It looks like the Ohio State Buckeyes might never lose again — okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. The Buckeyes have won 21 straight games and it will look to continue for the rest of the regular season with a weak Big Ten this season.
On the other side of the field, the Illinois Fighting Illini have fallen off considerably after beginning the season 3-1. The Fighting Illini have lost five straight games and a conference win hasn’t happened for this team from Champaign, Ill., since 2011. Things are looking grim for this program.
Ohio State has two adequate quarterbacks who lead the way for this team. Although junior quarterback Braxton Miller gets the majority of playing time, Kenny Guiton could be a starter on nearly every team in the conference that is full of underperforming passers. The two have combined for over 2,000 yards and 29 touchdowns on the season with Miller leading the way with 1,316 yards and 15 touchdowns while rushing for 410 yards and two touchdowns. Carlos Hyde leads the rushing attack with 701 yards and seven touchdowns this season with Jordan Hall close behind with 519 yards and eight scores.
Illinois has depended heavily on Nathan Scheelhaase to lead the underperforming offense. The senior quarterback leads the 23rd-ranked passing offense in the nation with 2,420 yards and 15 touchdowns to go along with eight interceptions in somewhat of a senior resurgence season. Steve Hull has been his favorite target, catching 28 passes for 564 yards and three touchdowns — averaging over 20 yards per catch. Josh Ferguson leads the rushing attack with 485 yards and four touchdowns on the season for the Illini.
Defensively, the Buckeyes rank eighth in the nation in points allowed per game to go along with a ranking of 15th in the nation in yards allowed per game — a much-improved squad from a season ago. Illinois is not nearly as impressive on this side of the ball, ranking 106th in points allowed and 112th in yards allowed per game just a couple years removed from its solid defensive campaigns.
Ohio State will travel to Illinois to take on the Fighting Illini at 12 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 16. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN.
PREDICTION: Ohio State 45, Illinois 7