No. 2 Ohio St. 48, Illinois 0
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) _ Tailbacks Pepe Pearson and Jermon Jackson scored two touchdowns each as No. 2 Ohio State crushed Illinois 48-0 on Saturday.
Quarterback Joe Germaine threw three touchdown passes for the Buckeyes (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten). And Ohio State held the Illini (2-7, 1-5) to just 130 yards, 20 on the ground.
Ohio State scored touchdowns on seven consecutive possessions in the second and third quarters and racked up 546 yards of total offense.
Illinois was limited to eight first downs, including two in the first half. One of those two was a 29-yard pass on a fake punt by kicker Jason Higgins, who ended the half with three times the passing yardage of starting quarterback Scott Weaver.
Illinois’ only serious chance came with 11:17 to go in the first quarter, when Neil Rackers missed a 43-yard field goal.
Pearson had 165 yards on 21 carries before going out of the game in the third quarter. His touchdowns came on runs of 1 yard in the second quarter and 5 yards in the third quarter.
Jermon Jackson’s two 1-yard touchdowns came at the end of consecutive scoring drives in the third quarter.
The Buckeyes scored 28 points in the second quarter, including Germaine’s three TD passes.
In one of the most embarrassing moments for the Illini defense, Jeff Weisse nearly had Germaine sacked at the 14, but Germaine popped back up and threw a touchdown pass to D.J. Jones to give Ohio State a 21-0 lead with 2:33 left in the half.
Ohio State’s Ty Howard had set the stage for that score by intercepting Weaver’s pass and returning the ball to the Illinois 37 with 4:24 to go in the half.