Ohio State's undefeated season shouldn't be in jeopardy this Saturday when the Buckeyes take on the Illinois Fighting Illini.
Illinois has lost five straight games and six of its last seven, and it has been annihilated by the teams in the Big Ten, posing an 0-5 record within the conference.
Featuring one of the worst scoring defenses in the nation, the Fighting Illini allow 34.7 points per game and score just 29.7 points per game. It's far from a recipe for success, and this team's confidence won't receive a boost this weekend against the Buckeyes.
Ohio State has been heating up the past two games, scoring 119 points while allowing just 14 against Penn State and Purdue. With a record of 9-0, it appears the Buckeyes will likely finish the season with an undefeated record unless Michigan plays lights out in the final game of the season.
Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, it will likely be the second year in a row this team will miss out on the BCS National Championship Game while sporting a perfect record, as Florida State and Alabama currently have a firm grip on the top two spots in the rankings.
Here's a look at when and where you can catch this upcoming matchup, along with betting information and injury reports for both squads.
When: Saturday, Nov. 16, at 12 p.m. ET
Where: Memorial Stadium, Champaign, Ill.
Live Streaming: Watch ESPN
Betting Lines (via Covers)
- Over/Under: 67 points
- Spread: Illinois (+32.5)
Ohio State Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Curtis Grant||LB||Prob Sat - Ankle - 11/12/13|
|Taylor Decker||OL||Prob Sat - Knee - 11/12/13|
|Tyquan Lewis||DE||Ques Sat - Undisclosed - 11/10/13|
|Christian Bryant||S||Out for season - Ankle - 9/30/13|
|James Clark||WR||Out indefinitely - Leg - 9/22/13|
|Blake Thomas||TE||Out for season - Neck - 8/17/13|
|Adam Griffin||CB||Out for season - Shoulder - 8/16/13|
|Jamie Wood||DB||Out for season - Shoulder - 8/16/13|
Illinois Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Vontrell Williams||DL||Ques Sat - Foot - 11/10/13|
|Simon Cvijanovic||OL||Out Sat - Ankle - 11/12/13|
|Henry Dickinson||LB||Out for season - Leg - 10/3/13|
|Tony Durkin||OL||Out for season - Undisclosed - 8/30/13|
Will Ohio State Covers the Massive Spread?
The Buckeyes are favored to win this game by nearly five touchdowns, and looking at both teams to this point in the season it's easy to see why.
As was touched on in the opening, Ohio State has been on a scoring tear the past two games. However, high-scoring outputs are the norm for Urban Meyer's team, which averages 48.2 points per game (No. 5 in the nation).
Will Ohio State cover the massive spread?
There's reason to believe Illinois will cover the spread, though.
While Ohio State has beaten the Fighting Illini five times in a row, the average margin of victory in those wins is just 18.2 points, and the highest margin of victory has been 30 points.
Furthermore, although Illinois features a bad record, it has done well against the spread at home in recent history, covering the spread six of nine times as a home underdog in those contests.
Who are we kidding here?
Of course the Buckeyes will win this game.
Not only that, but they'll cover the massive spread out of spite for the position they're currently in regarding the BCS standings.
Braxton Miller has been red hot the past three games, throwing nine touchdowns and just one interception while completing at least 75 percent of his passes in all three.
Combined with a defense that has feasted on poor teams, this is a recipe for a blowout.
Ohio State wins 59-24.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78