Illinois Fighting Illini Football

Ohio State vs. Illinois: Spread Info, Line, BCS Impact and Predictions

BLOOMINGTON, IN - OCTOBER 08:  Nathan Scheelhaase #2 of the Illinois Illini runs with the ball during the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Bloomington, Indiana.  Illinois won 41-20.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIOctober 13, 2011

The Ohio State Buckeyes and Illinois Illinni meet up in a matchup of two Big Ten teams in very different positions.

The Buckeyes have fallen from grace, and the top of the college football world. They used to be a perennial Big Ten champion and BCS contender, but an improper benefits scandal forced them to resign longtime head coach Jim Tressel and face a number of other issues.

At this time of the season Ohio State would normally be coming into the game at 6-0 instead of 3-3, but things have changed, and it's the Illini that come into the game undefeated.

This will be a big test for the Illini and will go a long way towards validating their hot start. Even though Ohio State may be down, they aren't out. This will be a hard fought win either way.

LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 8: Taylor Graham #19 of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs through the Nebraska Cornhusker defense during their game at Memorial Stadium October 8, 2011 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska Defeated Ohio State 34-27. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty
Eric Francis/Getty Images

Where: Memorial Stadium, Champaign, IL

 

When: Saturday Oct. 15. 3:30 p.m EST

Watch: ABC, ESPN, ESPN3

Spread (Bodog.com): Illinois -3 1/2

If the Illini do win this game I expect it to be by at least a touchdown.

Over/Under (thespread.com): 43

This is a pretty safe bet to go over on, but I wouldn't do it.

Key Injuries

Ohio State: Quarterback Braxton Miller probable (knee), linebacker Jordan Whiting out for season (knee), wide receiver Verion Reed out for season (knee), defensive lineman Nathan Williams out for season (knee).

Illinois: Wide receiver Darius Millines day-to-day (foot), offensive lineman Corey Lewis day-to-day (knee).


BCS/Top-25 Poll Implications

This game is huge for Illinois. Right now they are in the thick of a Big Ten championship bid and a potential top-10 spot. A win for Ohio State would at least put this season back into respectable territory.


Keys To Ohio State Win

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 04:  Dan Herron #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts after he scores on a nine-yard touchdown run in the first half against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 4, 2011 in N
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Running back Dan Herron is returning to the lineup after being suspended as part of the improper benefits scandal. he was a big part of the team last season, so it will be interesting to see how he fits in after being out for so long. 


Keys To Illinois Win

BLOOMINGTON, IN - OCTOBER 08:  Nathan Scheelhaase #2 of the Illinois Illini runs for a touchdown during the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Bloomington, Indiana.  Illinois won 41-20.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Sophomore quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase has done an incredible job leading his team to an undefeated start so far. He's totaled 1,238 yards, 10 touchdowns and only three interceptions so far. He's going to have to have a big day for the Illini.


Prediction

There is a reason Illinois is undefeated. They are the better team here and have the home-field advantage.

Illinois: 21 Ohio State: 17

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