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Posted on Wed, Oct 28, 2009 : 1:11 p.m.

A look at Illinois against Indiana

By Michael Rothstein

Each week, scouts get a feel for the team Michigan will face by reviewing one of their previous games. This week, I looked at Illinois' 27-14 loss to Indiana earlier this season.

For this game, I scouted until Indiana's final touchdown in the fourth quarter, which gave the Hoosiers a 27-7 lead.


Illinois wide receiver Jeff Cumberland catches a touchdown pass in the end zone over Indiana defender Richard Council during the third quarter of a game in Bloomington, Ind., on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009. Indiana won 27-14.

AP photo

1-10 GUN singleback 4 WR. Juice Williams at quarterback. Quick pass in the flat to Mikel Leshore.
2-5 (BTN couldn’t cut back for formation) Leshore runs up middle
3-1 GUN singleback 3 WR. Williams keeps, gets enough for first.
1-10 GUN singleback 3 WR. Williams keeper, not much.
2-8 GUN singleback 4 WR. Williams option left, gets a few.
3-5 GUN singleback 4 WR. Williams to Arrelious Benn over the middle for first down.
1-10 GUN 2 RB 3 WR. Daniel Dufrene misdirection left for 5 yards.
2-5 GUN 2 RB 2 WR. Zone read pass option, way overthrown into double coverage. Out-threw everyone.
3-5 GUN singleback 3 WR. Williams scrambles, throws incomplete on the run. Had nothing.
4-5 Punt.

SECOND SERIES (Big Ten Network fell apart, had like a five minute commercial break and came back mid-drive):
2- (I think, the Big Ten Network strikes again): Leshore runs up middle.
3-5 GUN singleback 4 WR (trips right): Williams over middle to A.J Jenkins. Pretty accurate pass. Plus FLAG. Unsportsmanlike conduct on Jenkins.
1-10 GUN singleback 2 WR. Williams zone read keeper gets eight. FLAG. Holding.
1-20 GUN singleback 3 WR. Williams to Leshore in the flat out right gets about five.
(Big Ten Network fell apart again, to commercial)
3-7 GUN singleback 3 WR. Williams incomplete out right. Bad pass.
4-7 Punt.

1-10 GUN singleback 3 WR. Williams incomplete out of bounds into double coverage for Benn.
2-10 GUN singleback 3 WR. Williams out left to Jenkins. Jenkins gets a lot after catch.
1-10 GUN singleback 3 WR. Leshore runs up the middle.
1-10 GUN singleback 3 WR. Leshore runs up the middle.
1-10 singleback. Leshore up the middle (first non-shotgun play) for 7
2-3 GUN singleback 3 WR. Zone read Dufrene gets nothing going off tackle left.
3-4 GUN singleback 3 WR. Zone read playaction, finds a wide open Jenkins for a touchdown. Really good throw by Williams in a somewhat tight space. Hit him in stride with only a little turnaround . Better move by Jenkins. ILLINOIS LEADS, 7-3.

1-10 GUN 2 RB, 3 WR. Williams to Leshore wheel left.
1-10 GUN 2 RB 3 WR. Zone read handoff to Jason Ford, gets nothing.
2-12 singleback 3 WR. Leshore runs up the middle. Nothing (second play under center)
3-12 GUN singleback 3 WR. Williams playaction. Sacked. Offensive line just fell apart. Williams had no time to throw. Left tackle Jeff Allen got beat, badly, by the defensive end.
4-17. FG attempt 37 yards for Eller from left hash. Wide left.

1-10 GUN singleback 3 WR. Williams incomplete.
2-10 GUN singleback 4 WR (trips right) Williams scrambles for a gain right.
3-7 GUN GUN singleback 3 WR. Pocket collapses. Williams throws to an open Benn. Nice effort and catch by Benn, but out of bounds.
4-7 Punt.

1-10 GUN singleback 3 WR. Leshore zone read carry up middle. Gets about four.
2-6 singleback 3 WR. Leshore handoff for first down. (3rd play under center.)
1-10 GUN singleback 3 WR. Williams throws incomplete under pressure.
2-10 GUN singleback 3 WR. Williams screen outside left to Ben for five yards.
3-5 GUN singleback 4 WR. Williams incomplete, threw into offensive linemen.
4-5 Punt.

1-10 GUN 2 RB 3 WR. Leshore runs right on zone read for about five.
2-4 GUN singleback 3 WR. Dufrene run up middle. Not much.
3-3 GUN singleback 4 WR (trips left) Williams complete left to Fred Sykes for first down.
1-10 GUN singleback 3 WR. Williams QB sweep left gains a few.
2-7 GUN singleback 4 WR. Williams option left to Leshore, again gains a few.
3-4 GUN singleback, 4 WR (trips right). Williams incomplete. Dropped by Sykes.
4-4 Punt.

1-10 singleback, 3 WR (fourth play under center).Williams playaction to Benn, who was lined up almost as a move TE left.
1-10 Dufrene runs up middle for 7.
2-3 GUN singleback, 3 WR. Dufrene runs up the middle for a couple.
1-10 GUN singleback, 3 WR. Williams over middle to Benn for a big completion. Benn is simply the reason Illinois is in games. He’s targeted so much by Williams.
1-10 singleback, 3 WR (fifth play under center). Dufrene runs up middle for about four.
2-5 GUN 2 RB. Willimas fakeszone read, keeps it right. Fumbles, recovered by Indiana.

1-10 GUN 2 RB, 3 WR. Dufrene runs right then cuts back to get nothing.
2-13 GUN 2 RB, 3 WR. Williams stripped, fumbles. Indiana recovers.

-Illinois loves using the shotgun. In the first six drives, the Illini went under center for only three plays.

-Arrelious Benn is really good. In an offense that actually favored positive movement and passing, he’d be the best wide receiver in the country. He makes good adjustments on balls and runs crisp routes.

-Illinois’ receivers aren’t bad at all besides Benn. Jenkins, a sophomore, runs decent routes and has shiftiness to make defensive backs miss. It’ll be interesting to see Michigan’s strategy with the cornerbacks against Benn and Jenkins considering the
cushion they give.

-Williams looked somewhat accurate against Indiana in the first half as the Illini really seemed to like using the slant over the middle. Williams wasn’t as accurate going outside.

-Williams is good with the zone read option, too, but that’s something Michigan should be familiar with it since it is a lot of the Wolverines’ offense. He also fumbled inside the Indiana 10-yard line, losing the ball on a drive the Illini could have taken the lead.

-Illinois plays mostly no huddle.

-Leshore has some speed. Seems like good burst out of the zone read, but holes seems to open for the backs as teams account for Juice keeping the ball. He is Illinois’ best back.

-Dufrene is a tough runner. Fights for yards.

-Illinois’ interior offensive line did well against the Indiana front.

-Illinois started out in a 4-3, but jumped into nickel a bunch. Probably played about 50 percent nickel.

-Doug Pilcher is a pretty good player on the defensive line. An underrated player at an end, not talked about much because the Illini have been so bad.

-Illinois run defense is unimpressive. Indiana ran right at the Illini’s front four with
success, getting a lot of the push with the offensive line.

-The Illini front four also didn’t appear to pressure Ben Chappell much. They’d send four a lot and Chappell had plenty of time to sit in the pocket and throw quick seven-yard passes.

-On the first drive Indiana quarterback Ben Chappell picked Illinois’ secondary apart in the air. Very similar of what Chappell did to Michigan’s secondary.

-Held Indiana to a field goal attempt on the first drive, but seemed to be more because of Chappell’s mistakes than Illinois tightening up.

-Illinois really struggled when Indiana brought Mitchell Evans in to run the Wildcat (which usually leads to Evans running). Makes you wonder that if Denard Robinson can hold on to the ball, how much Michigan might be able to use him.

-The Illini look, frankly, slow defensively. Two drives in, Indiana ran and threw all over them.

-Illinois’ cornerbacks are unimpressive. They gave a lot of cushion early on, but eventually pressed a little bit.

-Illinois’ defense is a lot like Michigan’s. There seems to be a soft hole in the middle of the Illinois defense, much like the Wolverines.

-The Illini fell apart in a two-minute drill situation in the second half. Illinois cornerback Dere Hicks was faked into falling down (think Tate Forcier on the zone read in the Notre Dame game) on a run after catch by Indiana’s Belcher for the touchdown. The cornerback also tried to take a chance (Tavon Wilson) but is a hair late to break up the pass, allowing for the big gain.

-Illinois stopped Indiana inside the Illinois red zone in the third quarter, a decent stop on a 4th-and-1 aided by Trea Burgess slipping just before the line untouched.

-Illinois really struggled to cover anyone. They allowed Tandon Doss to get unbelievably wide open in the fourth quarter for essentially a game-clinching touchdown. No one was within five yards of him. If Junior Hemingway is healthy this week, look for him to have a big game for Michigan.

-Kickoff guy Derek Dimke seems to have a pretty strong leg. Can get to the end zone. Didn’t get there on the second kickoff.

-Kick coverage team forced and recovered a fumble in the second quarter. Stayed home on assignments, forcing Tandon Doss into a big hit situation.

-Anthony Santella, the punter, hit a touchback on his first punt but landed it at the 10. Santella is a good punter. Drops the ball inside the 10 a lot of times. Punt coverage seems OK, smart enough to make certain plays.

-Matt Eller missed a chip-shot 37-yarder. Pretty bad. Wasn’t even close.

-Indiana was smart, corner kicking to keep Arrelious Benn from returning kicks.

-Indiana finally let Benn return a kick to start the second half. He broke a couple tacklers for good field position. Even when he can’t turn the speed on, his size allows him to be a dynamic guy in the return game.

-Not much awareness on punt return units. In the third quarter, a punt hit Rahkeem Smith, allowing Indiana to recover and get the ball inside the Illinois 20.



Wed, Oct 28, 2009 : 4:52 p.m.

All that said it still doesnt spell victory for MICHIGAN the defense blows the secondary is the worst since ive been a MICHIGAN fan and thats been 44 years Warren is the only stud back there everybody else just stands around confused. What ever happened to the art of blocking rec. at the line hitting them at the line slowing them down just long enough to get a passrush going not giving the QB a chance to find an open WR gee that makes sense