CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – J.T. Barrett was back from his one-game suspension, and some of his best plays turned out to be handoffs to Ezekiel Elliott.
Elliott piled up 181 yards and two touchdowns, Barrett chipped in with 150 yards passing and 74 running and No. 2 Ohio State powered past Illinois 28-3 on Saturday.
"Boy, Zeke is something else, ain't he?" said Barrett, suspended for last week's game after being cited for driving while impaired. "A positive run play is four yards, so when he's popping out six, eight, nine yards on first and second down, that's what you love in a running back."
Barrett wasn't at his best after reclaiming his starting spot from Cardale Jones, and it took a while for the Buckeyes (10-0, 6-0) to get rolling.
Enter Elliott. The 6-foot, 225-pound running back carried 27 times and had 129 of his yards and both TDs in the second half. He gave his blockers all the credit, saying they were "blowing guys off the ball."
Leading 14-3 at the half, Ohio State marched 75 yards in the third quarter. Elliott had seven carries for 50 yards on the drive.
Illinois interim coach Bill Cubit he knew Ohio State would turn to Elliott at some point.
"If you watch them, [they] do it every [game]," Cubit said. "They play fast-paced and they just pound, pound you."
Ohio State held the Illini to 20 yards rushing.