Friday, October 12, 2012

Lazy Man's Michigan Preview: Illinois

It's Homecoming!!!

Illinois Fighting Illini (2-4, 0-2 B1G) @ (25) Michigan Wolverines (3-2, 1-0 B1G)
Saturday 10/13, 12:30 ET, Michigan Stadium, ABC/ESPN

The Wolverines' opened up B1G play with a bang last week against Purdue. This week, the road gets easier as the Illini come to town. Their two wins come by way of Western Michigan and Charleston Southern. So yeah, nothing to hang your hat on. Let's get into it shall we?

Offense
Before last week Borges said he reviewed all the tape to evaluate the offense. It seemed like it worked. The Wolverines went all MANBALL and dominated the opening quarter of last week's game, Denard had manageable passes to make and the line kept him clean. I wouldn't expect much different in this game. The strength of the Illini team is their rush defense, but that is all relative. They haven't faced many good rushing offense. They are 39th in rush defense and 39th in total D, but their Defensive FEI ranking is just 83rd. Mostly because they're pass defense is basically non-existent. I don't see the Wolverines having much trouble. Look for Fitz to get going as Illinois try to limit Denard yards. I would also expect to see some Rawls in this game as well.

Defense

What else can you say at this point? The defense is playing great. The D-line is growing into a force which is allowing the linebackers to play fast. If you're a Michigan fan and you're not "man-crushing" on Jake Ryan, you might want to reevaluate your allegiance to the Maize and Blue. The Illini offense is bad. like 103rd in the nation bad. PSU and Wisconsin held them to 7 and 14 points respectively. It wouldn't surprise me to see UM post a shut out here. Scheelhaase doesn't do much, the secondary gets another pick and Jake Ryan does something that deepens my man-crush on him (My girlfriend just rolled her eyes).

Special Teams
Just. One. More. Yard! So close on the long field goal last week. I've wondered all week where the Matt Wile line is? That answer may have to wait another week as I don't think we'll have to find out in this game. I don't expect a lot of opportunities for Dennis to run one back, so I'll lay off. Instead I'll look to see how Wile does on his "special" kickoffs after UM goes up 14.

Prediction
This one could get ugly. Illinois is as horrible as that horrible Homecoming movie I showed at the open of this thing. Poor Mischa Barton, she had so much promise. Don't expect Michigan to show much on either side of the ball. They're going to lock this one up early and save all the neat tricks for State next week. Fitz becomes Fitz from last year. Funchess has a big game. Denard is turnover free. The defense forces two turn overs and UM celebrates Homecoming in style. Michigan 45 - 3

What say you Michigan Blogdom?

Brian predicts a boring game due to weather, but says UM wins easily.

The Big House Blog says the biggest question is who gets #48?

BWS previews not just Illinois, but Terrible Illinois. 

Holdin' The Rope gives a prediction based on anything but football.

Maize and Blue Nation is planning to make boisterous comments on Twitter.

 Maize N Brew hypes Frank Clark and says UM has all the advantages.

Maize and Go Blue has and average staff prediction, mathematically speaking. The previews are great.

Know Your Foe at The M Zone mentions Tennessee Williams.

Touch the Banner says Gallon goes deep and Michigan wins.


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