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Ohio State upsets Illinois

Oct 15, 2011 - 11:30 PM Champaign, IL (Sports Network) - Dan Herron rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries and Ohio State's defense stood tall, forcing three turnovers, as the Buckeyes upset No. 16 Illinois, 17-7, on Saturday.

Freshman Braxton Miller threw a touchdown pass to Jake Stoneburner and kicker Drew Basil connected on his only field goal try, a 43-yarder, for Ohio State (4-3, 1-2 Big Ten).

In addition to the three turnovers, the Buckeye defense forced six Illinois punts.

Nathan Scheelhaase completed 20-of-34 passes for 169 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, while A.J. Jenkins caught eight passes for 80 yards and Evan Wilson hauled in the only touchdown pass of the day for the Fighting Illini (6-1, 2-1).

Ohio State struck on the opening possession of the game as Miller led his team on a 45-yard drive that included nine running plays. Basil squeaked the ball just inside the right upright for a 43-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead.

The edge held up through the first half, as both offenses had trouble moving the ball. But Ohio State caught a huge break on the opening possession of the second half when Scheelhaase threw the ball right into the arms of defensive back Bradley Roby, who returned it to the Illinois 12.

The Buckeye offense needed only one play to score, a scamper by Herron, to take a 10-0 lead.

Early in the final quarter, Ohio State's defense caused another turnover after Scheelhaase completed a nine-yard pass to Jenkins. But the receiver fumbled and it was recovered by Ohio State's Storm Klein, setting the Buckeyes up with a first down on the Illinois 22.

Ohio State capitalized on great field position, as Miller found Stoneburner for a 17-yard touchdown strike -- his only completion of the game -- and a 17- point lead.

With just under 6 1/2 minutes to go, Illinois finally got on the board. Scheelhaase led a 16-play, 80-yard drive that chewed up more than 6 1/2 minutes of game and ended when he found Wilson for a three-yard touchdown.

On the ensuing Ohio State possession, the Illinois defense stepped up, forcing a three-and-out, but Scheelhaase gave the ball right back on the first play of the Illini's next drive. He went over the top looking for Jenkins, but was picked off by Travis Howard and Ohio State took over on its 35.

Illinois got the ball back with 2:18 to go and a shot to get within one score. Scheelhaase moved his team down to the Ohio State 17, where the Illini were faced with a 4th-and-3. Instead of kicking the field goal, Illinois elected to go for it, but failed to convert as Scheelhaase's pass fell incomplete.

Game Notes

Ohio State leads the all-time series, 63-30-4, and has won each of the last four meetings...Scheelhaase's interceptions give him only five for the season...Illinois head coach Ron Zook is 1-6 in seven head-to-head meetings with Ohio State...With his 1 1/2 sacks Saturday, Illinois junior defensive end Whitney Mercilus leads the nation with 10.