Ohio State (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten) at Illinois (5-4, 2-3 Big Ten)
Ohio State 28, Minnesota 14
Illinois 48, Purdue 14
Buckeyes: Ohio State played well enough to win without J.T. Barrett in a 28-14 win over Minnesota but there won’t be an abundance of Buckeye leaves pasted to the helmets, either. The big question is if Barrett will be the starting quarterback after a one-game suspension or possibly come in off the bench.
Illini: Quarterback Wes Lunt (1,831 yards passing, 9 TDs, 4 interceptions) is the player Illinois’ offense relies on. Running back Ke’Shawn Vaugh has 485 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Dawaune Smoot’s six sacks make him a player to watch on defense.
Illinois survived, or possibly welcomed the firing of head coach Tim Beckman in the preseason. Assistant Bill Cubit took over after that on an interim basis. The Illini beat Nebraska 14-13 in their Big Ten opener. But they lost three in a row before beating Purdue 48-14 last Saturday. A lack of a running game (114 yards a game) has been a problem.