Can We Make Illinois A 10?
We had a great turnout for the hosting of the Buckeyes for the Penn State game October 27 at our home. The pictures below depict the event. I brought all types of my Buckeye collection out on display, which I gathered over many years. It was so much fun and we really enjoyed everyone, the more Buckeyes the Better! Click on any of the pictures below to enlarge them for easier viewing.
This will be the 99th meeting between the two teams. OSU is 63-30-4. However, Illinois has won 7 of the last 11 times they have been to Columbus.
Because this group of Buckeye players were not expected to be undefeated, Urban is calling this football season as one of the most rewarding of his career! He says he loves coming to work! Meyer goes on to say that he feels that Braxton Miller is worthy of Heisman mention....and if the team does go undefeated and all the other teams loose at least one game, who knows what may happen.
Of course, Braxton will have to keep up his pace of brilliance and must improve his passing game and be free from injury. Miller leads the Big Ten in total offense 291.1 yards per game and became the 3rd QB in Big Ten history to surpass 1,000 yards rushing for the year with 1093 yards so far. Denard Robinson in (2010, 2011) and Antwaan Randle El (2000). Overall Miller leads the conference in rushing with 121.4 yards per game and his 12 TD's are only one short of the Big Ten lead.
From the victory over the Nittany Lions Linebacker Ryan Shazier was named the Big Ten's Co-Defensive player of the week. The Sophomore had a team leading 8 tackles, two sacks and returned an interception for the go-ahead TD.
Three Buckeyes are named in the semifinalists for National Awards. Miller is one of 16 for Maxwell Award (top player). Junior DT Johnathan Hankins one of 16 for Bednarik Award (top defensive player). Sophomore Bradley Roby one of 15 for the Thorpe Award (top cornerback).
They are rushing for 132.5 yards per game. Sophomore Donovonn Young leads the team with 400 yards and averages 4.2 yds. per rush. Illinois will have a spread offense using the screen mostly, which Ohio State defended poorly against the close game with Purdue. The only player that has given Illinois a big pass play is Ryan Lankford (29-413-5). Illinois is averaging 184.9 yds per game on the ground. QB Nathan Scheelhasse gets very little protection, having been sacked 30 times (3.75 per game) which is 121st in College football.
Illinois leading tackler is linebacker Jonathan Brown with 55 tackles and also leads the team with 8.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.
Illinois 3rd down conversion (30%) leads the Big Ten. However, Illinois is dead last in the Big Ten in pass efficiency defense. Illinois does have a good punter.
Hopefully Ohio State will not get stuck deep in their own territory on a regular basis. This could give cause for the Illini Defense to play better than normal and make it a long afternoon.
Expect this to be Miller's biggest passing game, even though rain is forecast for the game. It is time for him to do well on the short pass and long pass.
With a good passing game, the running game will be strong as well.
Ohio State may disappoint a bit in their passing defense, but be strong on run defense. If they get the average of almost 4 sacks a game against Illinois, it should prove to be a lop-sided Ohio State victory.
However, like all teams, Illinois will be doing their best for a victory, which would be like winning a bowl game for them.
It would be good to see our Maui Ohio State fans get their own Ohio State Alumni Association going here. The Oahu group had 75 fans show up Saturday at Giovanni Pastrami in Wakiki. Lets keep our hopes alive by supporting Katie and Brett in the upcoming seasons that we can have that success in the future.
GO BUCKS!! Buckeye Bob