Buckeyes stay undefeated with rout of Illinois

Ohio State 10-0 for first time in five years
Buckeyes stay undefeated with rout of Illinois

Carlos Hyde rushed for 137 yards, including three first-half touchdowns, and the host Buckeyes are 10-0 for the first time in five years after shutting down the Fighting Illini.

Heisman Trophy candidate Braxton Miller passed for 226 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 73 yards and a score for Ohio State (10-0, 6-0 Big Ten), which isn’t eligible for postseason play because of NCAA sanctions. Miller threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Rod Smith in the second quarter to give the Buckeyes a 24-6 lead.

Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was 19-of-34 for 96 yards with an interception for Illinois (2-7, 0-5), which has lost six straight (outscored 249-84 during that span) and 11 Big Ten games in a row. Jon Davis rushed for a 1-yard touchdown in third quarter and Ashante Williams had a 77-yard fumble return for a score in the fourth.

Hyde scored on runs of 3, 5 and 3 yards as the Buckeyes collected points on five straight drives en route to a 31-6 lead at halftime. Ohio State outgained Illinois 310-138 in the first half – 158-62 on the ground – and held the Illini to 32 yards in the second half.

Miller, who was 12-of-20, connected with Philly Brown for a 37-yard score on his final pass with 12:39 remaining to give Ohio State a 45-14 lead. Brown caught Miller’s throw at the Illinois 32 and weaved his way through several Illinois defenders and into the end zone.

GAME NOTEBOOK: The Buckeyes, who aren’t considered in the USA Today or BCS rankings, are No. 6 in the Associated Press poll. … Hyde and Miller share the team lead with 13 rushing touchdowns. … Ohio State can have a say on who goes to the Rose Bowl with games remaining at Wisconsin (Nov. 17) and against Michigan (Nov. 24). With Penn State also ineligible, Wisconsin has the inside track in the Leaders Division and Michigan sits atop the Legends.