In the game of football, bad weather conditions are usually considered an “equalizer” that can work in the favor of the underdog.
Sometimes, however, no amount of equalizing is enough.
Game-long winds and a driving rainstorm was of no apparent help to Illinois against Ohio State as the Buckeyes dominated every phase of the game for a 52-14 thrashing of the Illini that was not as close as the score indicates.
The visitors were simply helpless to slow down the Buckeye offense and unable to move the ball against the OSU defense in a game that can only be described as complete destruction. The first quarter is all you need to know about to understand just how one-sided this game was. The Buckeyes had four possessions in the quarter and scored four touchdowns. Illinois had four possessions in the quarter that resulted in one net yard of offense and no first downs.
It was 28-0 at the end of one quarter.
The Illini never recovered.
Hell, they were never even close to being in the game.
It was a beat down that will bring nightmares to Illini fans years from now. Illinois put together just 105 yards of total offense on 89 yards rushing and 16 yards passing.
No, that is not a typo, 16 yards passing — for the game.
The Buckeyes, meanwhile, put up 543 yards of total offense, 325 rushing and 218 in the air.
The Buckeyes led 38-0 at the half. Illinois did not get on the board until the third quarter when reserve OSU quarterback Dwayne Haskins fumbled and the ball was recovered by Illinois’ Amari Hayes. Hayes returned the fumble 54 yards to put Illinois on the board.
It was a ray of sunshine for Illinois on a day that was pretty much completely devoid of bright spots for the visitors.
The win moves Ohio State to 9-2 overall and 7-1 in Big Ten play. The Buckeye win coupled with Michigan’s loss to Wisconsin earlier in the day assures the Buckeyes of a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game against the Badgers.
OSU will close the regular season in Ann Arbor next Saturday against the Michigan Wolverines.
The loss drops Illinois to 2-9 overall and 0-8 in league play.