So besides that, how was the Ohio State-Illinois game? The Buckeyes looked rather uninspired for the first half, and in the second half, inexplicably mostly looked even worse. Besides Carlos Hyde (who had an absurd 246 yards rushing and five total TDs), few Buckeye looked the least bit dialed in (Cam Johnston notably omitted) until garbage time, en route to an underwhelming 60-35 win.
Of course for the Buckeyes, style points had been the topic of both local and national discussions in recent weeks. And unfortunately whatever the opposite of those are, Ohio State provided a multitude of them Saturday afternoon against the Illini. Braxton Miller struggled to find a comfort zone in what was a highly windy Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois.
Next up for the Buckeyes are Indiana for the home finale in Ohio Stadium. After that, Ohio State faces the much hated Michigan Wolverines in their regular season finale the Saturday after Thanksgiving in Michigan Stadium. But before then, while this particular game wasn't all that inspiring, I suppose we'd be remiss if we didn't revisit the best from the day that was:
This was pretty far removed from Braxton Miller's best game overall, but the Buckeyes quarterback started things off the way he has so many times. Naturally, Ohio State continued their streak of lightning-in-a-bottle first quarters in this one.
C.J. Barnett had the first of a pair of Ohio State picks. It looked at this point like things would get out of hand (and in a hurry), but Illinois wasn't done, and Ohio State, be it the result of injury, apathy, or otherwise, ultimately let them make it far closer than it started or the final score indicated.
It looked almost too easy in the early goings as Carlos Hyde reeled in the first of what would ultimately prove to be five touchdowns. Illinois looked disinterested in even making an honest attempt at tackling, but the Buckeyes would echo the same disinterest later in the second half.
Bradley Roby wasn't about to be outdone. Not long after C.J. Barnett's pick, Roby wheeled in one of his own, and then went ahead and took it to the house to put Ohio State up, 20-0 (pending try, which was good). Roby had some ups and downs during the rest of the game; in addition to laying an Illini player out, he also demonstrated some instances of suspect judgement and effort. Alas, Roby's natural physical skills are all but undeniable.
Braxton Miller demonstrated outstanding touch (particularly given how windy it was) finding Philly Brown in the corner of the end zone helping Ohio State expand their lead. It arguably was one of if not the best balls Miller threw all afternoon.
So that Carlos Hyde fella? He's also pretty good at toting the rock. On this play, Hyde shoots to the outside and collects an easy six points for his troubles. Hyde, as mentioned, would add to his total as the day went on.
Not strictly a football related matter, but hey, Brutus Buckeye is pretty much the best. Watch him do his best Jay-Z and delivering a message to those that will undoubtedly be seconding guessing Ohio State following their least impressive "big" victory of the season.
Things got a little bit chippy on the Ilini sideline. Okay, A LOT of bit chippy. Following a failed conversion which arguably changed the entire course of the game, U of I head coach Tim Beckman and offensive coordinator Bill Cubit had to be visibly restrained by fellow coaches to prevent from going to blows. I guess they don't call them the Fighting Illini for nothing, huh?
This came back (and Hyde was forced to score on the very next play), but this was a particularly impressive run by Hyde. Just pure effort plus strength with the end result being (almost) another 6 points for Ohio State. It's no wonder that Carlos Hyde was the Buckeyes' bell cow on the afternoon.
The Buckeyes' tailback perhaps better known as "El Guapo" went back to the well a few more times down the stretch, including this long run. Rather the Buckeyes needed two yards or twenty, Carlos Hyde seemed to know exactly where to go to get it. Here's hoping the rest of the team dials it up to his high standards down the stretch.