1. It wasn't always pretty, but in the end Ohio State dominated Illinois for a 28-3 victory in Champaign to improve to 10-0-0 on the season.
2. Ohio State has started a season 10-0-0 on eleven previous occasions. Below is a chart showing each previous 10-0-0 season along with the team's final record, final poll ranking, and a look at how the Buckeyes finished that season:
The Buckeyes' record after starting a season at 10-0-0 is 15 wins, 10 losses. Wins get tougher to come by as the season winds down.
Season Final Record Final AP Final CP Subsequent Games 1954 10-0-0 1 2 none 1968 10-0-0 1 1 none 1975 11-1-0 4 4 Beat Michigan; lost to Stanford in Rose Bowl 1979 11-1-0 4 4 Beat Michigan; lost to Southern Cal in Rose Bowl 1995 11-2-0 6 8 Beat Indiana; lost to Michigan; lost to Tennessee in Citrus Bowl 1996 11-1-0 2 2 Lost to Michigan; beat Arizona State in Rose Bowl 2002 14-0-0 1 1 Beat Purdue; beat Illinois; beat Michigan; beat Miami in BCS Title Game 2006 12-1-0 2 2 Beat Northwestern; beat Michigan; lost to Florida in BCS Title Game 2007 11-2-0 5 4 Lost to Illinois; beat Michigan; lost to Louisiana State in BCS Title Game 2012 12-0-0 3 NR Beat Wisconsin; beat Michigan 2013 12-2-0 12 10 Beat Indiana; beat Michigan; lost to Michigan State in Big Ten Title Game; lost to Clemson in Orange Bowl
3. Ezekiel Elliott had 27 carries for 181 yards (6.7 average) and 2 touchdowns. After the Buckeyes took over on downs with approximately five minutes left in the game, the coaching staff pulled Elliott, thus preventing him from reaching the 200-yard mark for the fifth time in his career.
4. Zeke now has 3,565 career rushing yards, which moves him past Tim Spencer (3,553 yards) and into 3rd place on Ohio State's list of career rushing leaders.
5. Zeke now has 1,425 yards for the 2015 season, which is already the 12th-best single season in Ohio State history.
6. With two touchdown runs against Illinois, Zeke now has 36 for his Buckeye career, tying him for fifth place with Tim Spencer and Harold "Champ" Henson.
7. Michael Thomas had 6 receptions for 76 yards and a TD. For his Buckeye career, Thomas now has 1,482 receiving yards, which moves him past Bobby Olive (1,419 yards), Brian Hartline (1,429 yards), and John Frank (1,481 yards) and into 18th place in Ohio State history.
8. J.T. Barrett had 224 yards of total offense (150 passing, 74 rushing) and 2 total touchdowns (1 passing, 1 rushing), but also turned the ball over twice (fumble, interception).
9. The Buckeye offense was slow but steady, grinding out 440 total yards on 75 plays (5.9 average), with only three plays of 20+ yards: receptions of 22 and 24 yards by Michael Thomas, and 23 yards by Jalin Marshall.
10. The Buckeyes were 3/4 in red zone chances, with 3 touchdowns and a missed field goal.
11. Joey Bosa had 3.0 TFLs, giving him 48.5 for his Buckeye career. Bosa is currently in 5th place on the career TFL list, behind Andy Katzenmoyer (50.0), Jason Simmons (56.5), Matt Finkes (59.0), and Mike Vrabel (66.0).
12. Joey Bosa had 1/2 a sack, which gives him 25.0 sacks for his Buckeye career. Bosa is now tied with Matt Finkes for third place on Ohio State's list of career sack leader, trailing only Jason Simmons (27.5 sacks) and Mike Vrabel (36.0 sacks).
13. Cameron Johnston had 5 punts for 222 yards (44.4 average), with four downed inside the 20-yard line. However, he had a missed opportunity on his third punt. With the Buckeyes facing 4th-and-1 from their own 41-yard line, the entire return team quickly dropped back from the line of scrimmage, leaving the entire right side of the field wide open. Johnston could have walked for a first down, but instead he punted the ball away. The punt was a great one (46 yards into the wind, pinning Illinois at their own 10-yard line), but Johnston could have kept the Buckeye drive alive with a bit of timely improvisation.
14. Once again, the other half of the kicking game was not good. Sean Nuernberger, subbing for the ineffective Jack Willoughby, missed a 24-yard field goal on the Buckeyes' first drive of the game. For the year, Buckeye place kickers are now 7/12 on FG tries (58.3%), which is near the very bottom of the FBS. To make matters worse, the Buckeyes' long FG for the year is just 39 yards.
15. Ohio State was 4/13 on third down conversion (30.8%). For the season, they are 49/127 (38.6%), which puts them in the bottom half of all FBS teams.
16. The Buckeyes had 7 penalties for 40 yards. For the season, Ohio State has 63 penalties for 562 yards, which puts them in the middle of the pack of all FBS teams.
17. Ohio State committed two turnovers (interception, fumble) and forced two turnovers (two fumbles). For the season, Ohio State is still -1 in turnover margin, which puts them in the bottom half of all FBS teams.
18. The defense held Illinois to 261 total yards, including just 20 yards rushing on 25 carries (0.8 ypc). Illinois ran 72 total plays for an average of just 3.6 per play.
19. The defense had 11 TFLs, 3 sacks, and two fumble recoveries. Stars of the defense were Raekwon McMillan (14 tackles, 2 TFLs, 0.5 sacks, fumble recovery) and Joey Bosa (7 tackles, 3 TFLs, 0.5 sacks). In his first game back from injury, nose tackle Tommy Schutt had a sack for a 9-yard loss.
20. However, for the second week in a row, an opposing receiving lit up the defense for 10+ receptions and 100+ yards. The culprit this time was Desmond Cain, who had 10 catches for 102 yards.
21. Illinois had four players with 10+ tackles: Clayton Fejedelem (15); Mason Monheim (12); Carroll Phillips (11); and T.J. Neal (11).
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