I refuse to believe that Illinois will end this season with just two wins, but clearly this isn’t the week that will bump them up to three. If the football team couldn’t get it done at home against the bottom of the B1G barrel, how will they get it done on the road against a team that is undefeated and sitting at the top of the pile?
Though OSU is a 27-point favorite in this annual battle for the Illibuck, our dear Ohio State contributor Krista Jones was kind enough to say :”It would not be out of the realm of possibility for this to be a much tighter game than it should be.”
Oh, she’s not saying we have a chance in hell of winning, just that maybe Illinois won’t get blown out. I, on the other hand, would not be surprised if Illinois fails to score at all this weekend. For more information on our upcoming undefeated opponent, take a look at The Poisonous Nuthouse weekly Known Your Enemy report.
After the dismal downward spirals of both the football and basketball teams last year, Illini fans went into this season with hope in our eyes and trust in hearts for new coach Tim Beckman. Sadly, this season is shaping up to be even worse, and a bowl game is almost impossible at this point. No one expected a complete 180, but certainly we expected more than this.
So let’s just get through this game without too much humiliation, and move on to the next. Home games against Purdue and Minnesota are winnable (they were sure things at the beginning of the season), which would give them at least four wins for the season. Sadly, I’d be pleased with that at this point.
Since we need some fun in our lives, how about some fun facts?
- Ohio State leads the Illibuck series with a 60-23-2 mark.
- Illinois last took the “Illibuck” with a 28-21 win at Columbus in 2007, but Ohio State took it back with a 30-20 win in Champaign in 2008 and retained it the last three years.
- OSU holds the lead in Columbus, 27-18-4
- Beckman worked as Urban Meyer’s defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Bowling Green from 1998-2004. Saturday will mark the first meeting between the two as head coaches.
- Beckman was the cornerbacks coach on the Ohio State coaching staff from 2005-06 under Jim Tressel.
- In 2011, LB Jonathan Brown recorded 17 tackles – which still stands as his career high – against OSU, while recording 2.5 TFLs and 1.5 sacks.
The game will be at 2:30 on ESPN.