Give the Buckeyes points for consistency. Whether it's in the 'Shoe or in that drafty old barn in Champaign, the scarlet and gray always struggles more with the Illini than it should.
As always, Terrelle Pryor was money in the run game. That 66-yard run in the first quarter was amazing. What is most amazing about seeing him run is that he looks like's not even exerting himself. It was nice to see one of the running backs finally show up. Boom Herron ended up with some good numbers. I'll just say it, by the second half, it was good to see any running back get more than one yard on a carry. Oh, and it was nice to see a drive of almost 8 minutes, even if it did result in only a field goal.
The defense did what we've come to expect. It gave up only 11 first downs and 251 total yards. Ross Homan is always around the ball. You could say the same for Brian Rolle and Nathan Williams in this game. Cameron Heyward is just a lot for any offensive lineman to handle.
Even before TP went down, that was as big a dose of Tresselball as we have seen in a while. At one point, the Buckeyes had a 1st and 22. And ran three consecutive running plays. The play calling led me to believe that the Buckeyes might as well have punted on first down. After that series, we wondered if any other FBS team (aside from the service academies and maybe Georgia Tech) would have had the same philosophy in that situation. I understand wanting to remain conservative in a place as windy as Memorial Stadium, but isn't there more than one run play in the road playbook?
Overall, the defense had a pretty good game, but the Illini seemed to have a pretty easy time of things on its TD drive. There was some poor tackling and no pass rush.
Aside from an abundance of 1- and 2-yard runs in the first half, there is only one thing to put here. I don't know about where you were watching the game, but at Dave and Busters in Irvine, the place went silent after TP went down in the third quarter.
Isn't there anyone on the OSU campus that can punt the ball more than 30 yards? Maybe teach this kid how to kick rugby style, where he gets the ball and runs to one side before kicking it.
I realize that holding can probably be called on every play. I also realize that part of being an offensive lineman is knowing how to get away with holding. It's understandable that a ref might miss an offensive lineman grabbing the front of a defender's jersey. However, I don't think I have ever seen so much holding of the back of a defender's jersey. That seemed to be the entire strategy for the Illinois offensive line. I guess if you can get away with it, why not?
You know that scene in A Christmas Story where Ralphie is holding the lugnuts in the hubcap and then the lugnuts go flying, and he says "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudge!" Only he doesn't really say fudge. I think that was probably the response across Buckeye Nation when Pryor went down and didn't get up immediately. Granted, he's not the best passer I've ever seen (although his completion percentage is pretty good this year), but the idea of losing him is a little horrifying simply because he has more rush yards than any running back so far.
Under the Radar player of the game
There are definitely some good candidates on defense, but this week the award goes to Nathan Williams. He had 2 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks as part of his 9 total tackles.