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Illinois vs. Ohio State: How Illini can pull off an upset

One advantage the Illini have against Ohio State on Saturday in Columbus is the Buckeyes' tendency to turn the ball over. Get a few of those, protect their quarterback, and perhaps an upset is possible.


It's a daunting task, but The Champaign Room highlights four things the Illini will have to do if they are to pull off the upset of No. 6 Ohio State on Saturday.

Containing quarterback Braxton Miller leads the list, but that's easier said than done. The sophomore is averaging just under 300 yards of offense a game, and has accounted for 24 touchdowns through the Buckeyes' nine games.

Protecting their own quarterback, Nathan Scheelhaase, is critical as well. He's been sacked 30 times this season. Ohio State averages over two sacks a game, and if they have an above-average game, Illinois will be in trouble.

Like most games, though, big plays and turnovers will be a determining factor. Ohio State's defense isn't as dominant as it was with some of their recent top-ranked teams, but they don't give up much on the ground. The Buckeyes have 14 turnovers this season, though, and if Illinois can force more and make some big plays in the air, they may stand a chance.

Kickoff from Columbus is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT, and ESPN has the coverage.