.
Hyde and Smith. Hyde got over 100 (137) and was the primary rusher – so you were correct there. Rod Smith’s 32 yards on 5 carries, however, not so much. In fact, Bri’onte Dunn’s 73 yards on 13 carries and a score was a much better outing toting the rock. Rod Smith’s 55 receiving yards (51 on the wheel-route) makes his day overall better.
Ohio State finally did to a bad opponent what it should.
The Buckeyes have seemed to play up or down to their level of competition this season, but not today as OSU downed Illinois, 52-22.
Illinois (2-7, 0-4) is a bad team. But, you still have to be encouraged by some things you saw today.
1. Ohio State’s defensive line is really, really special. Every player that is involved in the rotation can make plays against both the run and the pass.
2. Braxton Miller is the most exciting player in college football. He still has a ways to go as a passer, but the plays he makes with his feet. In the first half, Miller completed just five passes, but threw for 152 yards and one touchdown. His final numbers on the day were 12 for 20 passing for 226 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball 18 times for 73 yards and one touchdown.
3. Carlos Hyde is a touchdown machine. Hyde added three more touchdowns today, bringing his season total to 13. Hyde finished the day with 18 carries for 137 yards and the three touchdowns.
4. Ryan Shazier is playing himself into an All-Big Ten linebacker. Over the past three games, he’s been absolutely tremendous for the Buckeyes. Today, he finished the game with 14 tackles.
It’s hard to be picky in such a one-sided game, but my main concern with this OSU team as that it continues to get off to very slow starts. Today, they allowed Illinois to score first as it kicked a field goal on two of its first three drives. The Buckeyes led just 7-6 after the first quarter.
There also were too many penalties for Ohio State that extended Illinois drives. For the game, the Buckeyes had six penalties for 79 yards.
With the blowout victory, the Buckeyes will head into the bye week with a 10-0 record. OSU’s final two games (at Wisconsin and vs. Michigan) are all that stand between a perfect 12-0 record in Urban Meyer’s first season as head coach.
Not too shabby for a team that finished 6-7 a year ago.
Ohio State welcomes the Illinois Fighting Illini into Columbus today for the first of three games leading into the end of the season.
4 Quarters of Offense.Last week was better, but still not good enough. I want to score early and often.
Defense…more, please. The defense played a pretty good game last week. Let’s pick up where we left off, shall we?
XBrax360. Illinois is awful. This should be a week for Braxton to put up some more big numbers.
Electricity in the ‘Shoe. No excuses. Kickoff is at 3:30 rather than noon so everyone should be fully awake and ready to go. This team is 9-0, and they just got a huge road win in Happy Valley last week. Let’s get it rocking in the ‘Shoe on Saturday.
No more Illini Dancing on the Block O. It absolutely made me suck to my stomach for them to do it an I wouldn’t have blamed te Buckeyes for going to town more than they did. Take it to them quickly an leave little doubt.
Throw It Over Top. The best way to get Devin Smith back in the saddle is go deep and make him go after it. Challenge the talent and speed of the Illini from the get go.
Silver Bullets. I tweeted last week close to the end of the game that it was the first time all season I felt like I could use the hashtag #SilverBullets. It’s a fact for many and I want to see more consistency. Buckeyes lead the B1G in YPG given up and they should continue.
Hyde and Smith. Braxton’s passing game will get better and will allow the two beasts in the back field to go to town. First game Brax won’t be the primary runner this week and Hyde and Smith will get 100 a piece.