The Ohio State Buckeyes did what everyone expected them to do. They beat up on the Illinois Fighting Illini 52-14 in the 2017 home finale. It’s clear they weren’t looking ahead to next week’s big matchup with Xichigan.
The first team offense scored touchdowns on their first four drives, a 33-yard field goal on their fifth drive and another touchdown on their sixth drive for 38 points. Each of the first four touchdown drives ended quicker than the previous. 9 plays in 3:18, 6 plays in 2:07, 3 plays in a 1:13 and 2 plays in 44 seconds.
It wasn’t until 3:48 seconds left in the second quarter after the first-team offense was ceremoniously substituted out of the game that Drue Chrisman came in to punt for the first time.
J.T. Barrett finished his last game in “The ‘Shoe” completing 11 of 19 pass attempts for 141 yards and connected on his 100th and 101st career touchdown passes to become the first B1G quarterback to pass the century mark.
Meanwhile the Silver Bullets forced the Illini into 6 consecutive three and outs. Illinois didn’t get their first first-down until 3:38 seconds left in the second quarter. The Buckeyes first-team D allowed only 43 total yards in the first half.
The one blemish for the Buckeyes this game was the 6 penalties for 53 yards. They are the most penalized team in the conference. Watch that the next two weeks, it could be the difference between being champions or not if they don’t eliminate those mistakes.
Besides that, there’s not much to analyze from this game. It’s pretty much what you expect from a matchup of a 2-8 team focused on their long-term future versus an 8-2 team with their season goals still on the line. This was the type of performance you want to see heading into the most crucial time of the season. This game was about the Scarlet & Gray tuning up for the Wolverines and a run at the B1G Championship.
Before the game kicked off, Ohio State knew they would clinch the B1G East division with their win thanks to the Wolverines 24-10 loss to the Wisconsin Badgers. With that sewn up, now it’s time to focus on manhandling TTUN and impressing the College Football Playoff Committee.
“The Game” at “The Big House in Ann Arbor is set for a 12:07 pm kickoff. The Buckeyes have won the last 5-0 against TTUN and 12 of the last 15 (2010’s win was vacated). With a win, J.T. Barrett will tie Art Schlichter at 36 for the most in Buckeye history.