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October 10, 1998

by TARA BURGHART connected Press Writer

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) – Motivation? No difficulty for top-ranked Ohio State. “We threw a big goose egg on the board,” linebacker Na’il Diggs claimed after he reverted a fumble for a touchdown in Ohio State’s 41-0 success over Illinois. “We have the right to stay motivated versus any team, hard or easy, ranked or unranked.”

Ohio State (5-0, 2-0) faces huge Ten also-rans Minnesota, Northwestern and also Indiana in the following three weeks. It will certainly wrap increase its continual season against Michigan at home.

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“This to be a video game to check our maturity. If we’re mature, then we’re no going come treat anybody lightly. We’re not going to want to success by just a little,” security Damon Moore said.

Ohio State (5-0, 2-0 huge Ten) looked an extremely mature versus the young and inexperienced Illini, who just damaged a 15-game big Ten losing streak critical week.

Joe Germaine threw for 307 yards and also three touchdowns, perfect 17-of-28.

“They’re the best team I’ve played against all year. Germaine placed the ball ideal on the money today,” lllinois defensive tackle Garrett Johnson said.

The Buckeyes racked increase 24 points and 326 yards in the an initial half together Germaine spread his passes among Dee Miller, David Boston, Reggie Germany and John Lumpkin – through the latter three every scoring touchdowns.

The defense score a touchdown thanks to Diggs, kept constant pressure on Illinois quarterback kurt Kittner and his receivers, and restricted Illinois to simply 69 yards in the an initial half and also 57 yards rushing for the game.

“They have actually weapons everywhere,” Illinois coach Ron Turner said.

Ohio State got the just points it required on its first possession the the game, a 40-yard field goal by Dan Stultz at the end of a nine-play, 59-yard drive.

through 8:31 left in the very first quarter, the Buckeyes began a 79-yard march capped by Germaine’s 1-yard happen to Lumpkin. Germaine completed passes of 15 yards to Boston and 19 to Lumpkin and Michael Wiley contributed runs that 13 and 9 yards to the drive. Four minutes into the second quarter, Germaine threw a 30-yard touchdown happen to Boston to complete five-play scoring journey that additionally included a 40-yard pass to Miller.

Germany caught a 37-yard touchdown happen from Germaine simply at the goal heat to make it 24-0 through 6:19 left in the half.

“I’m thankful we have actually a quarterback who can throw it and also three or four receivers that can acquire open and catch it,” Ohio State coach john Cooper said. “(It’s good) any time you have the right to shut out a football team. I don’t treatment how young they are.”

With around 11 minute left in the game, James cotton sacked Kittner ~ above first-and-10 in ~ the Buckeyes 47 and Diggs went back the fumble to the end zone to make it 34-0.

A 2-yard operation by Jonathan Wells capped one eight-play, 84-yard drive to the critical Ohio State touchdown.

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Kittner, who was 19-of-36 because that 156 yards, had a number of passes batted down or tipped. Rocky Harvey, 3rd in the huge Ten v 99 rushing yards a game, was minimal to 29.