This week, No. 6 Ohio State (9-0, 5-0) hosts the Illinois Fighting Illini (2-6, 0-4) in a Leaders Division matchup. ESPN will broadcast the game nationally at 3:30PM EST.
Here is the tale of the tape in recent years, and all-time.
Ohio State—Illinois History Lesson And Recent Trends
• Ohio State is 64-30-4 all-time vs. Illinois.
• Ohio State is 8-2 against Iliinois since 2000.
• Ohio State is 37-18-4 all-time in Columbus vs. Illinois.
• Ohio State is 3rd in the Big Ten with 20 quarterback sacks.
• Urban Meyer coached teams are 70-14 when ranked in the Top 25.
• Ohio State is one of only 6 unbeaten FBS teams and the only team at 9-0.
• Ohio State's defense has only allowed 11 100-yard rushers in their last 58 games.
• Ohio State's defense has held opponents to 10 points or less 37 times since 2006.
• Ohio State has held 71 opponents to 21 points or less since the start of the 2005 season.
• Illinois is 46-83 overall since 2002.
• Illinois last defeated Ohio State in 2007.
• Illinois is 23-61 in Big Ten games since 2002.
A Couple Thoughts and Score Prediction
To put it mildly, Illinois is having a terrible season under first year coach, and former Urban Meyer, and Ohio State assistant, Tim Beckman.
The Fighting Illini have lost five in a row by an average of 26.4 points and despite the fact that the Buckeyes have been playing down to their competition in recent weeks, I look for that trend to be broken this week over the Illini.
The Buckeyes are 10th in the nation at just over 248 rushing yards per game, and quarterback Braxton Miller, who leads the Big Ten in both rushing and total yards per game, should bolster his Heisman Trophy consideration against an Illinois defense that's allowing nearly 153 rushing yards per game and that has yet to face an opponent with the running prowess and capability that Ohio State owns.
Ohio State 55
"To be a champion, you have to believe in yourself when no one else will" - Sugar Ray Robinson