First Take: Ohio State 52, Illinois 14

First Take: Ohio State 52, Illinois 14

What happened

THE Ohio State University didn't worry about offending its former assistant Lovie Smith, jumping all over the second-year Illinois coach with 28 points in the first quarter. No surprise, the Illinbuck Trophy (a wooden turtle) will stay in Columbus. The Buckeyes have taken eight in a row against Illinois, which once dominated the series in the John Mackovic and Lou Tepper eras.

What it means

Illinois has lost nine consecutive games. It ties for the longest streak since Tim Beckman's first team in 2012 dropped nine in a row. The 2013 Illini won their opener against Southern Illinois to halt the skid. The Illini open 2018 at home against Kent State and play Western Illinois after that.

What's next

Illinois' last chance to win a Big Ten game this season. Northwestern visits for Senior Day with an expected smallish crowd. Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald wants to try to score every point possible against his instate rival. With a smile on his face. The Wildcats are coming off a 39-0 wipeout victory against Minnesota on Saturday.

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