Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Let's begin with The Leap.
There's no cheering in the press box, but sports writers appreciate amazing plays, and there was quite a roar early in the quarter, when Ohio State running back Chris "Beanie" Wells hurdled Illinois safety Donsay Hardeman on a 25-yard run. I'll have to go back and check whether Wells' leap eclipsed the one by Georgia's Knowshon Moreno earlier this season, but it was awfully impressive.
Unfortunately for Ohio State, The Leap was followed by The Fumble, as Wells coughed up the ball and gave Illinois new life. But the Buckeyes' defense kept Illinois off the scoreboard, as an aggressive blitzing scheme continues to put quarterback Juice Williams under constant pressure.
Illini coach Ron Zook faced an interesting decision late in the quarter. Illinois had pinned Ohio State at the 1-yard line, but an illegal substitution penalty would have allowed the Illini to attempt a 49-yard field goal. Zook opted to decline the penalty, which looked smart after Ohio State stalled, but you have to wonder how many more scoring chances Illinois will get in this game.
The fumble didn't faze Wells, by the way. He exploded for a 29-yard run on the final play of the quarter and has 137 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.