STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 27: Quarterback Braxton Miller #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes smiles with head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes after defeating the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium on October 27, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania. The Ohio State Buckeyes won, 35-23. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Even though Ohio State is ineligible for the post-season they continue to win games on their way to reaching an undefeated season and the Big Ten’s Leaders Division trophy. Illinois is having one of their worst seasons in recent history currently standing at 2-6 overall and 0-4 in the Big Ten. But Ohio State has had trouble defending the pass, giving up 278 yards a game, while Illinois cannot stop a pass rush. Those two squads should be an interesting matchup on Saturday afternoon in Columbus. But overall game could feature a lot of backup players if Ohio State jumps out to a commanding lead.
Illinois has two defensive players that could make a difference against Ohio State in linebacker Jonathan Brown and defensive end Michael Buchman. Both are candidates for post-season national awards and should apply some pressure to Braxton Miller. But Miller is averaging 121 yards a game on the ground along with Carlos Hyde who gains an additional 85. Illinois will have to stop the Buckeye running attack to compete this weekend. Illinois also has a one two punch in the running game with quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase and running back Donovonn Young. OSU can stop the run they way they did against Penn State last weekend and ride an easy victory to a 10-0 record.