Years in which teams are ineligible for a bowl game are often looked upon as a waste for a number of programs. However, Head Coach Urban Meyer knows that this year, he is laying the groundwork for what could be a very successful stay with the Ohio State Buckeyes even though OSU won’t be going to a bowl game this year no matter how great of a season that it has. The Bucks play their second to last home game of the campaign on Saturday, as they shoot to move to 10-0 when they take on the Illinois Fighting Illini at the Horseshoe.
The Buckeyes just continue to win games this year, and they are clearly the only team of any real note in the Big Ten. They are going to be favorite the rest of the way and will likely close out a perfect regular season behind the play of QB Braxton Miller.
Miller has truly shined in this offense under Meyer, throwing for 1,527 yards and rushing for 1,093 more. The sophomore has a dozen touchdowns both with his arm and with his legs, and he only has six INTs on 198 passes as well. There is a reason that, in spite of Ohio State postseason ban, that Miller legitimately could, and probably should, be a Heisman Trophy finalist.
Illinois comes to town having to find some answers for Miller. When the Illini faced a comparable quarterback just a few weeks ago against the Michigan Wolverines, QB Denard Robinson ripped them apart for 159 passing yards, 128 rushing yards, four total touchdowns, and ultimately, 45 points in a shutout of a loss.
Though the Fighting Illini contained Miller and the Buckeyes last year, allowing just 17 points, it doesn’t seem likely that that happens again. Illinois is a 27 ½-point underdog on the college football odds on Saturday afternoon.