Nov 14, 2015; Champaign, IL, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer meets with Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Bill Cubit after the game at Memorial Stadium. Ohio State defats Illinois 28-3. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
About The Buckeyes
Thirty straight wins for the Buckeyes after cruising past Illinois. That is no small feat and speaks to the effect Urban Meyer has had on the program. You look at this team on the field that has won these games and there is talent all over the depth chart from the seniors, all the way to the freshman. That’s how you win 30 in a row and that’s how you singlehandedly dominate a conference. There’s a reason the last regular season Big Ten loss came against Michigan in 2011.
Ezekiel Elliot’s Heisman chances got a big boost today. It’s probably a three-way race between running backs Derrick Henry, Leonard Fournette, and Elliot. With 181 yards today and the way he carried the team in the 2nd half, Elliot is deserving of a trip to New York, without a doubt.
There’s a noticeable difference in the offense when Elliot gets to be the primary playmaker and not just in this game. All season long, Elliot has controlled games by himself when the keys to the offense were handed over to him. Simply put, Elliot is the single most important player on this team.
Additionally, Elliot’s 181 yards gave the junior his 15 straight game over the 100-yard mark, and the 20th of his college career. That ties him with Eddie George for the second-most in school history. The only guy ahead of them is Archie Griffin. It may be safe to say that Elliot is the best Ohio State running back since Eddie George. All due respect to Beanie Wells and Carlos Hyde, but it’s true.
But now, nothing else matters than the “War on the State of Michigan” in the next two weeks. First it’s Michigan State, which should be an undefeated top-10 team without the well documented officiating error last week against Nebraska. They could be without Connor Cook, so the Buckeye rushing defense needs to be ready for a heavy dose of the power run. Then it’s the Michigan Wolverines and a very run heavy attack by Jim Harbaugh. Ohio State has not been truly tested in consecutive weeks all year. With two heavyweights to close out the schedule, there are no more important moments for this team than right now to understand that this is where their national title is defended.
Next: Saturday Superlatives