Crunching the Numbers: Ohio State at Illinois

Statistical rankings, stadium total yardage records and passer efficiency ratings are among the statistics we are chewing on this week. Also take a look at which categories have the Buckeyes or Fighting Illini atop the rankings and find out what the next milestone ahead is for Beanie Wells.

Illinois leads the Big Ten in passing offense (277.9 yards per game), total offense (447.6), sacks (3.2 per game) and tackles for loss (7.7).
Ohio State leads the conference in pass defense (164.4 yards per game) and punt return average (11.7).
Illinois quarterback Juice Williams leads the Big Ten in total offense (334.6 yards per game), Arrelious Benn is tops in receiving yards (94.7) and Brit Miller is No. 1 in tackles per game (11.0).
Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor leads the Big Ten in pass efficiency rating (153.5).

Williams has set a stadium record for total offense on three separate occasions this season. In the opener against Missouri, he had 461 yards to better NFL (Marc Bulger, St. Louis Rams, 456 yards), college (Michael Bishop, Kansas State, 442) and high school (Tommy Corwin, St. Louis DeSmet High, 453) marks at the Edward Jones Dome. At Michigan on Oct. 4, Williams had 431 yards, and one week later he had 503 yards in a home win over Minnesota to break the Memorial Stadium record.

There are 10 players from Ohio on the Illinois roster: Defensive lineman Daryle Ballew (Cincinnati Withrow), kicker Matt Brandabur (Middletown), receiver Jeff Cumberland (Columbus Brookhaven), defensive lineman Antonio James (Massillon Washington), defensive lineman Whitney Mercilus (Akron Garfield), offensive lineman Ryan Palmer (Canton GlenOak), receiver Cordale Scott (Cleveland Glenville), linebacker Justin Staples (Lakewood St. Edward), defensive back Ashante Williams (Mayfield) and defensive lineman Sirod Williams (Garfield Heights).
Freshman defensive tackle Garrett Goebel (Lombard Montini Catholic) is the only Buckeye from Illinois.

Ohio State is last in the Big Ten in passing offense (154.4 yards per game). Illinois is seventh in pass defense (209.0 yards per game).

Ohio State has won 14 consecutive Big Ten road games. The conference record is 17, set by Michigan from 1988-92.

It is safe to say Illinois played the Buckeyes tougher than any other Big Ten team over the two-year span of 2006-07. Ohio State was 1-1 against the Fighting Illini, winning 17-10 in '06 and losing 28-21 last season, but the Buckeyes were 14-0 against the rest of the conference with an average margin of victory of 25.4 points in those games.

Illinois and Ohio State will play for the 95th time in the series Saturday. The Buckeyes hold a 60-30-4 advantage. The only team Ohio State has played more than Illinois is Michigan.

Saturday will mark Jim Tresel's 100th game as head coach at Ohio State. He is 81-18 leading the Buckeyes.

Last season, Illinois ran for 260 yards against Ohio State. That total is the highest for an opponent in the Jim Tressel era.

Ohio State averages 330.6 yards of total offense per game. Williams alone averages 334.6.

Chris Wells has 2,999 career rushing yards. With one more, he will become the sixth back in Ohio State history to rush for 3,000 yards in a career. With 123 yards, he will pass Pepe Pearson and move into the top five on the school's all-time rushing list.

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