Illinois at Ohio State
Time: 2:30 CT (ABC)
Spread: OSU -41
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Ohio State Buckeyes won big last week over No. 12 ranked Michigan State, defeating its conference foe 48-3 to propel itself to a top-10 AP ranking of No. 9 this week. Ohio State will host Illinois as 41-point favorites at 2:30 (CT) on ABC. The over/under is set at 53.5 points according to college football oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.
Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett threw 14 of 21 last week for 183 yards with two TDs and two interceptions. But the backfield was dominant. Ohio State rushed for 335 yards, paced by Mike Weber’s 162 yards and two TDs. Barrett rushed for 55 yards on nine carries with another two TDs via the rush. Ohio State averaged eight yards per carry, while rushing 42 times with several long-rushes, including an 82-yard rush by Weber.
Wide receiver Binjimen Victor led in receiving yards with 65 on just two catches, including a TD catch. Paris Campbell had 49 yards on three catches. Ohio State held MSU to just 195 total yards, while coming up with nine tackles for loss and six sacks. The OSU defense was dominant in shutting down a ranked opponent, and this game sort of served as a reminder from the Buckeyes that they should still be in the fray, even if they are not in the top-4 teams that advance to the BCS playoffs this season.
Ohio State is 6-1 in Big Ten play and Illinois is 0-7 in Conference play.
The Fighting Illini have not won since the first two weeks of the season, and now have dropped eight-straight games going into this week. Jeff George Jr. has been a disappointment for Illinois, with 1,273 yards but just a 51.9 percent completion ratio, just seven yards per reception and 10 INTs to just seven TDs. Mike Epstein has been strong i the backfield, with 346 yards on 57 carries (6.1 yards per) and the second-most TD rushes for Illinois with three. Ra’Von Bonner leads the team in TD rushes with four, but averages just 3.0 yards per carry.
Illinois ranks No. 127 in team offense with just 16.2 points per game while maintaining a poor defense on top of it, ranking No. 76 in allowing 28.4 points per game. It is near the bottom of rush offense (107.8 yards per game, No. 122) and pass offense (No. 92, 194.3 yards per game), and there are few things to really like about this year’s iteration of Illinois football. The 41-point spread seems harsh, but not really considering that Ohio State may very well shut out the Fighting Illini and run up the score all at once. Ohio State does not typically go so soft, and its reserves are always eager for the chance to beat up on weak Big Ten teams.