By the Numbers: Illinois "O" vs. Michigan "D"

The Illinois "O" vs. the Michigan "D" -- strength on strength. Can the 2008 version of the Wolverines' defense contain the Juice Wiilliams spread?

First the stats ... and then What does it all mean ....

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ILLINOIS OVERALL:

Illinois lost 52-42 to Missouri Illinois beat Eastern Illinois, 47-21 Illinois beat Louisiana-Lafayette, 20-17 Illinois lost to PSU, 38-24 Illinois' Average score: 33.25-32 ... 33.25 points per game is 2nd best in the Big Ten.
Michigan is 8th in the league in scoring defense, giving up 22.8 per game.

The Illini offense ranks in the top-4 in all four offensive categories in the Big Ten -- second in scoring offense, third in total offense and fourth in both rushing and passing offense. Against Penn State, the Illini posted 189 yards on the ground despite the Nittany Lion's defensive average of 58.0 allowed through their first four games. The squad also put up 24 points, the most scored against PSU this season.

In four games, the offense has put together 26 big plays over 20 yards, including four over 40 yards. Among those 26 are 11 big passing plays and 13 rushes (two defense).

Jr. Ill. quarterback Juice Williams has led the Big Ten in total offense since the first week of the 2008 season. This week he is averaging 297.0 yards per game, 70.7 on the ground and 226.3 in the air, which ranks 14th nationally.

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ILLINOIS RUSHING OFFENSE vs U-M RUSHING DEFENSE:

Illinois Rushing: 215.8 yards per game (5.0 yards per carry), 4th in the B-10.
Michigan Rushing defense: 88.5 yards per game (2.31 yards per carry), 2nd in the B-10, 16th in the nation.

For the second-straight year, the Illini are averaging five yards per rush as a team. Through four games, Illinois has averaged 215.8 yards per game, which ranks fourth in the Big Ten., 16th in the country.

Junior Illinois running back Daniel Dufrene is averaging 99 yards per game and 6.7 yards per carry, 6th in the league.

For Michigan, Obi Ezeh leads in tackles, averaging 8.5 per game, 6th best in the B-10. Brandon Harrison is 14th best in the conference with 7.0 per game, Morgan Trent 20th with 6.2.

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ILLINOIS PASSING OFFENSE vs U-M PASSING DEFENSE:

Illinois Passing: 228.8 yards per game, 4th in the Big Ten. And Illinois is 3rd in the league in pass efficiency.
Michigan Passing defense: 8th in the B-10, giving up 220.8 yards per game. In pass efficiency defense, U-M is 11th in the conference.

Juice Williams is 3rd in the league in passing, averaging 226.2 yards per game (58.6%).

Illinois receiver Arrelious Benn is averaging 4.5 catches per game, fourth in the Big Ten.

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MISC.

Illinois is 3rd in the league in total offense, averaging 444.5 yards per game (6.09 yards per play), which is 21st in the nation as well.
Michigan is 5th in total defense, allowing 309.2 yards per game.

Illinois is 7th in the league in first downs, with 90 (22.5 per game)
Michigan is 1st in the league in first downs allowed, just 64 (16 per game)

Illinois is 8th in the league in sacks allowed, allowing 7.
Michigan is 3rd in the league in sacking the QB, with 13.

Illinois is 2nd in the league in 3rd down conversions, 47.4%.
Michigan is 3rd in the league in 3rd down defense, allowing a 31.9% conversion rate.

Illinois is 5th in the league in Red Zone offense, scoring 84.6% of the time.
Michigan is 4th in the league in Red Zone defense, allowing a 66.7% scoring rate.

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*What does this all say?*
This is the type of offense that gave old-Michigan fits in years past. This time, the defense is, hopefully, prepared to defend the Juice Williams spread.
*The Wolverines certainly have to give up similar points to Illinois as did PSU ... 24. If the Illini hit 30, U-M is in trouble.*

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