Buckeyes: Know your enemy – Illinois

Location:
Urbana and Champaign,  IL

Driving Distance from OSU Campus:
303 mi -  5 hours, 5 mins per Google Maps

Founded:
1867 – The school was originally named Illinois Industrial University. The name was changed to the University of Illinois in 1885.

Number of students:
31,173 Undergrad
10,322 Post-grad
(Per Wikipedia)

Illibuck

Nickname:
Illini. They used to have Chief Illiniwek as a mascot.

Fun fact about nickname:
Note I said they “used to have” Chief Illiniwek as a mascot. That was the case until the NCAA found the mascot to be “hostile and abusive” in 2005. By February 21st, 2007…Chief Illiniwek had his final performance and he was retired by March 13th, 2007

Things to do in Urbana-Champaign:
Spurlock Museum
Krannert Art Museum
The Art Theater

Notable Illinois Alumni:
Jerry Orbach – Attempted to put Baby in a corner in Dirty Dancing.
Ang Lee – Director – most notable for Brokeback Mountain
Roger Ebert – Film critic

Conference:
B1G

Record Vs. OSU:
30-64-4

Current Line:
OSU -32

Returning Starters:
9 offensive, 3 defensive

Outlook:
Illinois is on a 19 game B1G losing streak. Ohio State is the team that started the streak. If you are into good stories, Illinois breaks the streak against the team that began the skid.

Of course, stories are for Hollywood.

Ohio State has consistently improved every week this season and has been playing at a much higher level than any other team in the B1G the past couple of weeks. Illinois, however, is on the opposite end of the spectrum. To be fair, Illinois did produce their highest offensive output last week, but it came in a loss to Indiana.

Urban Meyer spoke rather highly of Illini QB Nate Scheelhaase. He said he was a competitor and he really liked the kid. He also mentioned that it feels like Scheelhaase has been there for 20-30 years and, well, yeah it does. Scheelhaase is better than his W/L record, but he doesn’t have a lot of talent surrounding him. I do think the Illini score as there are still some question marks around the OSU secondary, regardless of improvement. I think Scheelhaase has potential to exploit that depth, but I don’t think the Illini have the D to keep The Buckeye scoring machine from racking up the points.

The last time OSU beat Illinois, they didn’t have to throw the ball. It is quite possible they will not have to throw it this week, either. I doubt we see that same game plan as Braxton has greatly matured since then, but who knows? It might be windy or something. Regardless, Illinois is ranked at the bottom of the B1G in rushing D and facing the #1 ranked B1G rushing offense. It could be a rather ugly day in terms of rushing stats.

For a point of reference, Eddie George amassed 314 yards and 3TDs against Illinois in 1995. Carlos Hyde needs 299 yards to become Urban Meyer’s first 1000 yard RB.

I hope Illibuck likes Columbus.

Prediction:
OSU 52 – Illinois 17

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