Posted by Tom Fornelli
I'm not sure what it is with Illinois that always proves so problematic for Ohio State, but the struggles are continuing today. The Buckeyes are up 14-10 at the half, but for the first time this season they allowed their opponent to score first when Illinois forced a three and out from Ohio State to start the game, and then put together a nine-play drive that resulted in a touchdown.
The Buckeyes didn't waste time tying the game up when a 66-yard run by Terrelle Pryor set up an easy 8-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Saine. Still, Illinois would take the lead back with a field goal -- the Illini also missed another field goal attempt -- and it wasn't until the final minute of the half that Pryor found Dane Sanzenbacher for a touchdown to give the Buckeyes their first lead of the game.
It wouldn't be fair to say it's been a sloppy game from the Buckeyes, though they have had some issues on the offensive line, as Pryor has been sacked a few times and hurried into other throws. To me, though, Ohio State looked more like a team that was just expecting to show up in Champaign and beat Illinois. As if the Buckeyes thought that by simply being the better team they were going to win.
Which is a very dangerous attitude to have, and not one I'd expect from a team coached by Jim Tressel. If the Buckeyes don't wake up and start taking Illinois seriously in the second half then, crazy as it sounds, they might not leave Champaign undefeated today.
It happened last year at Purdue, it could happen again.