Illinois was 1 of 11 on third down conversions ... under 10%. Then to have a weak defense to top it off didn't help them.
Their running back Ibrahim Halsey went out with an injury, he only had eight carries. He had 38 yards total.
So Michigan could stop Illinois from getting first downs and from getting much rushing yardage.
Michigan confused the young quarterback Chris Pazan.
When you can't rush the ball, and can't convert on 3rd down, it's tough. Plus they had two turnovers.
So Illinois' offense didn't help them. Neither did their special teams -- they gave up the 74 yard return to Steve Breaston.
Michigan only got one sack, but they played a lot of people, which will help them down the road.
Lamarr Woodley is progressing, that will be important.
And Prescorr Burgess and Rondell Biggs got some experience.
So the defense got some experience which will help this year and next.
Michigan's offense got off to great start. They jumped on them. Chris Perry scored two touchdowns in the first quarter, and it was 35-0 at the half.
Chris Perry rushed for 140 yards on 24 carries. It was good to see them get on the board fast and have success running the ball.
Jason Avant is progressing into the receiver we thought he would.
John Navarre was 18 of 27 passing.
Michigan mixed it up offensively, and got the tight ends and fullbacks involved. Massaquoi caught three passes, Brian Thompson four, and Andy Mignery and Kevin Dudley one each. That was good to see going down stretch. Michigan will need the fullback and tight end to be involved to be effective down the stretch.
Several running backs got experience, and the second tean offensive line, and Matt Gutierrez.
It was good to see Tim Bracken come back -- he ran for 52 yards. He's getting stronger legs, thats the big thing coming back from his injury, getting his legs strong. This game will help him and Michigan for next year. Next year will be 'back by committee'. Bracken won't be able to carry the load like Perry, he's not physical enough. So they will have Bracken, Pierre Rembert, David Underwood, and Jerome Jackson -- they'll be like Minnesota this year.
Peeking ahead at Purdue.
Jeremy LeSueur should be back on kickoffs. And I assume Marlin Jackson wont be 100% but he'll play.
It'll be an interesting game, and Michigan has to win this game. I dont think it'll be as high scoring as people might think. Special teams will be key -- fortunately ours have improved the last two weeks. I think both teams will score in the mid-20's. Purdue spreads it out, but like Michigan they play a field position game -- they don't take many risks for a spread offense.
"It was as easy a win as people thought it'd be."
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