Michigan football is looking for its third straight win this weekend against Illinois, but all the attention will be on what the Wolverines can do offensively against a struggling defense.
- Game time: Noon
- TV: ABC
Michigan's win over No. 14 Iowa last weekend was overshadowed by an ugly offensive performance. After putting 10 points on the board early, the Wolverines were shut out for the final 53 minutes of the game, surviving on the backs of its defense.
For a program that underwent a massive offseason transformation to give the offense a boost, the returns have been underwhelming.
Posting a big number on Illinois wouldn't prove the offense is fixed, but struggling against the No. 96 total defense in the nation would raise even deeper concerns.
Michigan scored 52 points against a Rutgers defense allowing 428.8 yards and 36.2 points per game. Illinois allows 423.6 yards and 28.4 points per game.
After Illinois, all six of Michigan's remaining opponents rank No. 52 or better in total defense, including two in the top five. If the Wolverines can't move the ball consistently against the Fighting Illini, it's a dark omen for what's ...