Countdown To THE GAME 2015

Friday, November 15, 2013

Ill At Ease When Playing At Illinois

Ohio State travels to Champaign, Illinois, for a 12pm EST kickoff against the University of Illinois.  While Ohio State is a considerable favorite to win this game easily, it may be worthwhile for Ohio State fans to remember that trips to Champaign have not always been the easiest or enjoyable of contests.

Perhaps someone can ask Craig Krenzel, the quarterback of Ohio State's 2002 national championship team, what it was like to rally Ohio State to victory over an Illinois team that had a losing record.  Krenzel escaped from what appeared to be a certain sack by Illinois to pick up a key first down on a broken quarterback scramble late in the game.

How about the 2006 game?  Ohio State, ranked # 1, defeated Illinois 17-10 in a game that was anything but easy.

2008 was a classic Tresselball contest, as Ohio State defeated Illinois 30-20, behind the running game of Chris Wells and Terrelle Pryor.  Even in victory, this was not easy, even as Ohio State had revenge on their collective minds, after the crushing 2007 upset at the hands of Illinois in Ohio Stadium.

Remember how the 2010 unfolded, with Terrelle Pryor returning to the game after sustaining a leg injury?  24-13 did not seem that comfortable at the time.  (Yes, I know, this game has been vacated.  Please do not remind me.)

And in 2011, somewhere Coach Woody Hayes was smiling, as Ohio State defeated Illinois 17-7, throwing four passes, completing one to Jake Stoneburner.  It was this game that ushered in the end of the Ron Zook era (or error?) at Illinois, as Illinois has lost every B1G contest since that game.

The average score of these games at Illinois?  See the image below.  Ohio State 22, Illinois 13.



Do I believe Ohio State will win this game on Saturday in Champaign, IL?  Yes, I do.  I will also be happy when the game is over, and Ohio State has left Champaign, IL, with a victory well in hand.

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