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.
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.
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