ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Fit to script, No. 3 Michigan handle its business today, defeating Illinois 41-8 behind a strong balanced offensive attack and its stingy defense.
Michigan showcases balanced offensive attack
Playing another weak Big Ten opponent, U-M had no issues moving the ball against the Illini. Michigan racked up 561 yards of total offense, finishing with 29 first downs and completely overmatched Illinois today. U-M ran for 270 yards on the ground and passed for 291 yards respectively, so pretty balanced to say the least.
Peppers featured too much on offense?
Two weeks after Jim Harbaugh declared Jabrill Peppers a front-runner for the Heisman, U-M tried to get it’s Mr. Everything all the opportunities in the world to put up stats. Taking direct snaps at quarterback, Peppers ran the ball five times for nine yards in the first half, adding a three yard reception, taking some ill advised hits in the process.
It was clear they were trying to get Peppers more plays, but at what cost? Illinois was never going to pose a threat today, but it seems that Peppers will continue to get reps. It will just be interesting to see how many he is limited offensively moving forward.
Defense dominate -- again
Sure, Illinois isn’t very good offensively. Sure, they had no chance at wining this game. But U-M’s defense did what a good defense was supposed to do; they limited Illinois to 172 total yards, and only six first downs, and the Illini became the first team to score on U-M in nine quarters. Michigan has only outscored its opponents 119-0 up to that point, steaks are meant to be broken, right?
Also, the Illini didn’t complete a pass till midway through the third quarter. Needless to say, U-M’s defense is legit.
Hill is just a touchdown machine
If Michigan needs a touchdown at the 1-yard line, they have an unstoppable force known as Khalid Hill. Once again, Hill plunge in from a yard out. He now leads the Big Ten with eight rushing scores this season. The most astonishing stat, however, is that Hill only has 14 carries for 22 yards, making his touchdown total stick out even more.
Hold your breathe, Hill left the game in third quarter, no word yet on his injury.
Bring on Sparta
Say what you want, but these past two games have been a tune up for U-M’s in-state rival Michigan State. While the Spartans have struggled this season, unless you’ve been under rock this past year, everyone has seen the infamous botched punt that cost the Wolverines against MSU last season, which should only add fuel to the annual rivalry game played in East Lansing, Mich. next Saturday. Let the week long of rivalry talk begin.