Week 5 Preview – Illinois

You’ll pardon if this is a mite short, but to be honest I’m still basking in the glory that is the Cincinnati Reds’ triumphant return to the playoffs after fifteen years wandering in the desert.

The season starts for real now, as the Buckeyes begin their campaign to win their sixth straight Big Ten title against the Fighting Zooks. The game begins at ten am out here in God’s Country, which means I’ll mercifully be spared hours of watching crappy Disney programming with my kids and will instead be able to focus on the more important things in life.

Due to the fact that, well, they’re terrible, I haven’t gotten to watch Illinois play since the first week of the season, where they got off to a promising start against Missouri before folding in the second half. The question is, which Illinois team will show up tomorrow? They have historically played Tressel pretty close, although their W-L record doesn’t reflect that.

Illinois is led on offense by Nathan Scheelhaase, a redshirt freshman who looked to me like a poor man’s Calista Forcier, who himself is a poor man’s Eric Crouch. A really, really, destitute, so-poor-that-he-was-sent-to-debtor’s-prison-in-Australia poor man’s Eric Crouch. Their best offensive player – at least on NCAA 11 – is Mikel LeShoure who wears jersey number 5.

And … yeah … that’s about all I can tell you about Illinois.

I have expected the Buckeyes to come out flat in every single game they were supposed to dominate so far this year, only to be horribly wrong every time. Hopefully that trend continues.

What I’d like to see tomorrow:

  1. Someone not named Terrelle Pryor rushing for over 100 yards for the Buckeyes.
  2. Fewer than five penalties by Ohio State while the game is still contested.
  3. A member of Ohio State’s defensive line gobbling up Scheelhaase and leaving him crying on the bench for a series or two.
  4. The continued reign of Evil Tressel who popped his head up last weekend. Let’s not forget 2007, gentlemen. Illinois hasn’t paid the full price for their impudence yet, if you ask me. And THAT WAS STILL A FUMBLE THE PLAY BEFORE THEIR FIRST TOUCHDOWN IN THAT GAME! ARE YOU F*&$ING KIDDING ME? HOW DO YOU NOW REVIEW THAT?!? Sorry, moving on…
  5. Continued good play from the coverage units of the “special” teams. They weren’t bad last week. Let’s keep it up.

Final score prediction*: Buckeyes 41, Illini 17

*all predictions subject to change after the fact. The opinions of Bacon Ninja regarding the outcome of Ohio State games are purely hypothetical and do not necessarily represent his true feelings on the matter. In fact, for the purposes of supersition and jinx avoidance Bacon Ninja offers a generic prediction of Opponents 72, Ohio State 0 for every game this season, unless they are playing an SEC school in which case the prediction will change to Opponents 347, Ohio State negative 30.


  1. Good stuff bacon.

    Look for Illinois to run the option out of their pistol formation in their best attempt to rip off yet another offensive identity.

    This may give OSU fits at times.

  2. You know, using NCAA 11 for scouting purposes is underrated. I fully endorse this.

    OSU doesn’t break a sweat today, boys. This game gives the Senator his 99th win.

    OSU 45
    Illinois 6

  3. I get the feeling with Tressel that when the Buckeyes are up by a comfortable amount, every touchdown after 35 points is an accident. That being said:

    OSU 52
    Fighting Zooks 18 (all field goals, ‘cuz kickers own)

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