Illinois fell behind fast and by a bunch to No. 3 Ohio State on Saturday, the kind of hole a team riding a long conference losing streak finds it almost impossible to dig itself out of.
The Illini fought back, closing the gap to two touchdowns before seeing the bigger and faster Buckeyes shut them down on a momentum-shifting safety and then pull away to a 60-35 win on two long late Carlos Hyde touchdowns.
The loss puts the Big Ten losing streak at 20 for Illinois (3-7, 0-6 Big Ten), dating all the way back to October 2011.
And the comeback, even against the unbeaten Buckeyes (10-0, 6-0) didn't provide much of a lift.
"An L is an L," Illini head coach Tim Beckman said. "These kids fought, they know they fought. ... I'm proud of them for doing that, but they're just like everybody else is, they want a W."
Much of the difference for the Buckeyes (10-0, 6-0) was Hyde. The running back finished with 248 yards rushing with four touchdowns on the ground and another through the air. His late fourth quarter scores came on runs of 55 and 51 yards.
Eastern Illinois 52, Jacksonville State 14: Running back Shepard Little ran for 245 yards on 26 carries, scored three touchdowns and threw for another - all in the first quarter - as Eastern Illinois defeated Jacksonville State to wrap up the outright Ohio Valley Conference championship.
The Panthers (10-1, 7-0) claimed their fifth outright title.
Jimmy Garoppolo passed New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton to become EIU's single-season passing leader, reaching 4,012 yards despite a season-low 169 against the Gamecocks (8-3, 4-3). Still, he threw for two touchdowns.
There wasn't much need for a passing game as Little led a rushing attack that rolled up 413 yards. Jimmy Lera added 111 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns.
The game was virtually over after a school-record 35-point first quarter.
Southern Illinois 24, Illinois State 17: Ken Malcome scored two rushing touchdowns, his second being a go-ahead score in the fourth quarter as Southern Illinois beat Illinois State.
The Salukis (6-5, 4-3 Missouri Valley) trailed early as Ryan West was intercepted by Dontae McCoy, who returned it 64 yards for a touchdown.
A Thomas Kinney field goal and a 12-yard score from West to LaSteven McKinney gave Southern Illinois the lead.
The Redbirds (5-6, 4-4) tied it with a Nick Aussieker field goal and Blake Winkler connected with Chick Chatham 19 yards for a touchdown to put Illinois State up 17-10 at half.
Western Illinois 21, Indiana State 14: Nikko Watson scored two rushing touchdowns as Western Illinois jumped to an early lead and held off Indiana State.
Western Illinois (4-7, 2-5 Missouri Valley Conference) used a pair of 3-yard touchdown runs from Watson in the first half to build a 14-0 lead, and extended the lead on Martinez Davis' 32-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Buck Logan's 1-yard rushing touchdown got the Sycamores (1-10, 0-7) on the board in the third quarter and Trent Lancaster found Tanner Riley with a 10-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth to come within 21-14. But Lancaster was intercepted on Indiana State's next possession, and lost a fumble on a sack late in the fourth quarter as the Leathernecks held on.
No. 14 Michigan St. 41, Nebraska 28: Michigan State converted five Nebraska turnovers into 24 points and took a big step toward winning the Big Ten Legends Division with a victory.
The Spartans (9-1, 6-0) beat the Huskers (7-3, 4-2) for the first time in eight all-time meetings. They would clinch the division with a win at Northwestern next Saturday or a loss by Minnesota in either of its last two games. Michigan State plays Minnesota to end the regular season.
No. 17 Wisconsin 51, Indiana 3: James White rushed for a career-high 205 yards and Melvin Gordon added 146 as Wisconsin beat Indiana.
The Badgers (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) came in expecting a big game on the ground against the conference's 10th-ranked rushing defense with the Hoosiers (4-6, 2-4) giving up an average of more than 217 yards a game.
Wisconsin topped that just minutes into the second quarter, had 323 yards rushing at the half and finished with 554.
Penn State 45, Purdue 21: Zach Zwinak ran for three touchdowns and Allen Robinson set Penn State's single-season receptions mark, leading the Nittany Lions to a win over Purdue.
Christian Hackenberg threw a touchdown pass and ran for one to help the Nittany Lions (6-4, 3-3 Big Ten) clinch at least a .500 record. The Nittany Lions are still suffering from the sanctions the NCAA levied in the Jerry Sandusky scandal and are not eligible for a bowl game.
Raheem Mostert had a 100-yard kickoff return for the Boilermakers (1-9, 0-6).
Wabash 38, DePauw 21: The Little Giants scored touchdowns on their first five possessions to retain the Monon Bell and win the North Coast Athletic Conference meeting.
Quarterback Michael Putko was 21-of-29 passing for 296 yards and three touchdowns for Division III No. 17 Wabash (9-1, 8-1).
Matt Hunt threw for 172 yards and three touchdowns for the Tigers (4-6, 4-5).
St. Joseph’s 37, William Jewell 31, OT: Wheeler grad Gavin Voss’ 32-yard field goal as time expired sent the game into overtime, where Kobi Cook scored from 5 yards out to help the Pumas (8-3) rally for the win.
St. Joseph’s trailed 28-0 at one point. The Pumas finished with their best record since 2006.
Indianapolis 21, Truman State 14: Klay Fiechter’s 3-yard touchdown broke a 14-14 tie with 1:03 left, lifting the NCAA D-II No. 11 Greyhounds (10-1, 7-0) past the visiting Bulldogs (7-4, 5-2).
The victory gave Indianapolis a second straight outright Great Lakes Valley Conference title, a probable playoff berth and the program record for wins in a regular season.The Greyhounds have won all 15 GLVC contests since the league started football in 2012.
Butler 58, Morehead State 27: Trae Heeter rushed for 180 yards and accounted for five touchdowns as Butler pulled away from Morehead State (3-8, 3-5 Pioneer Football League).
The Bulldogs (9-3, 7-1) jumped ahead early as Heeter scored on a 28-yard pass from Matt Lancaster and had a 4-yard rushing touchdown.
Lancaster ran for two touchdowns in the second quarter and Heeter had a 3-yard touchdown in between, putting Butler ahead 34-6 at halftime.
Lancaster threw for 306 yards and ran for 118. Heeter also had five receptions for 139 yards.