When was the last time Ohio State were underdogs to the Fighting Illini? Was Dick Butkus still on campus? When the 3-3 Buckeyes visit #15 6-0 Illinois Saturday, no one will expects them to win.
And why should they? Whenever Illinois and Ohio State are close to being on the same page, the Illini almost always win. Whenever OSU is way above Illinois (what happens in most seasons) tOSU wins. This year, the roles are totally reversed as Ohio St. is 0-2 in the Big Ten for just the second time since 1993, and losers of back-to-back games for the first time in 88 games (2004), snapping the nation’s longest streak without consecutive losses.
But hey, they do rank sixth in the NCAA with 27.4 yards per kickoff return. And given the opening kick disaster for the Illini last week in Bloomington, this statistic might have more relevance than you think.
Illinois won five in a row in this series from 1988-1992, and that sadly includes their most recent home win over the Buckeyes (1991). This soun...