Picks to click vs. Illinois

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A look at three Ohio State players who will be critical as the program prepares for a visit from struggling Illinois with a chance to clinch a division title with a little help on Saturday at Ohio Stadium (TV: ESPN, 3:30 p.m.).

Carlos Hyde

  • The basics: The junior running back didn’t turn in his most productive outing of the season last week against a hard-nosed Penn State defense that seemed intent on limiting his running room between the tackles, but that didn’t stop Hyde from pounding in one more touchdown. The punishment also didn’t diminish his willingness to fight for yardage as he kept on battling through 22 carries in another victory.

  • By the numbers: According to the official Big Ten statistics, Braxton Miller isn’t the highest-scoring player in the league -- nor does he lead the Buckeyes. The conference uses a per-game average to crown its top scorer, which right now is Hyde thanks to his 11 touchdowns in seven appearances, good for 9.4 points each week.