Week #4: Illinois – Open Thread

OSU FootballIllinois comes in to the Horseshoe tomorrow, hoping for déjà vu . Personally, and with the rest of Buckeye Nation, I’d rather not relive that nightmare. It’s a sore spot and I’d rather not talk about that.

So yeah: I’d really like to see the Buckeyes put a whupping on the Fighting Illini this Saturday. Beating them last year was cathartic, but it’s not enough. I need a big win at home. I want blood.

So let’s talk about the game. For some pregame gristle to chew on, Buckeye Planet is the place to start. We’ll look what others have to say in this preview.

First up, a little offensive chatter. For as good as Terrelle Pryor looked against Toledo, things get tougher as we moved into Big Ten play. One of the biggest factors of this game is the fact that Illinois’ defense is going to feel the loss of their starting LB Martez Wilson. Filling in his shoes will be deer-in-headlights RS Freshman Evan Frierson. This is good news for the Buckeyes. Illinois has a decent front seven (minus Frierson, who is an unknown at the moment) and a suspect secondary. The passing game is gaining momentum but Pryor still has work to do. With the Illini trying to contain him from running wild, the lanes for passing should be there.

The line is slowly coming together, with a lot of linemen getting playing time this week. But as well as they’ve been protecting Pryor, they need to get a push in the running game. But I’d like to see some calls that play to our backs strengths (outside stretch plays, option reads) and a little less reliance on the power game. The passing game looks to continue its success. Sanz and Posey are looking stud-like, with the growth of Carter and the re-reemergence of Ray Small. Unfortunately, we have to ask: Where’s Taurian Washington? Not on the two-deep, that’s for sure.

Speaking of the two-deep, you can see the depth chart here. We Will Always Have Tempe has a good review of the lineup.

As you peruse the depth chart, let’s switch gears and discuss a few defensive items. I think it’s interesting to see Robert Rose listed at DT. Remember how excited we were when he decided to come to Ohio State, how highly touted he was? Man, it’s been a long time for him to finally contribute, but I, for one, am happy to see it. Huge potential, finally being realized. Speaking of potential, freshman John Simon is also coming on. The defense is coming together, and with Illinois’ offensive firepower, they’ll be tested. That firepower is giving some Illini fans hope. I think the D will be up to the task. As I mentioned earlier, I like the different defensive formations Heacock has been throwing out there. Look for lots of flying to the ball and Rolle and Hines delivering the pain.

I could go on and lavish on the Defense, but you already know what to expect there. So a few factors that will impact the game in various ways:

BustedRight now, Vegas has Ohio State as a 14 point favorite. There is a 60% chance of rain. This is the first week that students are back on campus. Yours truly (and Sylvester-Yon Rambo) will be at the game and we can whoop it up with the best. I haven’t been present in the ‘Shoe for a loss since 2005. That’s got to count for something.

So finally, the fun part: Predictions. This week, we’re giving away a copy of Busted: The Rise and Fall of Art Schlichter to the closest prediction of the final score of the OSU Illinois game.

  • Illinois’ offense has the potential to be explosive. OSU’s D has been playing possessed. How many yards does the defense allow?
  • Who gains more rushing yards, Boom Herron or Zoom Saine?
  • Rain could be a factor. How many turnovers in the game?
  • And of course: Final Score?

el Kaiser’s predictions:
Illinois yardage: The D does the unimaginable and holds them to 299 yards
Boom or Zoom: Saine explodes on the scene with 112 yards, wins starting job
Turnovers: 4 (OSU 1, Illinois 3)
Final Score: OSU 37 – Illinois 19

sportsMonkey’s predictions:
Illinois yardage: 260 yards
Boom or Zoom: Rain + Big 10 opener = Tresselball = Boom (Lydell Ross Jr) with 75, Saine with 50, Pryor with 50
Turnovers: 3 (OSU 2, Illinois 1)
Final Score: OSU 31 – Illinois 6


  1. I’ll go with 31-14 for a final. OSU D manages to contain Juice, and Pryor makes things happen with his feet and his arm.

  2. Whoops. OSU D holds the Illini to 205 total yards. Herron probably gets more touches this week, and will be the second leading rusher (behind LiC, of course). I’ll to with 3 turnovers – 2 from them and one from us. There ya go.

  3. 1. How many yards does the defense allow?


    2. Who gains more rushing yards, Boom Herron or Zoom Saine?

    I still think Boom gets more carries and therefore more yards….barely. I half hope that Boom continues to not produce as I believe all three tailbacks behind him are better than him.

    3. Rain could be a factor. How many turnovers in the game?

    OSU: 2
    Illinois: 3

    4. And of course: Final Score?

    OSU: 33
    Illinois: 17

  4. Here’s what I’ve got.
    Dufrene gets hit _hard_ in the 2nd quarter, forcing Juice to take to the air. Thaddeus Maximus has his way with the O-line, hurrying Juice into wounded ducks to Chekwa and Coleman.
    Saine cuts through the Illini secondary like a hot knife through tofu. Pryor loses the handle once and gets picked.

    D holds strong, 150 yards on the ground, 100 through the air. (250 total)

    2. Saine and Herron both have good games, but give the edge to Saine.

    3. Pryor with a pick, but Illinois loses 3.

    4. 27-7, Buckeyes. Rain is a slight factor, and Tresselball returns with a vengeance in the 3rd Q.

  5. D gives up 285(don’t know why I picked such a odd number)

    Saine will have about 76 yds and Boom will get his usual 42.

    juice loses 1 fumble and throws 2 picks.

    final score 28-10 the good guys. The Vest plays it closer than score shows.

  6. Turnovers: 6

    CJ Spiller: 112 yards-1 td

    K. Parker: 13/16 214 yards and 3 tds


    59 to 21

  7. 24-10, OSU.
    I heart Boom. If only for his name.
    I am gleefully watching Michigan lose to Indiana. Go Hoosiers!

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