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Ohio State vs. Illinois 2015: GameThread

With J.T. back, the Buckeyes look to close out the regular season strong.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

With just three regular season games remaining for Ohio State and a No. 3 ranking in the College Football Playoff rankings, the Buckeyes are looking to hold onto that playoff spot and try to make history -- again. With a slew of big games coming up -- Michigan State, Michigan, and a probable trip to Indianapolis to face Iowa -- it could be easy to get caught looking too far into the future against an Illinois team that features RB Josh Ferguson, the best running back that you haven't heard of.

Ferguson has missed three games this season, yet has managed to get 514 yards on 83 carries. While they may not be Zeke-level stats, any back who can manage over 6 yards per carry and about 85 yards per game is a back to be reckoned with. He's an obvious key component for the Illini offense; without him, Illinois managed only 138 rushing yards total. That's right, not 138 yards per game. 138 yards total for all three Ferguson-less games.

The return of J.T. Barrett will hopefully revitalize Ohio State's passing game; while the Buckeyes had almost 200 yards in the air, they only managed to take one pass to the end zone. It was a slow game for Heisman hopeful Ezekiel Elliott, also, who, despite getting yet another 100+ yards game, didn't have a run longer than 15 yards. Watch for some breakout plays from No. 15.

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