Now that’s more like the Michigan defense Wolverine fans are accustomed to seeing. After a narrow 10-3 victory over Iowa last Saturday, Michigan will try to build on that momentum at Illinois.
Hey, I know them
The Illini are home to two very familiar faces — head coach Lovie Smith and quarterback Brandon Peters.
Smith… has not been great at Illinois. The coach who won 89 NFL games has only been able to notch 11 victories over four NCAA seasons, also known as not very good.
Peters, who transferred from Michigan to the Illini this offseason, has been roughed up quite a bit this year behind a poor Illinois offensive line. He left last week’s matchup against Minnesota after going 5-10 for 32 yards and is thought to be a game-time decision against his former team.
Peters’ chances of starting at Michigan took a big hit when Shea Patterson arrived. His transfer is much more amicable than those of James Hudson and Myles Sims, as his path to playing time looked fully closed.
Rest of the Offense
So if Peters cannot play, who takes the snaps for Illinois? That will continue to be Matt Robinson, a sophomore dual-threat passer. Robinson went 15-29 for 125 yards against Minnesota last week. Robinson at 6-foot-1 is considered a short quarterbacks but is able to maneuver in the pocket.
The ground attack is lead by senior back Reggie Corbin. Corbin has 6.6 yards for tote this year with three touchdowns. He is averaging over 95 yards per game. He also has a season-long carry of 66 yards, proving able to be a home run threat.
The leading receiver for Illinois is Josh Imatorbhebhe. The top wideout has 15 catches for 220 yards with four touchdowns already. The other pass catcher of note is Ricky Smalling, who has 22 catches for 206 yards and one touchdown this season.
The offensive line for Illinois has struggled, giving up 15 sacks this year already, leading to the Peters injury. Don Brown has got to be licking his chops for this matchup.
On defense this year, Illinois has ceded over 28 points per game and over 423 yards per game to opponents. The Illini give up more yards in the air than ground, giving Michigan’s pass catchers the opportunity for big days. Their opponents have been 18-20 scoring on red zone opportunities.
Michigan-Illinois Football TV Channel, Time and Live Stream
Kickoff Time: 12:00 PM ET
Date: Saturday, October 12
Location: Memorial Stadium (Champaign, Ill.)
TV Channel: ABC
Live Stream: ABCGo
Spread: -23 (Michigan)
Pick: Michigan -23
Moneyline: Illinois (+1350) | Michigan (-2020)