CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Ohio State now may look ahead to the Michigan State game many have had circled all season.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott topped the 100-yard mark for the 15th-straight game, the Buckeyes limited Illinois to just 20 yards rushing and Ohio State racked up 440 yards of total offense as it knocked off the Illini on Saturday afternoon, 28-3.
Elliott gained 181 yards on the ground on 27 carries with a pair of touchdowns. The junior running back scored from 1 yard out to give the third-ranked Buckeyes a three-score lead midway through the third quarter and then put the game on ice with a 10-yard scoring run early in the fourth.
Quarterback J.T. Barrett was 15-for-23 passing for 150 yards with one touchdown and one interception and Michael Thomas led the Ohio State wide receivers with six catches for 76 yards and a score. Barrett also gained 74 yards on the ground on 16 carries.
Ohio State again started the game sluggish as the Buckeyes led just 14-3 at halftime. After Barrett was ruled short of the end zone on back-to-back runs and Ohio State missed a field goal on its opening drive, he hooked up with Thomas for a 24-yard touchdown pass on the second drive of the game.
Illinois then added a field goal to trim the deficit to 7-3 before Barrett plunged it in from 6 yards out late in the second quarter to give the Buckeyes their 11-point halftime lead.
Ohio State held the Illini to just 101 yards of total offense in the first half while racking up 209 of its own. Barrett was 9-for-13 passing for 106 yards and a touchdown in the first half, while also carrying the ball 11 times for 56 yards and a score. Elliott had 47 of his yards in the first half.
Ohio State hosts 13th-ranked Michigan State next Saturday.
|440||NET TOTAL YARDS||261|
|5.7||AVERAGE PER RUSH||0.8|
|9.2||AVERAGE PER COMPLETION||10.5|
|14||RUSHING 1st DOWNS||4|
|8||PASSING 1st DOWNS||10|
|1||PENALTY 1st DOWNS||1|
|5.9||YARDS PER PLAY||3.6|
- Ohio State has now won 23 in a row overall, the longest active streak in the nation, and one win from tying the school record of 24 set by the Ohio State teams from 2012-13.
- Ohio State has won a Big Ten-record 30 conference games in a row, breaking the current conference landscape mark of 29 consecutive wins in the ACC by Florida State from 1992-95.
- Ohio State leads the all-time series with Illinois, 67-30-4, and has won the last eight meetings overall.
- Ohio State has won 17 consecutive true road games (games on an opponent’s home field), the longest such streak in the nation and extending the school record. The Buckeyes are undefeated, a perfect 17-0, in road games under head coach Urban Meyer, or since the start of the 2012 season.
- Head coach Urban Meyer improved upon his highest winning percentage (.854) among active coaches with at least 10 years of coaching experience.
- Meyer is a perfect 28-0 in games played in October (14-0) and November (14-0) at Ohio State.
- Running back Ezekiel Elliott extended his FBS-leading streak to 15 consecutive games with at least 100 yards rushing with 181 yards and two TDs.
- The 181 yards by Elliott is the 20th of his career with 100+ yards, which ties him for second-most all-time at Ohio State with Eddie George. The record is 34 by Archie Griffin.
- Elliott also moved into third place on Ohio State’s all-time rushing list with 3,565 yards, passing Tim Spencer who rushed for 3,553 from 1979-82. Eddie George is second with 3,768.
- Elliott now has 16 rushing TDs on the season and 36 in his career, tying him for fifth all-time at Ohio State with Tim Spencer and Harold Henson.
- Wide receiver Michael Thomas has caught a pass in 26 consecutive games. He finished with six catches for 76 yards and a TD.
- Thomas surpassed the 100-catch mark and now has 102 in his career.
- Thomas has 25 catches for 359 yards and five TDs in his last five games.
- Defensive end Joey Bosa tied a career high with 3.0 TFL. He leads the Big Ten with 12.5 TFL in Big Ten play.
- Linebacker Raekwon McMillian recorded 14 tackles, his seventh game this season with 8 or more tackles. McMillan also had 2.0 TFL and a fumble recovery.
- Ohio State’s defense gave up just 20 yards rushing after allowing just 33 on the ground to Minnesota last week.
- Ohio State recorded 11.0 TFL on the day, the second-highest total on the season.
- After allowing just three points to the Illini, Ohio State has now given up just 34 points in the last four games (8.5 ppg).
- Since the start of the 2012 season under Coach Meyer, Buckeye defenses have given up the third-fewest rushing yards amongst FBS schools in true road games.
- Punter Cameron Johnston recorded four punts inside the 20, tying him with A.J. Trapasso for the most all-time at Ohio State with 78. Johnston averaged 44.4 yards per punt on the day with a long of 54.