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September 2020
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OHIO STATE NOTEBOOK: Buckeyes 24 Fighting Illini 13


Illinois end zone (

The Buckeyes survived two big scares in Saturday’s 24-13 win at Illinois.

The first scare was, winning the game in the Big Ten Conference opener.

But the biggest scare happened in the middle of the third quarter Heisman Trophy candidate Terrelle Pryor missed a big portion of the third quarter after suffering a strained left thigh muscle.

But Pryor returned to but let running Daniel “Boom” Herron run the ball. In the fourth quarter, the Buckeyes turned the ball over to the junior tailback who scored a touchdown with 1:49 remaining to ensure the win. Herron rushed for 51 of his 95 yards in the fourth quarter.

Pryor did pass another milestone. He now has 1,783 career rushing yards, passing up Rex Kern (1,714) for second among Buckeyes quarterbacks. Cornelius Greene (2,066) is the all-time leader.

The Buckeyes maintained the number 2 ranking in the polls despite struggling against the 18-point underdog Illinois Fighting Illini.

The 62,870 fans in attendance probably thought the calendar was wrong saying October when it felt like November. It was 53 degrees, felt like 33, cloudy and breezy.

The big key to the game was nine penalties costs Illinois a possible upset win.

Statue of Harold "Red" Grange outside Memorial Stadium (


The Illini lost its eighth consecutive game to Ohio State in Memorial Stadium. It hasn’t won at home against the Buckeyes since 1991.

Illinois had its moments during the game.

The Fighting Illini used the wind at its back and starting position near midfield to take an early lead of 7-0 on its first possession of the game. The key play was a 23-yard pass from receiver Jarred Fayson to quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase that gave Illinois a first down at the 8-yard line.

Scheelhaase ran 3 yards for the touchdown three plays later.

Speaking of Scheelhaase, he showed a lot of poise and confidence for a redshirt freshman quarterback playing in his first Big Ten game against a Top 10 team. He had 121 yards passing and rushing combined.

With Saturday’s win, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel is one win away from reaching number 100 in his 10th season at Ohio’s flagship university.

Another game has passed and the Ohio State defense didn’t allow a 100-yard rusher for the 27th game in a row. The last time that occured was when Joe McKnight of USC gained 105 yards on September 13, 2008 in the Coliseum in Los Angeles.

Memorial Stadium looks like Ohio Stadium in some ways (

The press box at Memorial Stadium is huge like Ohio Stadium's is (

The defense played well, limiting the Illini to 251 yards and 11 first downs. But they lost DB Tyler Moeller who plays in the “star” spot in the nickel package. But freshman Christian Bryant stepped up and played as if he had been at Ohio State for years.

Any fan who has been to the Land of Lincoln (Illinois) knows that it is very windy and the winds can have high gusts. Case-in-point on Saturday, the wind was blowing at 25 mph and punter Ben Buchanan and placekicker Devin Barclay did quite well in their first experiences with the winds.

Assembly Hall sits across the street from Memorial Stadium (

Memorial Stadium from the parking lot (

Ohio State has had 36 scoring drives in 2010, 26 touchdowns and 10 field goals. The opponents have had nine scoring drives, 6 touchdowns and three field goals.

OHIO STATE POSTGAME AUDIO (To listen to an audio file, click on the number)

45 649 to 45 656 Jemale Hines OSU FS (

45 657 to 45 661 Ben Buchanan OSU punter (

45 661 to 45 668 Christian Bryant OSU DB (

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