The return of Boom was huge
The Ohio State Buckeyes
(4-3, 1-2) upset the Illinois Fighting Illini
(6-1, 2-1) 17-7 on Saturday after an impressive showing of defense and pounding the Illini front line for big runs. The return of Dan "Boom" Herron
was key in this game as he rushed for 114 yards on 23 carries. The Buckeyes also relied heavily on the defense, which turned out to be a not so bad idea. The defensive stance of this game was great, and although the offense was ridiculous, the defense was on it's game after the debacle in Lincoln.
The Silver Bullets forced 3 turnovers, two of which set up the Buckeyes' touchdowns, while Braxton Miller
threw only 4 passes. Only one of those were complete, but the completion was a big deal, as it resulted in a 14 yard touchdown pass to Jake Stoneburner
, to just about seal the deal on the upset and give the Buckeyes a 17 point lead. The passing game was very quiet in this game, as the first pass wasn't even thrown until the 7:22 mark of the second quarter. The touchdown pass was completed at the 13:06 mark of the 4th. Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase
was 20/34 for 169 yards, with two interceptions, and 1 touchdown that was thrown to Evan Wilson late in the game to stop the shut out.
Another reason the Buckeye defense did so well? Bradley Roby
and the rest of the Buckeye secondary played well, and stopped Scheelhaase's #1 target: A.J. Jenkins
. Roby said during the week that Jenkins was "nothing special". At the time, Jenkins was averaging 135.8 yards a game, and in this game, often covered by Roby himself, only had 80 yards and 8 catches. That may not sound too bad, but they were catches that didn't really affect the drives all that much. Illinois senior tailback Jason Ford
left the game in the 3rd quarter with an injured left shoulder after a big hit on a first down carry. He finished with 30 yards on six carries.