Saturday, October 15, 2011
1Q update: Both defenses dominating
By Adam Rittenberg
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- It has been all about the defenses after 15 minutes of play at Memorial Stadium. Ohio State leads No. 16 Illinois 3-0 after the first quarter.
A few notes and thoughts:
- Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller is moving around fine, and coordinator Jim Bollman hasn't been afraid to send Miller on the move. Miller ran the option on the first play from scrimmage and leads Ohio State with six rushes. He hasn't attempted a pass, twice running on obvious passing situations, so he looks a little gun-shy so far.
- Illinois' defense likely has something to do with it. Illini DE Whitney Mercilus continued his spectacular season with a hit on Miller that jarred the ball loose (Ohio State C Mike Brewster recovered). Fellow defensive linemen Michael Buchanan also has been impressive.
- Ohio State's defense has rebounded nicely from its late-game flop at Nebraska. The Buckeyes are tackling well and preventing Illinois from stretching the field. Illini star WR A.J. Jenkins has only one catch for two yards.
- Jason Ford has been the bright spot for Illinois' offense, running with good power, as he should with his frame. Ford has three carries for 21 yards and should get the ball more in the second quarter.
- Dan Herron definitely makes a difference for Ohio State's offense. The senior racked up 27 rush yards and showed some good moves with the ball. The Buckeyes will need a big game from "Boom" today.