Give Illinois all the credit, they came to play and ran the ball down the Buckeyes throat. Ohio State drops to 10-1 on the season and will play Michigan next week for the Big 10 championship and a Rose Bowl berth. Suffice to say, my game preview was wrong where I predicted a 31-20 Buckeye win.
- The first two offensive series. Picture perfect, well executed, and effective.
- Heart. Down two touchdowns, the team didn’t fold and continued to battle back.
- The first two defensive series. They were thinking rather than reacting and it set the tone for the rest of the day.
- Turnovers. The team could survive a shaky defensive performance if the offense was on. It couldn’t survive bad quarterback decisions and bad defensive execution in the same game.
- Officiating. It was so bad in this game, they ought to resign. Two missed Illini turnovers, offensive holding all day. Bad replay execution. I don’t know that with the Illinois was running it would have made a difference, but the refs are directly responsible for 7 points.
- The run defense. 65 yards per game coming in, they gave up 265 today.
- End of Game melee. That’s good for no one, I was disappointed and embarrassed to see the poor sportsmanship at the end of the game.
Despite the outcome of this game, I’m proud of the season the Buckeyes have delivered. They barely lost to a very good Illinois team and had help from the refs spotting the Illini 7 points in the first quarter, the difference in the game. However, great teams overcome that sort of adversity and the Bucks weren’t up to the challenge this time. Illinois ran us over.
Now it’s time to regroup for next week and beat the Wolverines.