CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – On a wind-swept afternoon under skies that were fifty shades of gray, Ohio State fashioned a blitzkrieg offense that bewildered a weary Illinois defense playing out yet another forgettable season. Despite the Silver Bullets sleepwalking through the final three quarters, the Buckeyes’ 60-35 win is memorable and historic.
They’re now victors in 22 consecutive games, tying the program record set from 1967-69. The Big Ten record – 29 – is more than 100 years old, established by Fielding Yost’s point-a-minute Michigan squads from 1901-03. Illinois, meanwhile, has lost 20 straight Big Ten games and the Illibuck for a sixth consecutive year.
It took three plays and 36 seconds for the discrepancy in talent to become evident. Braxton Miller kept the ball on a read-option, dashed untouched through the Fightless Illini defense and 70 yards later the Buckeyes led 7-0.
Most thought the 32-point spread wouldn’t be enough for four quarters. Early on, it looked like Ohio State would only need one half to equal Vegas’ projection. But an afternoon fit for style points evolved into a bizarro world appropriate for a windmill and clown’s mouth.