Michigan football: Wolverines defeat Fighting Illini 42-25
Wolverines battle Fighting Illini
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Michigan defeated Illinois 42-25.
The Wolverines bounced back from a humbling 35-14 loss to eighth-ranked Wisconsin by beating Rutgers (52-0) and Iowa (10-3) to stretch their home winning streak to 11 games before Saturday's game.
TV: Noon ET, ABC. LINE: Michigan -21.5
"We're right where we want to be as we're getting better, learning and growing every single week," Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson told reporters. "We're all trusting the process and we think it's going to take off." Illinois is heading in the wrong direction after suffering a 40-17 loss to Minnesota. The Fighting Illini have dropped three consecutive games and, to make matters worse, starting quarterback Brandon Peters, who spent the previous two seasons at Michigan, is doubtful after leaving the game against the Golden Gophers with concussion-like symptoms. "He's getting better and we're hopeful because we'll need everyone to beat a team like Michigan," Illinois coach Lovie Smith told reporters. "When you do move to your next option at the quarterback position, then others have to pick up their game."
ABOUT MICHIGAN (4-1, 2-1 Big Ten)
Patterson continues to look uncomfortable in the new spread offense installed by Josh Gattis as the senior quarterback was limited to 147 yards and an interception in the win over Iowa. Defensive end Kwity Paye recorded four tackles, including 2.5 sacks, against the Hawkeyes before leaving the game with a leg injury in the third quarter and is questionable while quarterback Dylan McCaffrey could miss his third straight game with a concussion. Linebacker Josh Ross (foot) and tight end Sean McKeon (knee) are likely to miss their third straight game, giving freshmen Cam McGrone and Eric All another chance to start for the Wolverines.
ABOUT ILLINOIS (2-3, 0-2)
Peters was 5-of-10 for 32 yards and an interception before he was taken down hard to the turf in the second quarter and his replacement Matt Robinson finished 15-of-29 for 125 yards in the loss to Minnesota. Dele Harding returned an interception 40 yards for his first career touchdown and fellow linebacker Milo Eifler scooped up a fumble for a 7-yard score as the defense finished with a pair of TDs in the same game for the first time 2010. Reggie Corbin rushed for 68 yards to move past Nathan Scheelhaase for 16th place on the program's all-time rushing yards list with 2,068 and needs six more to overtake football legend Red Grange.
1. Michigan has won 10 of the last 12 meetings with Illinois.
2. Harding is ranked sixth nationally in tackles per game (11.2).
3. Paye leads the Wolverines in sacks (4.5) and tackles for loss (7.5).
PREDICTION: Michigan 31, Illinois 10
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