CHAMPAIGN, IL — It was not pretty, but No. 3 Ohio State (10-0, 6-0 B1G) outscored Illinois (3-7, 0-6) 60-35, for its 22nd straight victory, matching the school record for consecutive wins.
Carlos Hyde continued to carry the load for the Buckeyes, rushing 24 times for 246-yards and four touchdowns.
Hyde also caught a touchdown pass and now has 947-yards on the season, leaving him just 53-yards short of becoming Coach Urban Meyer’s first 1,000-yard rusher.
Braxton Miller threw for two touchdowns and added another on the ground, running for season-high 184-yards on 16 carries.
Miller’s first carry of the game covered 70-yards for a score, putting Ohio State ahead just :36 seconds into the opening quarter.
But while the Buckeyes’ offense continued to impress, the defense had a forgettable afternoon, allowing Illinois to rack up 420 total yards and a B1G Ten season-high 35 points.
The defense did intercept Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase twice in the opening quarter.
C.J. Barnett picked off a Scheelhaase pass on the Fighting Illini’s first possession.
When Illinois got the ball back, Bradley Roby caught a deflected pass and raced 63 yards for another Buckeye touchdown.
Ohio State came in short-handed with linebackers Curtis Grant and Josh Perry out with injuries, and the Buckeyes lost two more starters when Freshman defensive end Joey Bosa and All-B1G Ten offensive lineman Jack Mewhort were forced to leave the game.
In the second quarter, Ohio State kept the pedal to the medal. Miller found Philly Brown from 11 yards in the corner of the end zone to extend the lead to 28-0.
Illinois’ lone bright spot in the first half came from V’Angelo Bentley. The Glenville graduate returned Cameron Johnston’s punt for 64 yards, for the touchdown mid-way through the quarter.
The win gives Ohio State 22 consecutive victories, dating back to Meyer’s first game in Columbus, a 56-10 win over Miami of Ohio in Sept. 2012.
The 22 wins matches the school record streak under Coach Woodie Hayes from 1967-69.
Ohio State hosts Indiana (4-6, 2-4 B1G) on Sat. Nov. 23.
It is the Buckeyes final home game of the season. Kickoff time has not been announced.