Scores

Final

Illinois 0

(1-2, 0-1 Big Ten)

(13) Ohio State 30

(3-1, 1-0 Big Ten)

Coverage: ABC

3:30 PM ET, September 26, 2009

Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH

1 2 3 4 T
ILL 0 0 0 00
#13OSU 3 10 10 730

Top Performers

Passing: T. Pryor (OSU) - 82 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: D. Herron (OSU) - 14 CAR, 75 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: D. Sanzenbacher (YSU) - 3 REC, 36 YDS, 1 TD

Buckeyes ride dominant defensive effort to second straight shutout

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Two years ago, Illinois frustrated top-ranked Ohio State in a stunning upset at Ohio Stadium.

The Buckeyes' defense never gave Juice Williams and the Illini a chance to even start dreaming of another victory in their return to the Horseshoe.

Fast Facts

• Ohio State's defense recorded its second straight shutout, marking the first time since 1996 the Buckeyes have shut out their opponent in consecutive weeks.

• Ohio State has won five of its last six vs. Illinois.

• Saturday's loss was the first time Illinois had been held scoreless in its Big Ten opener since a 14-0 loss at Ohio State in 1986.

-- ESPN Stats & Information

Dan Herron slogged through a downpour for two touchdowns on Saturday and No. 13 Ohio State collected a second straight shutout for the first time in 13 years, beating the mistake-prone Illini 30-0.

"We want a mentality that we want to get to the ball, have at least five or six guys at the minimum there," defensive lineman Doug Worthington said. "And we did a good job doing that today."

With most of the game played in a soaking rain, the Buckeyes (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) relied on their defense and running game -- failing to complete a pass in the opening half -- to steamroll the Illini (1-2, 0-1).

"We wanted to lead with the run and mix in the pass had it been a beautiful day," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. "But you know that didn't make sense with the circumstances. It was hard to throw the ball but I think it was even harder to catch it."

And it was even harder to catch the Buckeyes when they ran.

Brandon Saine rushed for 81 yards on 13 carries and Herron had 75 on 14 attempts -- scoring on runs of 4 and 2 yards -- and the defense did the rest.

"I was just running through wide-open holes," Saine marveled. "Come on -- anyone could go through those holes."

Williams, who engineered that 28-21 upset of Ohio State in 2007, and the offense was held to 170 yards.

"It's like a nightmare," Williams said of the offensive woes. "A nightmare from which you can't wake up."

Even when the Illini were able to move the ball, they frequently were stopped by penalties (eight for 71 yards) or turnovers (interceptions by Lawrence Wilson, Jermale Hines and Brian Rolle).

Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor misfired on both of his pass attempts in the first half but the Buckeyes still led 13-0. He ended up completing 8 of 13 passes for 82 yards with a touchdown, tossing a 3-yard TD toss to Dane Sanzenbacher long after the outcome had been decided with 1:18 left. Pryor also rushed for 59 yards on 11 attempts.

Aaron Pettrey kicked field goals of 50, 46 and 27 yards.

There were bad feelings between the teams early on. Before warmups Ohio State's players massed atop the school logo at the 50 and traded taunts with the Illini, who ran right up to the Buckeyes. Coaches kept them separated and no punches were thrown. Two years ago, after the Illini had ruined the Buckeyes' unbeaten season on their home field, a fight broke out in the center of the field when Buckeyes players thought the Illini were stomping on their Block O logo.

Ohio State, which beat Toledo 38-0 a week ago, had not posted consecutive shutouts since the second-ranked Buckeyes beat Minnesota 45-0 and Illinois 48-0 late in the 1996 season.

The Illini were in a helpful mood. Facemask and late-hit penalties extended an Ohio State drive that finished with Herron skirting left end for a 13-0 lead.

A 27-yard Illinois punt put the Buckeyes in business at the Illini 39 early in the third quarter and they covered that distance in five plays with Herron again punching it in.

"I'm more tired of saying it than you are of hearing it, but obviously we didn't play once again the way we are capable," Illini coach Ron Zook said. "Everyone's written us off and that's fine. I would too if I was in your shoes."

Talk about nightmares: The Illini have lost their Big Ten opener 15 of the last 16 years.

Despite an 18-15 loss to Southern California two weeks earlier, the Buckeyes vowed that they're back in the national title picture.

"We showed that we're ready to bounce back after that loss to SC and we're always looking forward, always trying to better ourselves," linebacker Austin Spitler said. "Each week we've taken a step in the right direction and this is just another week."

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Team Stat Comparison

 
ILL
OSU
1st Downs1419
Total Yards170318
Passing8882
Rushing82236
Penalties8-714-40
3rd Down Conversions7-165-12
4th Down Conversions1-11-1
Turnovers32
Possession29:0031:00

Passing Leaders

IllinoisC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Williams13/25773.102
Ohio StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Pryor8/13826.310

Rushing Leaders

IllinoisCARYDSAVGTDLG
LeShoure4256.308
Ford5204.007
Ohio StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Saine13816.2019
Herron14755.4214

Receiving Leaders

IllinoisRECYDSAVGTDLG
Benn4338.3016
Hoomanawanui2136.507
Ohio StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Sanzenbacher33612.0119
Posey22211.0015

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERILLOSU
FG08:09Aaron Pettrey 50 Yd 03
SECOND QUARTERILLOSU
FG12:46Aaron Pettrey 46 Yd 06
TD07:30Daniel Herron 4 Yd Run (Aaron Pettrey Kick) 013
THIRD QUARTERILLOSU
TD10:55Daniel Herron 2 Yd Run (Aaron Pettrey Kick) 020
FG02:28Aaron Pettrey 27 Yd 023
FOURTH QUARTERILLOSU
TD01:18Dane Sanzenbacher 3 Yd Pass From Terrelle Pryor (Aaron Pettrey Kick) 030