College Football
Preview
Illinois at Ohio State
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 1, 2014
Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

Ohio State will try to tie its Big Ten record for consecutive regular-season conference victories when the No. 13 Buckeyes host Illinois on Saturday night. Ohio State has won 19 straight Big Ten games, one shy of the conference record set by the program from 2005-07. Win No. 20 won’t come easy as the Fighting Illini are coming off an impressive 28-24 victory against Minnesota, while Ohio State needed double-overtime to dispose of Penn State last weekend.

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett, who ranks second in the FBS with a 172.8 passer rating, sprained his left knee against Penn State and was limited in practice this week, but he’s expected to be ready for the Fighting Illini. He’ll be looking for a bounce-back performance, as he threw for just 74 yards and was intercepted twice by the Nittany Lions. If the Fighting Illini hope to beat the Buckeyes for just the second time in the last 10 meetings, they’ll need running back Josh Ferguson to pick up chunks of yardage and keep the Ohio State offense on the sideline.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ABC. LINE: Ohio State -28.

ABOUT ILLINOIS (4-4, 1-3 Big Ten): Fighting Illini quarterback Wes Lunt is expected to be sidelined another two weeks with a fractured fibula suffered Oct. 4, and Reilly O’Toole has finally done enough to be listed No. 1 on the depth chart after sharing that distinction with Aaron Bailey the previous two weeks. Mike Dudek continues to lead Illinois in receiving and even completed a 22-yard pass last weekend off a fake reverse. Dudek came into last weekend second in the FBS in fourth-quarter receiving yards with 264 on 16 catches, and needs 38 yards to break the program’s single-season freshman record of 676 set by Arrelious Benn in 2006.

ABOUT OHIO STATE (6-1, 3-0): One thing the Buckeyes will have to avoid is looking ahead to next weekend’s clash against No. 5 Michigan State, which entered this week a half-game ahead of the Buckeyes in the East Division. Defensive end Joey Bosa ranks fifth in the nation in tackles for loss and has at least one in 13 straight games. He ended the upset hopes of Penn State with a fourth-down sack in double overtime.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Buckeyes dismissed backup running back Rod Smith for breaking team rules. He was fifth on the team in rushing.

2. Eight different players have at least one interception for the Buckeyes.

3. The Fighting Illini lead the Big Ten with 284 passing yards per game.

PREDICTION: Ohio State 44, Illinois 24
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Illinois 4-4 W1 28.5 34.4 4-1 0-3 0-0 0-0 1-3
Ohio State 6-1 W5 44.3 20.7 3-1 3-0 2-0 0-0 3-0
Last Meeting
Illinois Ohio State
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/16/13 OSU 60 ILL 35 420 132 288 591 441 150
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Illinois N. Scheelhaase 66.0 288 2 2
Ohio State B. Miller 44.8 150 2 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Illinois J. Ferguson 15 69 4.6 1
Ohio State C. Hyde 24 246 10.2 4
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Illinois S. Hull 8 105 13.1 1
Ohio State C. Fields 2 58 29.0 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Illinois V. Bentley 1
Ohio State C. Hyde 5
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Illinois W. Lunt 66.1 1569 13 3
Ohio State J. Barrett 65.0 1689 21 7
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Illinois J. Ferguson 102 518 5.1 6
Ohio State E. Elliott 117 640 5.5 5
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Illinois M. Dudek 42 639 15.2 3
Ohio State M. Thomas 22 380 17.3 5
Touchdowns Player TD
Illinois J. Ferguson 8
Ohio State J. Barrett 6
Quickchart Matchup
Illinois Off vs  Ohio State Def
390.8 yards
307.6 yards
3.6 yards/rush
3.5 yards/rush
7.7 yards/attempt
5.8 yards/attempt
Ohio State Off vs  Illinois Def
499.4 yards
475.4 yards
5.1 yards/rush
5.1 yards/rush
9.1 yards/attempt
7.7 yards/attempt