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Though not as bright as two weeks ago, Ohio State's College Football Playoff flame has rekindled from the mere flicker of a week ago.

In the CFP/polls
The Buckeyes climbed three spots to No. 8 in both major polls in the wake of the weekend's upsets. The question is, where will the playoff committee slot them Tuesday night in its rankings? Sitting 13th last week, OSU obliterated No. 12 Michigan State. In the scramble to get to the final four, OSU’s best shot would be winning out, of course, and hoping Alabama, Miami and Oklahoma do the same.

What went right?
Saturday's game has to be in contention for the finest hour ever for an Ohio State running attack against a credible opponent. Michigan State entered with the third-best rushing defense in the country, but the Buckeyes ran for 335 yards and averaged 8.0 yards per carry, led by Mike Weber (162 yards) and J.K. Dobbins (124). The Spartans had not given up a 100-yard game to a back this season before OSU’s daily double.

Who’s hot?
The cry — indeed, the mandate — last week was for Dobbins to get a lot more carries than the six he had in the blowout loss at Iowa; he got 18 totes on Saturday on the way to becoming just the fourth freshman in school history to top 1,000 yards in a season (1,038). But Weber, last year’s 1,000-yard (redshirt) freshman, stole the show with the first two home runs of his career, touchdowns of 82 and 47 yards, launched by an offensive line that dominated across the board.

What does that mean cumulatively?
Ohio State is No. 1 in the Big Ten in rushing (245.3 yards per game), just ahead of No. 2 Wisconsin (245.0); No. 1 in total offense (546.5), well ahead of No. 2 Wisconsin (433.1); and No. 1 in the league in scoring (44.2 points) over No. 2 Penn State (37.7). The 524 yards of offense against the Spartans was the Buckeyes’ eighth 500-plus game of the season, their two shortfalls coming in the losses to Oklahoma and Iowa.

Dinged up
Cornerback Damon Arnette suffered a deep thigh bruise but is expected to be available this week. Linebackers Jerome Baker and Dante Booker did not play because of concussion symptoms coming out of the Iowa game, but both are expected back this week.

Catch that?
An Ohio State defense that had been criticized for not creating turnovers gained three (a fumble recovery and interception by Arnette, and an interception by Damon Webb). Also criticized for having a low number of sacks, the defense got constant pressure from Nick Bosa and the rest of the line and had six to tie a season high.

Up next
Illinois, which is winless in the Big Ten and last in the West Division. The Illini have scored just 97 points in their seven league games and is last with a 13.9 average. The revolving door at quarterback that has included Jeff George Jr. is a microcosm of their struggles.

This week’s challenge
Ohio State will have to win like the prohibitive favorite it will be to keep drawing attention. Though they lead the East Division with two games to play, the Buckeyes haven’t clinched a spot in the conference title game, as Wisconsin has in the West. But a Badgers win over Michigan on Saturday coupled with an OSU win over Illinois would wrap up the East title.