Ohio State Football

OSU/Illinois Preview

11.01.06 | 1 Comment

This week the Bucks travel to Champaign, Illinois to take on the University of Illinois Fighting Illini and for the right to possess the Illibuck trophy.

The Illibuck Trophy

Last year OSU blasted the Illini 40-2, with the 2 points coming from a block of an OSU point after touchdown attempt. This year Illinois has shown some signs of improvement, upsetting Michigan State on the road and consistently better play from both their offense and defense. They played Penn State and Wisconsin tough for 3.5 quarters and are definitely showing up to play each game. Isaiah “Juice” Williams is an exciting dual-threat, freshman quarterback who is improving week by week. The rushing game is strong with 3 serviceable tailbacks. The defense is allowing around 125 yards/game rushing and 175 yards/game passing. Special teams are, well, still developing let’s say.

Let’s be plain, on paper this should be a 63-0 blow out game and tune up for the Bucks. But this game isn’t played on paper and I’ve said I expect a let down game this season. I think it’s this week folks. I’m not saying Illinois will win, it will simply be more difficult and closer than anyone expects. Why this week? It’s the 10th consecutive game of the season, a few players are banged up and showing signs of fatigue, the game is on the road against a team with nothing to lose, there is no compelling reason for the Bucks to do anything more than show up (no revenge, embarrassment, or other factors at play.)

I think this game stays close for 3 quarters and then we see the Buckeyes pull away in the last quarter. Let’s call it 34-10 when the dust settles. It wouldn’t surprise me if OSU trails at halftime. It also wouldn’t surprise me that 10-14 of the points a direct results of big plays in special teams and/or defense to spark the victory. Vegas installed OSU as 27 point favorites. Go Bucks!

17 days to OSU/Michigan
Ohio State’s 2006 record: 9-0 Next up: at Illinois 11/4
Tune: Samba Pa Ti by Santana
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