Ron Zook, who was drummed out as Florida’s head coach after failing to duplicate Steve Spurrier’s record with the Gators, regained a measure of respect by motivating his Fighting Illini to a 28-21 upset of No. 1-ranked and unbeaten Ohio State Saturday (11-10-07).
The victory marked the first time Illinois (8-3) had beaten a No. 1-ranked team since 1956, and the first time it had done it away from home. The loss ended Ohio State’s conference and school streak of 20 consecutive Big 10 wins by the Buckeyes, who are now 10-1.
The defeat not only dampened Ohio State’s dream of a national championship, it left the Buckeyes tied with Michigan for the top spot in the Big 10 as Wisconsin upset Michigan 37-21 the same day.
Not since Nov. 14, 1959 had Michigan and Ohio State both lost the week before their annual year-end grudge match to decide the Big 10 title. This is how it is in the Big 10, tiresome and boring as in recent years it is always Ohio State or Michigan capturing the title. Other Big 10 teams compete but never seem to challenge for the title.
Illinois picked up 260 yards rushing against Ohio State that came into the gameสมัคร ufabet สมาชิกใหม่ giving up only 65 yards on the ground per game. This was not a huge surprise as the Illini now rank 6th in rushing offense nationally, gaining 261 yards per game. In other words, Illinois was on its game and Ohio State was not.
Zook had a slow start as the Illinois head coach, going 2-9 and 2-10 his first two years before picking up his 8th win Saturday against 3 losses. Zook was 1-15 in his first two years of Big 10 Conference play, going 0-8 his first year. You can bet the other Big 10 coaches know who Ron Zook is now.
Was Ohio State looking past Illinois to Michigan? I think so. The Buckeyes dropped to No. 7 in the AP Top 25 Poll.
No. 13-ranked Michigan (now 8-3) was knocked off by Wisconsin (also 8-3), 37-21. The Badgers meant business at home by taking a 23-7 lead into the 4th quarter and matching the Wolverines 2 touchdowns to keep their point margin and preserve their victory. Michigan slid to No. 23 in the AP Poll.
No. 8-ranked Boston College (8-2) got stung for the second straight week, this time by Maryland (5-5), 42-35. All of the talk about the Eagles vaunted defense is fading away faster than fog on a hot summer day.