1st quarter recap: Ohio State 7, Illinois 6

Nick Immekus hit two field goals to help Illinois get off to a good start against No. 6 Ohio State, however the Buckeyes lead 7-6 at the end of the first quarter. Illinois struck first when Immekus made a 42-yard field goal, the final play of an 11-play, 39-yard drive.

Carlos Hyde’s three-yard touchdown run gave the Buckeyes the lead, 7-3, and was the final play of a 10-play, 79-yard drive. Pass plays were an afterthought for Ohio State, as the Buckeyes threw just one pass on that possession.

A 46-yard drive that ended when Immekus kicked a 26-yard field goal helped the Fighting Illini narrow the deficit to 7-6.

Ohio State will start the second quarter with possession at its own 36-yard line.

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Read more from BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart on this game:

Player on the spot: The Ohio State linebackers. Any of them. Let’s go with Ryan Shazier. The athletic sophomore continues to develop as a playmaker. He needs to contain Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase and the Illinois backs—Donovonn Young ran for 124 yards last week–to force them to the air.

Key matchup: Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase vs. the Ohio State front seven. For the Fighting Illini to have any shot of pulling the stunning upset, they need to find a way to score. The offense is last in the Big Ten in scoring (18.0 ppg). But the Buckeye defense hasn’t been a steel curtain, ranking eighth in the league in scoring defense (24.1 ppg) and last vs. the pass (277.9 ypg).

Key number: 10, Big Ten games lost in a row for Illinois, which needs to win out to become bowl eligible for a third season in succession.

Key note: Illinois has been outscored 194-62 during its five-game losing skid.

EDITOR’S NOTE In partnership with Narrative Science, BTN.com posts recaps after every quarter of every Big Ten football game. Use the links above for more info on this specific game, including full Big Ten campus weather reports. And enter your zip code below to find the TV channel airing BTN football games on your TV provider. If your game isn’t listed, it’s on another TV network. Learn more about our TV GameFinder.

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