Jody Victor®: Bucks Nix Illini 30 to Nil

Jody Victor: (Sept. 26, 2009) – Ohio State defeated Illinois, 30-0, to retain the Illibuck Trophy for another year as tailbacks Dan Herron and Brandon Saine combined to rush for 156 yards and the Ohio State defense forced three interceptions and limited the Illini to just 170 yards in marking the team's second-consecutive shutout. It was the first time the team had back-to-back shutouts since 1996.

Illinois, 1-2 on the year, had won three of last four games in this series in Columbus, including a stunning 28-21 win over No. 1 ranked Ohio State in 2007. But on a gray, muggy day, the Buckeyes controlled the action despite just 82 passing yards. The team rushed for 236 yards to notch its third win of the season against just one defeat.

Saine rushed for 81 yards, two shy of his career best, and Herron rushed for 75 yards and two touchdowns. Both totals represented season highs. Terrelle Pryor added 59 rushing yards on a day where hew threw just 13 times and completed eight for 82 yards and a late touchdown to Dane Sanzenbacher, who had 36 yards on three catches on the day.

The Buckeyes led 13-0 at the half with all but a couple minutes of the half played in a driving rainstorm. Two Aaron Pettrey field goals put Ohio State in the lead, 6-0, and Herron scored from the 4 to cap an 80-yard drive midway through the second quarter to increase the lead to 13-0.

A two-yard run by Dan Herron and a 27-yard Pettrey field goal increased the lead to 23-0 heading into the fourth quarter.

A Buckeye fumble as the game was winding down was recovered by the Illini. However, on the first pass of Illinois' drive Hines picked off an Eddie McGee pass, his first throw of the game, marking Hines' first career interception. The Buckeyes drove 42 yards on the ensuing possession, ending with Pryor connecting on a three-yard touchdown pass to Sanzenbacker with 1:18 remaining. Illinois had one last chance to break up the shutout, but Rob Rose sacked McGee for eight yards on the final play of the game. More info at osu.edu.

Go Bucks!!!

Jody Victor