The Illinois Fighting Illini put up a fight on Saturday at Memorial Stadium against the 2nd ranked team in the nation, the Ohio State Buckeyes. Even though the Illini only lead the game for about 3 minutes, the game was within one possession until 2 minutes left in the game. Terrelle Pryor was hampered slightly with a leg injury that he sustained during the game, but the Illini’s defense played out of their minds. On the season, the Buckeyes have passed for 229 yards per game and rushed for 235 yards per game. On Saturday the Illini defense only gave up 290 yards total, way below the Buckeyes’ season average. The Illini were able to stop the Buckeyes seemingly unstoppable running game.
Scheelhaase did not have the game of his life, but also did not cost the Illini the game. He did throw an interception but had a great opening drive to push the Illini ahead at the beginning of the game. Unfortunately, that was the Illini’s last touchdown of the afternoon. They only had two field goals the rest of the game. With about five minutes left in the game the Illini were down 17-10 and on fourth down coach Ron Zook decided to kick a field goal. The call was questionable at the time because the Illini were down by 7 and would be giving the dangerous Buckeye offense a chance to run the game down and leave with the victory, and that is what they did. Looking back on it, Zook probably should have gone for it on fourth down to try and tie the game later in the drive.
Resulting from the loss, the Illini now have two wins, two losses, and are now second to last in the Big Ten. But the loss was not a terrible thing. The loss showed the Illini could actually hang with the top Big Ten teams. Although nobody likes a loss, if the Illini continue to play like this then the Fighting Illini may exceed the season’s expectations.
About the Author
Written by Gregg Pluta
I am currently a sophomore in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.