Ohio State Buckeyes visit Illinois 2011

Ohio State Buckeyes visit Illinois 2011

Nathan Steelhaase Illinois

Ohio State Buckeyes visit Illinois 2011

Illinois has proven that it can win on the road and at home but the Buckeyes could be a touch matchup this coming Saturday when they come to Champaign. The Illini have lost 8 straight at home against Ohio State but this Buckeye team isn’t the usual Buckeye team due to offensive issues, suspensions, Jim Tressel’s retirement, and Terelle Pryor’s early departure to the NFL. With 6 wins already, Illinois has one of its best starts in decades. Some of their wins have been against the weaker members of the Big Ten conference, so the Buckeyes should be a good meter of their true strength.

Nathan Steelhaase leads the Illini from the quarterback position with 601 yards and six touchdowns in just the last two games. Ron Zook has cautioned his team not to take anything for granted as Ohio State showed what they can do in the first half against Nebraska last week. Last week the Buckeyes regained the use of Mike Adams at left tackle and wide receiver Corey Philly Brown. The week Daniel Boom Herron will be the starting tailback for his first game of the season.

The Buckeyes will need to watch out for receiver AJ Jenkins who leads Ron Zook’s team with 46 receptions for 815 yards, including 7 touchdowns. The Buckeyes will be without corner back Dominique Clark who has been suspended by the team for an on campus incident related to assault and the use of a bee-bee gun in a crowd. The Buckeye defense hasn’t been outstanding even with Clarke, giving up 24 points per game. Defensive end Melvin Fellows will return to add some depth to the defensive line that was gassed at the end of the Nebraska game according to the OSU coaching staff.

The Illinois defense is ranked 17th best in the country allowing only 17.8 yards per game. They have also created at least one turnover in their past 21 games.

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