Illinois travels to Ohio State for the final road game of the season on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. Find live updates, score, time and TV channel information below.
The Fighting Illini (2-8, 0-7 Big Ten) squandered their best opportunity to win a conference game last weekend by suffering a 24-14 home loss to Indiana. Their only chances left are against the No. 8 Buckeyes and Northwestern, the latter sitting in second place in the Big Ten West Standings.
Meanwhile, Ohio State (8-2, 5-1) has crept back into the College Football Playoff picture despite a blowout loss to Iowa on Nov. 4. Atop the Big Ten East, the Buckeyes have the inside track to win the division and make the conference championship game. Should it then defeat No. 5 Wisconsin in the title bout, coach Urban Meyer’s team might have a chance to snag one of the top-four spots, even with two defeats.
Illinois-Ohio State football score, live updates
Check here for updates throughout the Illinois-Ohio State football game.
Illinois-Ohio State football time
Illinois and Ohio State play at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Nov. 18. The game will be played at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
Illinois-Ohio State football TV channel
Illinois-Ohio State will be televised on ABC.
Illinois-Ohio State football live stream
No, there will not be a live stream of Illinois-Ohio State online. However, the game will re-air on ESPNU and WatchESPN on Monday, Nov. 20 at 4 a.m. ET.
Illinois-Ohio State preview
The key to Saturday’s game will be the matchup between Illinois’ mediocre offense and Ohio State’s heralded defense. Aside from allowing 55 points to Iowa, the Buckeyes are allowing about 16.5 points per game. On Saturday, they held Michigan State to a field goal a week after the Spartans beat Penn State, 27-24.
Plus, Illinois has struggled mightily to move the ball and score all season. It ranks 124th out of 130 FBS teams in points (16.4) and yards (302) per game.
In a 24-14 loss to Indiana last weekend, the Fighting Illini fell into a two-touchdown halftime hole and never fully recovered. There were bright spots, such as a 77-yard connection from quarterback Jeff George Jr. to tight end Louis Dorse for a score seconds into the third quarter. With 12:59 left in regulation, George found Caleb Reams for a 12-yard touchdown that pulled them within three points of the Hoosiers.
But later in the period, Indiana capped the scoring to go up 24-14 and held on from there. George finished 13-of-26 passing for two touchdowns, but he also threw a pair of interceptions.
On the season, George has completed 51.9 percent of his passes, thrown for 1273 yards and tossed 7 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He seems to have run away with the starting job. Junior quarterback Chayce Crouch played the first 4 games but hasn’t made an appearance in the past five. Illinois hasn’t won during that stretch, but the Fighting Illini appear to have a quarterback of the future with George.
But against Ohio State on Saturday, George must all but eliminate those mistakes if Illinois plans to stay competitive on the road. The Buckeyes are hungry to return to the national playoff, which remains a possibility if they win out and the teams ahead of them, such as the undefeated Badgers, falter before the end of the season. Wisconsin hosts No. 18 Michigan this weekend and then travels to Minnesota before gearing up for the Big Ten championship on Dec. 2.
If Ohio State takes down the Fighting Illini, it’ll be one win away from meeting the Badgers there with a possible playoff berth on the line.