UNDATED (AP) The top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, who will host Michigan in two weeks, won a closer than expected 17-10 decision at Illinois this afternoon. The Illini's touchdown in with 1:40 left was the first TD allowed by the Buckeyes in 12 quarters. But 10-0 Ohio State recovered a late onside kick to preserve its undefeated season. Short TD runs by Chris Wells and Antonio Pittman gave the Buckeyes a halftime lead, but they were blanked in the 2nd half. Buckeyes QB Troy Smith completed 13 of 23 passes for 108 yards and rushed for 37 more on 11 carries.
This was coach Jim Tressel's 60th win at Ohio State. He's reached 60 victories faster than any coach in Ohio State history. The Buckeyes are 10-0.
In the rest of the A-P Top-25:
-- #2 Michigan remains undefeated and on a collision course with top-ranked Ohio State. But the Wolverines had a tougher time than expected with visiting Ball State, beating the Cardinals 34-26. Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said the close call was good for his team in preparing for Ohio State.
-- Brandon Cox passed for 251 yards and 2 touchdowns and 6th ranked Auburn shut out Arkansas State, 27-0. The Tigers held the Indians to 177 total yards.
-- 7th Florida survived a 4th quarter rally by Vanderbilt and beat the Commodores 25-19 for their 16th straight win in the series.
-- Brady Quinn passed for 4 touchdowns and a season high 346 yards to help 11th ranked Notre Dame overcome breakdowns on defense and special teams and beat North Carolina, 45-26.
-- #13 LSU pulled out a last-minute 28-24 upset of 8th ranked Tennessee. JaMarcus Russell hit Early Doucet with a 4 yard TD pass with :09 seconds left.
-- #17 Wisconsin beat visiting Penn State 13-3. But the real story here is about the Nittany Lions' coach. 79 year-old Joe Paterno was taken from the field by cart after suffering a knee injury when he got rolled up by one of his own players. He'll undergo X-rays Saturday night when he gets home and could undergo an MRI Sunday or Monday.
-- Maryland went into Death Valley and stunned #19 Clemson 13-12. Dan Ennis kicked a game-winning 31 yard field goal as time expired.
-- Jonathan Stewart ran for 159 yards and 2 touchdowns and #24 Oregon rolled up 316 yards on the ground and beat Washington, 34-14.