Observations on the loss to Illinois, 13-38! Box Score Player Participation
1--Illinois stopped 2 red zones in the first half, and 3 red zones in the second half; we only converted 13 points in 6 red zone opportunities. After the goal line stand in the 3rd quarter, Illinois completely dominated the game on both sides of the ball. The fighting Illini converted 4 red zones into 24 points including 3 Michigan turnovers into 10 points and outscore Michigan 31-0 in the second half.
2--Forcier was 13 of 23 for 257 yards, but sacked 3 times with a couple fumbles. Michigan's "offense" was 5 of 17 in 3rd and 4th down conversions with 17 first downs, 377 yards in total offense. If we take away the two long pass plays to Roundtree and Hemingway, we subtract 142 yards to give a more realistic 235 yards of total offense to this group. Ditto with Forcier's passing performance, subtract the 142 on big plays and we gain 115 yards passing. The lack of poise in the red zone cost us a 20-7 lead to a 13-14 deficit, and the 14 point turnaraound and momentum change that took away our competitive spirit.
3--Carlos Brown had 94 yards in 25 carries for a TD. Net rushing was 113 for the game, and we couldn't protect Forcier nor play "power" football in the red zone. The Illinois defensive line manhandled our offensive line especially in the red zone and on 3rd and 4th down conversion attempts.
4--Defense wasn't up to the challenge! Defense allows a putrid Illinois offense to completely dominate the second half. We allowed Illinois to gain a 10 minute time of possession advantage in the second half and roll up 500 yards of total offense (416 in the second half) featuring 377 net yards of rushing and two big TD runs by Mikel Leshoure and Jason Ford of 79 and 70 yards. Juice Williams was 8 of 11 for 123 yards, 1 TD and ran for 97 yards on 21 carries for another TD. Illinois was 7 of 14 on 3rd down conversions with 20 first downs (15 in the second half). Our defense was totally decimated by a poor offensive football team.
5--Special teams played adequately, but the story of the game was our offense being stopped 5 times on red zones and Illinois dominating our depleted defense.
6--Our team has no spirit and no leadership! It is a poorly coached team! Poor execution=poor coaching, and Michigan has both poor execution and poor coaching. We weren't just beat, we were humiliated in a winnable game that we were in control of in the 3rd quarter. I am so sick of the naive Michigan fans who continually and repeatedly give Coach Rodriquez such blind loyalty. He does not deserve credit for a 3-9 season and a 5-4 season thus far that looks like a 5-7 season in the making. The only kind of credit he deserves is the credit he has earned. We will finish 9th, 10th or 11th in the conference just as we did last year. We are a poor football team that doesn't deserve to be rewarded with a bowl game, and we are a poor football program under Coach Rodriquez's leadership. We let a poor football team that was without a win in the Big Ten in 5 conference games make us look worse than a poor MAC team. That is not Michigan football nor a Michigan football team with good leadership, and the "buck stops" with the head coach.
Observations on the first half with Illinois, 13-7!
1--We convert 3 red zones into 13 points while Illinois converts a red zone on their first drive of the game into 7 point. Illinois could not convert our one turnover into points.
2--Forcier is 7 of 9 for 76 yards, but has been sacked 3 times. We were 4 of 7 in 3rd down conversions, 11 first downs, 156 yards in total offense but have been stopped twice in the red zone with field goal attempts. Mathews has 3 catches for 34 yards.
3--Carlos Brown has 62 yards in 16 carries for a TD. We have 80 yards in net rushing, and pass protection has been very weak.
4--Mike Williams has 7 tackles to lead the defense. We get sacks by Graham, VanBergen and Leach. Leach gets his first start at MIKE linebacker in place of Ezeh, and looks great with 4 tackles, better positioning and speed. Defense stopped Illinois with 4 three and outs and 5 punts after the opening drive. We hold Illinois to 2 of 7 in 3rd down conversions, 5 first downs and 84 yards in total offense. Juice Williams is 3 of 5 for 29 yards and 10 carries for 30 yards.
5--Special teams is playing with renewed vigor. Kickoff coverage has been great, Brandon Smith had one big tackle. Olesnavage nails both field goal tries. Junior Hemingway recovered from his punt fumble to return two for 13 yards and a fair catch. The Illinois missed field goal gives us special teams advantage so far in this game. Time of possession is about even.
6--We need to start out fast in the second half and convert our first drive into points. We can win this game, but it won't be easy.
Depth Chart and Game Notes for Illinois
Press Conference for Illinois