The odds of the Illini upsetting Ohio State this weekend were already pretty bleak, but they got a bit bleaker on Monday with the news that Simon Cvijanovic is going to miss the game because of the high ankle sprain he suffered against Indiana.
Though, honestly, given Cvijanovic's reaction to the injury during the game on Saturday, I'm quite relieved an ankle sprain is the only thing he's dealing with.
Still, while we haven't talked about it a lot, the offensive line has improved quite a bit this season. Which, when you think about it, is the reason we haven't talked about it very much. Nobody ever talks about the offensive line unless it's screwing up. But Cvijanovic has been a big reason behind that improvement, and although the line hasn't been amazing, he's pretty much been the most consistent performer on the line.
And now we'll be without him against a good Ohio State defense.
Austin Schmidt will start in Cvijanovic's place, and while the freshman played well against Indiana on Saturday, there's quite a difference between the Indiana front seven and Ohio State's. So it could be a longer day on offense than we already anticipated.