Halftime Rapid Reaction

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- A quick look at the first half in the Big House, where Michigan leads by 17.

ANN ARBOR - The Illinois offensive struggles continued in the first half against Michigan Saturday.

Illinois failed to score in the opening half, managing only 117 total yards. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase led the unit into Michigan territory with a 23-yard run in the second quarter, but was injured and knocked out of the game on the play. In three Big Ten contests the Illini have scored a total of seven first-half points this season.

Denard Robinson and the Michigan offense, meanwhile, found the end zone twice and kicked a field goal. Receiver Jeremy Gallon took a bubble screen 71 yards for the game's first score. On the Wolverines second drive, kicker Brenden Gibbons hit an 18-yard field goal after Robinson left the game with a hand injury.

Robinson returned to the game in the second quarter, promptly directing another scoring drive. He rushed for 33 yards on one carry, losing a shoe in the process of juking by Illinois corner Justin Green. He would later score on a six-yard run, giving the Wolverines a 17-0 lead at the break.

Player of the half: Denard Robinson. The Michigan quarterback passed for 119 yards and rushed for 66 more, scoring two total touchdowns. He became the eighth player in NCAA history with 40 rushing touchdowns and 40 passing touchdowns with his 6-yard run for score in the second quarter.

Stat of the half: Passing yards. With a heavy rain falling for most of the half, Illinois posted only 25 yards passing, averaging less than four yards per pass attempt.

What went right: No turnovers. Illinois didn't turn the ball over, a small, yet important, battle won. The last time the Illini didn't turn the ball over for an entire game: South Dakota State, 09/10/2011.

What went wrong: Only six first downs. The Illini finished the half 2 of 7 on third down and failed on a fourth down conversion late in the second quarter. The play calling centered on Donovonn Young and the rushing attack, totaling 96 yards on 22 carries. Still the offense failed to create momentum and couldn't sustain drives, crossing midfield only twice.

Illini Inquirer Top Stories