Jody Victor: Ohio State started comfortably and appeared in control for the first half, but towards the end we were sitting on the edge of our seats as the top-ranked Buckeyes were getting their first real scare of the season.
Illinois didn't play like a team that has lost five straight. The Illini clamped down on the Buckeyes' running game and did a stellar job of containing Smith. The Heisman Trophy contender completed 13 of 23 passes for only 108 yards and rushed for 37 more on 11 carries. He was sacked three times.
But Illinois couldn't finish off what would have been one of the biggest upsets in Big Ten history, and the Buckeyes stayed on track for a huge game with No. 2 Michigan on November 18th in Columbus. Michigan nearly blew a big lead at home Saturday, barely hanging on to beat Ball State 34-26. If Ohio State and Michigan can stay unbeaten next week, the winner of their season finale would play for the BCS national title on January 8th in Arizona.
This Saturday the Buckeyes travel to Evanston, IL to play Northwestern. Kick off is at 3:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by ABC.