Player of the game: Hyde. The junior finished with 246 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries.
Illini of note: Nathan Scheelhaase. He finished with 288 yards passing, 46 yards on the ground and three total touchdowns. On the downside, he threw two interceptions and was sacked five times for a loss of 46 yards.
Zane Petty: The safety had 15 tackles and one quarterback hurry.
Steve Hull: The senior wideout finished with 105 yards and a touchdown on eight catches.
Stat of the game: Yards per rush: Ohio State 10.5, Illinois 3.5. The Buckeyes were able to impose their will on the ground, gaining 441 yards rushing. Miller joined Hyde with 184 yards, creating a one-two punch that was hard to stop.
The takeaway: Two things from me -- 1) Ohio State isn't good enough to compete with Alabama and Florida State. That's not something that should be said about an undefeated team ranked third in the country, but the Buckeyes are not an elite team. 2) Illinois is not where it needs to be talent-wise but the players are still giving 100 percent effort.
It's a moral victory, sure, but that's a step in the right direction. It's not so much as saying it's a small victory to get beat "only" by 25 points, but it's that the players haven't given up and are still fighting. You couldn't say that with certainty this time last year.
Nobody likes to lose. Everybody wants to see a win. It better happen next week at Purdue. Full effort and complete buy-in only get you so far. At some point you have to win.