It's safe to say Ohio State was not looking ahead to Michigan State as the 16th-ranked Buckeyes steamrolled Illinois on Saturday night at Ohio Stadium, 55-14 [Box].
Ohio State's offense fired on all cylinders as it racked up 543 total yards of offense. Quarterback J.T. Barrett, who was playing with a sprained MCL, finished the game 15-for-24 passing for 167 yards and two touchdowns. Barrett only played the first half as the Buckeyes led 31-0 at halftime. He was replaced by Cardale Jones, who went 5 for 9 for 82 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Curtis Samuel, who got the start at running back for Ohio State, carried the ball nine times for 63 yards and had two touchdowns. Ezekiel Elliott added 69 yards on nine carries. Devin Smith also had a pair of touchdown catches for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State's defense shut down the Fighting Illini's offense, limiting it to 243 total yards. The Buckeyes also forced four turnovers which led to 17 points. Ohio State had 11 tackles for loss and three sacks, two of which came from Joey Bosa.
The Buckeyes scored on their opening drive for the sixth-straight game as Samuel scored on a 23-yard run after Ohio State's defense forced a three-and-out on Illinois' first possession and the rout was on.
Ohio State's win was its 20th-straight in the Big Ten regular season, tying the league record. The Buckeyes now get ready for a showdown in East Lansing next Saturday night against No. 8 Michigan State.
|6.7||AVERAGE PER RUSH||2.5|
|12.5||AVERAGE PER COMPLETION||10.5|
|16||RUSHING 1st DOWNS||6|
|12||PASSING 1st DOWNS||5|
|0||PENALTY 1st DOWNS||4|
|7.0||YARDS PER PLAY||3.5|
- After outscoring Illinois 17-0 in the first quarter, Ohio State has outscored its opponents 96-17 in the first quarter over the last six games.
- The Buckeyes have outscored opponents 189-39 in first halves this year.
- Ohio State has now scored 50-plus points five times this season. That is the most among FBS teams and the 14th time the Buckeyes have scored at least 50 points under Urban Meyer.
- The Buckeyes held Illinois to 243 yards of offense when it came into Saturday's game averaging 390.5 yards per game on the season.
- Devin Smith's two touchdown catches give him 25 for his career. That is tied with Santonio Holmes for third-most in Ohio State history.
- Curtis Grant's interception was the first of his career. Darron Lee recorded his second-career pick.
- Cardale Jones hit Dontre Wilson for a 27-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to give Jones the first TD pass of his career.
- Noah Brown recorded the first catch of his career in the third quarter.
- Ohio State has now recorded 11 tackles for a loss in back-to-back games.
- Joey Bosa's three tackles for loss were a career high. Steve Miller also had three TFLs, a career high for him, as well.
- Jalin Marshall's 30-yard touchdown was his first-career rushing touchdown. He also had career highs in carries (five) and rushing yards (42).