In what amounted to a complete rout, Denard Robinson and co. ran up and down the field against a bewildered Illinois defense. Conversely, the Wolverines defense was tremendous, earning a shutout and looking absolutely dominant in the process.
The defense is playing at as high a level as it has in a long, long time. Today Illinois was held to 133 total yards, couldn't crack 30 yards passing, and put up a measly 2.8 yards per rush. Michigan dictated things all game and Illinois never got closer than it did to miss a long field goal. What can I say about Mattison that hasn't already been said.
Next week, the Wolverines will take on the Michigan St. Spartans in what promises to be an exciting Big Ten showdown.
No. 25 Michigan wiped the floor with Big Ten rival Illinois on Saturday, putting up a 21-point third quarter en route to a 45-0 shutout. The Wolverines got the scoring started when quarterback Denard Robinson, bothered late by a pinky injury, hit Jeremy Gallon for a 71-yard touchdown strike, and it was steady going from there.
The Wolverines put up 17 points in the first half: Robinson rushed for a 6-yard score and Brendan Gibbons hit an 18-yard field goal following a couple failed runs from Fitzgerald Toussaint. The game was plenty over by the time Thomas Rawls rushed for a 63-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter for 45-0 lead.
Nathan Scheelhaase and Reilly O'Toole had only thrown a combined 11 passes by the time the fourth quarter came around. In the end, Illinois finished with just 29 yards through the air, and 105 yards rushing. Michigan outgained them with 174 yards passing and 353 yard on the ground.
Box Score Hero: It seems like Denard Robinson is always the guy talked about when it comes to this section, and that's not changing today. Robinson accounted for four touchdowns, and 287 all purpose yards. While he only threw for 159 yards, he added 128 on the ground.
Rankings Ramifications: Illinois is unranked and will remain as such, while Michigan has a case to move up from its spot at No. 25. Within the Big Ten, the Wolverines now hold a 2-0 mark.
But Did They Cover? According to SB Nation's college football odds page, the Wolverines were favored by 21 points and easily covered. The over/under of around 50 wasn't reached in the shutout, however.
Next Week's Schedule: Michigan will take on a fierce rival Michigan State on Oct. 20, while Illinois will have a bye week to work out the kinks before taking on Indiana on Oct. 27.
The Michigan Wolverines took a 17-0 lead over the Illinois Fighting Illini into the second half, and then piled it on in the third quarter. Michigan holds a 38-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter, with 21 unanswered in the third alone. Quarterback Denard Robinson has now been in on four touchdowns, including a huge touchdown pass to Jeremy Gallon in the first that went for 71 yards.
Robinson got the third quarter started with a 49-yard rushing touchdown, and on the very next possession, he hit Devin Funchess for an 8-yard touchdown strike. All-in-all, he's thrown the ball for 159 yards and two touchdowns, with just seven completions, and has rushed the ball for 128 yards off of 11 carries. Fitzgerald Toussaint continues to struggle, with just 53 yards off of 16 carries, though he did manage to find the endzone on a two-yard rush late in the third.
Illinois has only attempted 11 passes, and they've only managed to complete four of them. They've rushed for 113 yards, much higher than their passing yards at 25. But Michigan has thrown for 159 and has put up 209 on the ground heading into the fourth.
The No. 25 Michigan Wolverines are well on their way to a 4-2 record and a 2-0 mark within the Big Ten, as they hold a 17-0 lead over Illinois at halftime. Denard Robinson has accounted for a pair of scores, though the first was more on Jeremy Gallon for taking a pass 71 yards for the touchdown. The second came late in the first half, when Robinson put up a 6-yard touchdown on the ground to make it 17-0 following the Brendan Gibbons extra point.
Gibbons also hit an 18-yard field goal after Fitzgerald Toussaint was stopped twice at the 1-yard line. Toussaint has carried the ball a bit better in this game than in previous outings, but he's still being held to just 3.9 yards per carry. Robinson, on the other hand, has rushed the ball 8 times for 66 yards, with the aforementioned touchdown.
Illinois hasn't been able to get anything done on offense, with just four first downs to their credit. They had a shot at three points early in the second quarter, but Taylor Zalewski missed a 50-yard field goal. Robinson fumbled the ball late in the half as Michigan was looking for another score, but recovered it for a substantial loss of yards, which killed the clock and sent the game to halftime.
The Michigan Wolverines lead the Illinois Fighting Illini 10-0 after the first quarter Saturday.
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson has completed 3-for-3 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. He has also ran the ball three times for 18 yards.
On the opening possession of the game, Illinois had a fourth and short at the 50-yard line and elected to punt. Michigan scored five plays later when Robinson found Jeremy Gallon on a short pass that Gallon turned into a 71-yard touchdown.
After forcing another Illinois punt, Michigan drove inside the Illinois 10, but the Wolverines were stopped on three straight running plays and settled for a 19-yard field goal by Brendan Gibbons.
Fitzgerald Touissaint has five carries for 20 yards. Roy Roundtree has a 33-yard reception.
Illinois has just 43 yards of total offense. Nathan Scheelhaase is 2-for-4 for four yards. Running back Donovonn Clark has five carries for 24 yards.
Michigan's football team has been reading up on the proverbial "Guide to Avoiding an Upset," as the Wolverines staunchly denied answering any questions regarding their game against Michigan State on Oct. 20 by opting to only discuss their contest against Illinois this weekend.