Brasic put in constant motion

By Majesh Abraham

COLUMBUS – Tim Brasic does not want be a running quarterback.

That’s what he was forced to be Saturday night as Ohio State’s defense forced him to move around on what seemed like every play.

“It didn’t stop, these guys just kept coming and coming,” Brasic said. “They weren’t really bringing a lot of blitzes, but they did a lot of stunts or brought a linebacker here or there. They were able to put pressure on me, not necessarily sacking me, but every time I let the ball go they were hitting me.”

Brasic was sacked five times on the game, three times by Buckeye linebackers. Those linebackers also helped in shutting down the Illini short-passing game.

“We have a lot of plays with quick throws and quick reads, but their linebackers did such a great job of banging our quick routes and took those things away. To offset that we tried to run things behind them, but we didn’t get the little more time we needed to run those.”

Add those things up and that is why Brasic was forced to put the ball down and run more often than he wanted to. He ran for 48 positive yards, but sacks brought those down to -11 yards total for the day.

Brasic, in his first year as a starter, has already broken the team’s single season record for rush yards by a quarterback and is still only 169 yards from breaking the team’s career record.

“As a quarterback when you have quick-step timing and guys aren’t there, you have to make a decision whether to run it or try to fit it in there,” Brasic said. “(A) lot of people say all I can do is run, but I’m not trying to run. I don’t want to run if I don’t have to, I’d rather get the ball out of my hands to the other guys who are meant to have the ball in their hands.”

Mitchell gets offensive

You wouldn’t think the longest run by an Illini on Saturday would be by the team’s leading tackler, but that’s what happened Saturday. Senior safety Kevin Mitchell returned a blocked extra point 75 yards for the only Illini score of the game.

“It was real exciting,” said Mitchell. “All of a sudden, the ball squirted out, I had a nice block in the beginning, and then I don’t know who I had to hurdle, but I felt myself jump, and my old running back days came back to me. You always expect something to happen, because bad snaps happen every day, but when it did, we were ready for it and took it to the house.”

Mitchell also had four tackles, and assisted on two.

Miller shines in third start

Redshirt freshman, Brit Miller, had his best game of the season in only his third career start.

The linebacker from nearby Decatur, Ill, led the team with 11 total tackles (7 solo, 4 assists) on Saturday.

Defensive coordinator Mike Mallory said they might have found a middle linebacker.

“We certainly hope he can do it, he has a good nose for the football,” Mallory said. “We are going to continue to develop him.”

The Ginn Effect

Speedster Ted Ginn Jr. of the Buckeyes showed why he is regarded as the one of the fastest and most dangerous players in college football.

The sophomore receiver had only four receptions, but they yielded 138 yards, including a 73- yard bomb in the third quarter. He also set up another touchdown with a 52-yard catch in the fourth quarter.

Senior Steve Weatherford’s punting average also took a hit as he was forced to punt away from Ginn the whole game.

“I didn’t shank eight punts today,” Weatherford said. “He’s a great returner, a phenomenal athlete with boatloads of speed. We knew if we were going to have a chance today, we’d have to win the field position game, and in order to do that, you’ve got to keep the ball out of his hands.”

The Illini did a good job in that respect, limiting Ginn to just two punt returns for 13 yards.

Illibuck in Buckeye territory

Whichever team wins the Illinois-Ohio State game receives the Illibuck trophy, a wooden replica of the real “Illibuck,” a turtle that died in 1927.

The Illibuck is given to the winner of the previous year’s game at halftime and it was presented to the Buckeyes on Saturday.

The Buckeyes will keep the trophy for another two years as a result of this year’s victory.