Michigan vs. Illinois rating, takeaways: No. 3 Wolverines stave off upset on late FG to remain undefeated

no 3 Michigan wanted a fourth-quarter comeback to keep away from an upset loss at house to Illinois one week earlier than assembly No. 2 Ohio State in The Game. In the top, the Wolverines remained undefeated with a 19-17 victory over the Illini thanks to 4 second-half discipline targets from kicker Jake Moody, together with a 35-yard game-winner with 9 seconds remaining.

Michigan jumped out to a fast lead, shifting 75 yards on its first possession to go forward 7-0. The Wolverines put collectively a few different lengthy drives within the first half, though neither resulted in factors. Ahead 7-3 and in place to rating once more, Michigan noticed working again Blake Corum transfer the ball contained in the Illinois’ 20-yard line solely to fumble after being drilled in his left knee. Corum left the sport, and though he made a quick look within the third quarter, he didn’t play after that.

The Illini took benefit within the third quarter placing collectively two landing drives behind RB Chase Brown to take a 17-10 lead. Those scores had been the primary touchdowns the Wolverines have allowed within the third quarter all season. When the fourth quarter started, it was the primary time Michigan trailed in that interval throughout its unbeaten marketing campaign.

Its protection stood agency from there because the Wolverines put collectively three discipline aim drives to keep away from the loss and maintain each its undefeated season and College Football Playoff hopes alive. Michigan improves to 11-0, whereas Illinois’ third-straight loss drops it to 7-4.

1. All eyes shall be on Blake Corum

We’ll by no means understand how this sport performs out if Corum does not exit, however it’s not tough to see the way it impacted the Michigan offense right now. In 5 first-half possessions with Corum on the sphere, Michigan scored just one landing however had 206 yards of offense in 33 snaps (6.24 yards per). In six possessions with out Corum, Michigan had 170 yards in 45 snaps (3.78 per). None of the six drives with out Corum coated greater than 54 yards, and solely the ultimate two reached the pink zone.

Corum began his day with a 37-yard carry on the primary snap of the sport. He caught a easy display go on Michigan’s second drive and took it for 41 yards. The Wolverines offense had just one different play of not less than 25 yards within the sport, and it clearly struggled to discover methods to transfer the ball constantly in his absence.

Despite lacking over half the sport, Corum completed with 108 yards speeding, 39 yards receiving and a landing. Complicating issues was the absence of backup Donovan Edwards, who didn’t go well with up due to damage. Now Michigan goes into Ohio State week with the standing of its Heisman-hopeful working again within the air. Given how a lot issue the Wolverines had reaching the top zone with out him towards a powerful Illinois protection right now, Corum’s standing for subsequent week’s sport is a major storyline to watch because the week unfolds.

2. Michigan harm by lack of explosive passing performs

The Wolverines offense entered the sport ranked 86th nationally in explosive play charge within the passing sport at 14.3%, and it was nonetheless an issue right now. The largest play within the passing sport was the 41-yard display to Corum, who caught the go behind the road of scrimmage. There had been different completions of 27, 22, 20 and 16 yards, however of the 85 yards gained on these 4 receptions, 65 got here after the catch.

When it comes to pushing the ball down the sphere vertically, Michigan’s receivers struggled to get separation. When they had been open, McCarthy (18/34, 208 yards) struggled to discover them. It did not value the Wolverines a win right now, and it hasn’t all season, however it’s so much tougher to beat elite groups with out an explosive passing assault in right now’s panorama.

3. Illinois fell simply in need of Bret Bielema’s first assertion win

Illinois will not be in an excellent temper after this sport. Yes, it got here shut to pulling off the upset, however it did not. Now it is misplaced three straight to fall to 7-4, placing a damper on what had been a terrific begin to the season. Plus, whereas Bret Bielema’s Illini rebuild appears to be far forward of schedule in solely his second season, the Illini had been nonetheless lacking a press release win. Beating No. 3 Michigan on the highway would have reached the aim, and the Illini had been 9 seconds away from getting it.

There shall be some criticism of questionable calls that went in Michigan’s favor, however Illinois had loads of probabilities to put the sport away and did not. You do not pull off upsets like this by giving your opponent an opportunity to beat you, and Illinois gave Michigan too many probabilities.

That mentioned, it was nonetheless a formidable efficiency by an Illinois protection that is been among the finest within the nation all season however had fallen right into a rut the previous few weeks due to accidents. Michigan’s 376 yards of offense is its second-lowest of the season, behind solely a 327-yard sport in its 27-14 win over Iowa.

4. Michigan now 42-1 when main at half below Harbaugh

It was very shut to being 41-2. The lone loss got here in Harbaugh’s first season at Michigan, when this occurred:

Leave a Comment