Buckeyes don’t believe Illini have their number

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Andrew Norwell has firsthand knowledge of Illinois’ surprising success at Ohio Stadium over the past 20 or so years.

He vividly remembers one historic game in particular.

The year was 2007 and Norwell was in middle school. His brother Chris was a four-year starter on the defensive line for the Illini, who on that day sprung a stunning 28-21 upset on the top-ranked and unbeaten Buckeyes.

”I was here in orange and blue,” Ohio State’s starting left guard said. ”I was pretty fired up. I was sitting in the Illinois section. That last drive is what I remember most.”

Against a Buckeyes team that had dominated all season, the Illini, behind quarterback Isiah ”Juice” Williams, played keep-away with the ball for the final 8:09 to hang on for the win.

Now the teams meet again. It might surprise many to know that Illinois has won three of the last five meetings in Ohio Stadium, and seven of 11 dating to 1988.

Even though Ohio State is again unbeaten and Illinois is struggling, the Illini have some history of playing over their heads in the Horseshoe. But Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer doesn’t believe a team has another’s ”number.”

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