Observations on the win over Illinois, 67-65!
What an unbelievably exciting game!!! From start to finish, there may never be a more exciting game in Michigan football history! Michigan's defense comes up with a huge stop on a 3rd overtime two point conversion and Jonas Mouton sacks Nathan Scheelhaase to seal the win. Michigan comes up with 7 red zones for 46 points while the Fighting Illini convert 6 red zones into 31 points. Illinois scores 18 points off 5 Michigan turnovers, but the Wolverines play over their mistakes to gain a huge, huge win. Coach Rod's job may have been saved with the home win that makes the Wolverines Bowl eligible for the first time in three seasons.
Offense comes up with 676 yards of total offense and 33 first downs. Tate Forcier came in to relieve Denard Robinson in the 4th quarter, and completed 12 of 19 for 119 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception, plus a fumble. Denard Robinson went 10 of 20 for 305 yards, 3 TDs and 2 interceptions. Robinson ran 19 times for 62 yards; Forcier ran 7 times for 33 yards. Michael Shaw had 9 carries for 44 yards, and 3 TDs. Vincent Smith had 13 carries for 72 yards. Stephen Hopkins had 5 carries for 45 yards and a TD. Roy Roundtree had 9 catches for 242 yards and 2 TDs. Junior Hemingway had 4 for 104 yards, 2 TDs and the game winning 2 point conversion. Darryl Stonum had 4 catches for 47 yards and a TD. Offense was 11 of 19 on 3rd and 4th down conversions. Offense made plays when they had to, kept their poise and executed. Congratulations to Forcier and the whole group! Martez Wilson had 11 tackles, one for loss, a forced fumble and an interception to lead the Fighting Illini; Nate Bussey had 10 tackles and 2 pass break ups.
Jonas Mouton comes up with 14 tackles, 1 for loss, a pass break up and a fumble recovery. Kenny Demens had 10 tackles and a pass break up. Jordan Kovacs and Cam Gordon had 9 tackles each. Ray Vinopal had 7 tackles. Defense give up 65 points, 561 yards of total offense, 7 of 17 on 3rd and 4th down conversions, but comes up with a stop when they had to so a 4th overtime was unnecessary. Hats off to the defense for playing the entire game with spirit and hustle! They are young and not real talented, but they played today with great spirit and heart and that was the difference in this game. Nathan Scheelhaase was 14 of 25 for 211 yards and 3 TDs plus he ran 21 times for 101 yards. Mikel LeShoure had 24 carries for 120 yards and 3 TDs plus 2 catches for 52 yards and 2 more TD; yes, he had 5 TDs on the day. Jason Ford had 10 carries for 91 yards and a TD. Jarred Fayson had 5 catches for 79 yards. Ryan Lankford hauled in a 33 yarder for a TD. Illinois built a 9 minute time of possession advantage, but the Wolverines played over it with their quick strike offense.
Derek Dimke hit 3 of 4 field goals, but the miss was huge for our defense who played a great 3rd quarter. Seth Broekhuisen hit on of two field goal attempts, and all 7 PATs. Will Hagerup did a nice job on 8 kickoffs and 2 punts except the one he hit out of bounds. Illinois had some costly penalties down the stretch, and 10 overall for 83 yards.
We head to Purdue with less pressure now. We'll either win and finish 7-5 with losses to Wisconsin and Ohio State or if we lose and finish 6-6, we'll still be in a bowl game.
By the way, we were the first team to 60!!!