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Illinois (8-3, 5-2 Big Ten) 28, No. 1/1 Ohio State (10-1, 6-1 Big Ten) 21
Ohio Stadium
Columbus, Ohio
Nov. 10, 2007
Attendance: 105,453

Ohio State’s school-record regular-season winning streak ended at 28. The Buckeyes’ last lost in a regular-season contest was at Penn State, 17-10, Oct. 8, 2005.

The Buckeyes had their school and Big Ten record of consecutive Big Ten Conference games won stopped at 20. The streak dated to the 17-10 loss at Penn State Oct. 8, 2005.

Ohio State is now 67-10-1 when ranked No. 1 in the country. Overall, the Buckeyes are 412-125-14 as a Top 25 team.

The Buckeyes boast an all-time record of 379-105-20 in Ohio Stadium. Ohio State’s home winning streak was ended at 18. The team’s last home loss was to Texas Sept. 25, 2005 (25-22). Ohio State’s all-time record in Columbus is 522-152-35 in 709 games. Ohio State is 32-3 during the last five seasons at Ohio Stadium.

Jim Tressel’s record with the Buckeyes now is 72-15 and his career record is 207-72-2.

Ohio State now is 797-302-53 in its 118th season of play. The win total ranks fifth all-time in college football.

The Buckeyes have scored at least one touchdown in 137-consecutive games.

In the month of November, the Buckeyes are 281-132-19 all-time and 178-78-11 at home.

SERIES NOTES
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Illinois 60-30-4 and has a 26-18-4 edge in Columbus. The Buckeyes had a three-game winning streak vs. the Illini ended with the loss.

With Illinois’ win, the Illibuck Trophy returns to Champaign, Ill.

OFFENSIVE NOTES
Ohio State has scored on its opening drive in the last seven games and 9-of-11 games this season.

Sophomore Chris “Beanie” Wells rushed for 76 yards on 20 carries Saturday. He is the fifth sophomore in Ohio State history to run for more than 1,000 yards in a season.

Sophomore 1,000+ rushers in OSU history:
1. Archie Griffin – 1,577 (1973)
2. Antonio Pittman – 1,331 (2005)
3. Chris Wells – 1,241 (2007)
4. Keith Byars – 1,199 (1983)
5. Vince Workman – 1,030 (1986)

The Buckeyes were 3-for-3 on red zone chances Saturday. The Buckeyes now are 37-for-41 this season in the red zone.

Brian Robiskie, with four catches for 31 yards Saturday, has caught a pass in 23-consecutive regular-season games. In Robiskie’s last five games at Ohio Stadium, he has totaled 36 catches for 624 yards.

Freshman wide receiver Brian Hartline caught a career-long 65 yard pass on the first play of the game from quarterback Todd Boeckman. His previous long was a 45-yard catch last game against Wisconsin.

Boeckman ran for a career-high 68 yards, including a career-long 35-yard run in the third quarter. He entered the game with just eight net rushing yards this season.

DEFENSIVE NOTES
Marcus Freeman had a career-best 18 total tackles in the game. His previous career best was 15, set vs. Florida last year. His previous season high was 14 at Penn State.

James Laurinaitis had 12 tackles for his fourth game with 12 or more tackles this season. He had a career-high 19 tackles last week vs. Wisconsin.

MISCELLANEOUS
A crowd of 105,453 attended the game Saturday, the fifth largest in Ohio Stadium history. Ohio State has had 41-consecutive home games with crowds of more than 100,000.

Ohio State’s honorary captain Saturday was Thomas “Pepper” Johnson, an All-America linebacker at Ohio State who served as Buckeye team captain in 1984 and 1985. He played 13 seasons in the NFL and is currently an assistant coach for the New England Patriots. His son Dionte, one of the 2007 team captains, played his final game at Ohio Stadium Saturday.

ILLINOIS POSTGAME NOTES
Illinois defeated the No. 1 team in the nation for the first time since 1956, improving the Illini’s all-time record against top-ranked opponents to 4-14 all-time. It broke two Ohio State winning streaks, marking the first time in 29 regular-season games and 21 Big Ten games that the Buckeyes have lost. Illinois has now defeated OSU in three of the last four games in Columbus.

Coming into the game, OSU had allowed just five touchdown passes all season. Today, Illinois connected on four touchdown passes, its most through the air since Jon Beutjer passed for four TDs against Ilinois State on Sept. 6, 2003.

Prior to today, Ohio State had the No. 3 rushing defense in the country, allowing just 65 yards per game. In the game this afternoon, the Illini rushed for 260 yards, the most the Buckeyes have allowed all season. It was the eighth time this season Illinois has rushed for over 200 yards.

The key drive for the Illini came at the end of the game, where despite not scoring the Illini gained 42 yards on 16 plays while milking the final 8:09 off the clock to seal the victory. It was the second-longest drive of the season, behind only an eight-minute, 41-second drive against Ball State, and the longest non-scoring drive this year.

Today, the Illini led 21-14 at halftime, the eighth time they have led at half this season. Illinois is a perfect 8-0 when leading at the half.

Doak Walker candidate Rashard Mendenhall broke the Illinois single-season rushing record with his 88 yards today. He now has 1,402 yards for the season, surpassing Antoineo Harris’ record of 1,330 yards, recorded in 2002.

Juice Williams threw a career-high four touchdown passes while going 12-for-22 for 140 yards and zero interceptions. He also rushed 16 times for 70 yards, an average of 4.4 ypc. He connected with eight different receivers today, with no receiver catching more than three passes.

Daniel Dufrene’s 80-yard run in the first quarter was Illinois’ longest play from scrimmage since Mendenhall’s 86-yard scamper at Northwestern on Nov. 18, 2006. It also was a the longest run given up by Ohio State this season, the previous longest being 28 yards. In addition, Dufrene recorded his first career 100-yard game, rushing eight times for 106 yards, an average of 13.2 ypc.

Jacob Willis was on the receiving end of a 33-yard Juice Williams touchdown pass in the first quarter, Willis’ third TD of the season. All three of Willis’ scores have been catches of over 25 yards.

Marques Wilkins was the recipient of one of Williams’ four touchdown passes, hauling in a 31-yard score in the third quarter. It was Wilkins’ first career TD catch.

True-freshman Ohio native Brian Gamble recorded his first career touchdown reception on an eight-yard catch in the second quarter. It gave Illinois 21 points, the most scored on the Ohio State defense this season.

Despite being snubbed by the Butkus Award committee this week, senior linebacker J Leman once again put forth a dominating performance against the Buckeyes with 12 tackles, eight solos, and 2.5 tackles for loss. Last year against OSU, Leman 19 tackles, 3.5 for loss and one sack.

Dere Hicks picked off Ohio State quarterback Todd Boeckman in the first quarter, Hicks’ second career interception. His other pick came against Western Illinois on Sept. 8, 2007.

Senior linebacker Antonio Steele picked off the first pass of his career in the end zone in the third quarter. True-freshman Marcus Thomas later intercepted a Boeckman pass for his first career pick and the third Boeckman had thrown in the game, the 11th of the season. That marked the second time Boeckman has thrown three INTs in a game, also getting picked off three times against Purdue earlier this year.

Jerry Brown recorded a sack in the second quarter, giving him 2.5 sacks on the year. The others came at Minnesota and against Michigan. Will Davis later recorded a sack to give him 8.5 for the season. Those were just the 13th and 14th sacks OSU has allowed this season.