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Posted on Sat, Nov 12, 2011 : 5:37 p.m.

In-game updates: It's Michigan at Illinois football

By Jim Knight


Michigan running back Fitz Toussaint picks up some of his 134 yards rushing in the first half against Illinois.

Melanie Maxwell |

FINAL SCORE: Michigan 31, Illinois 14

Michigan 31, Illinois 14: Fitz Toussaint put Michigan in control with a 27-yard touchdown run. He has 192 yards rushing on 27 carries. Michigan recovered an onside kick and started its drive at the Illinois 40-yard line.

Michigan 24, Illinois 14: Jason Ford scored on a 1-yard run with 3:12 to play, capping an 80-yard, 18-play drive.

Michigan 24, Illinois 7: Devin Gardner stepped up in the pocket and found Martavious Odoms cutting across the middle for a 27-yard touchdown pass three plays after J.T. Floyd's interception.

Interception: J.T. Floyd intercepted a Nathan Scheelhaase pass at the Michigan 35-yard line and returned it to the 43 yards to the Illinois 22.

Michigan 17, Illinois 7: Nathan Scheelhaase ran left and found the corner of the end zone on a 13-yard run as Illinois put together its first sustained drive of the game, going 75 yards in 11 plays.

Michigan 17, Illinois 0: Brendan Gibbons kicked a 27-yard field goal as Michigan finally found a way to score from the red zone.

Halftime stats: Michigan has 249 total yards and Illinois has just 30. Michigan has held Illinois to minus-12 yards rushing. Michigan dominated time of possession, 20:52 to 9:08.

Missed chances: Michigan came up empty on three consecutive visits to the red zone. First, Illinois stopped Denard Robinson on the 1-yard line on a fourth-and-one play. On its next possession Michigan started on the Illinois 13 after recovering a fumble, but Robinson fumbled while being sacked. Next possession: Michigan drove to the Illinois 19 and Brendan Gibbons' 38-yard field goal attempt missed wide left.

Michigan 14, Illinois 0: Denard Robinson scored on a 2-yard run on a third-and-goal play to cap a seven-play, 41-yard drive. Michigan started with good field position after a 32-yard punt return by Jeremy Gallon.

First-quarter numbers: Michigan had 215 total yards of offense and Illinois was held to 13. Michigan had six first downs and Illinois had zero.

Michigan 7, Illinois 0: Denard Robinson zipped through the Illini line for a 9-yard touchdown run, two plays after Fitz Toussaint's 65-yard run put Michigan on the Illinois 15-yard line. A nice start for Toussaint, who has 71 yards on three carries.

Michigan starts on offense: The game is under way and Michigan opened on offense with the ball on its own 20-yard line.


From 6-0 to what?

The Michigan and Illinois football teams both need a victory to curtail talk of a second-half swoon. Illinois is 0-3 since it opened the season with six consecutive victories and has games against Wisconsin and at Minnesota after today.

Michigan is 1-2 since its strong start, and while it concludes the regular season with two home games, they're going to be against Nebraska and Ohio State. A loss at Illinois today will invite talk of a possible 1-5 finish.

The game starts at 3:30 p.m. (ABC), and we'll have updates throughout the game in this post.

In the meantime:

All about the game: Read our mega guide.

Join our live chat: Rich Rezler is your friendly host.


The Michigan defensive line huddles in warm-ups at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon before the Michigan at Illinois game.

Melanie Maxwell |



Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 12:37 a.m.

one player does not an offense make is true to a certain degree. but if you put a rb (FITZ) to help carry the load (about 200 yards rushing) A DEFENSE that setps up and a SPECIAL TEAMS that steps up DR (two rushing TD's) is still a big threat! iam glad he is on our team. GO BLUE!!!!!!!!!


Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 12:47 a.m.

Well yeah ... Touissant played a good 1st quarter and 4th quarter. That certainly helped. And not enough good can be said about the defense, which was terrific. But I'll point out that this is *precisely* the kind of balance and power that Hoke and staff said they wanted to get to. They are moving in that direction. Sputtering on occasion, but moving in that direction. Denard Robinson is a threat ... IF there's a credible alternative threat, either other backs or passing. Robinson is an undisciplined passer. And his effectiveness running is *only* true when defenses are forced to honor some other threat. But when Robinson is the only guy ... the defense's job is actually pretty easy.


Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 12:31 a.m.

This was a great road win. Roads wins are never easy at IL. Yes, the Michigan offense was very sloppy after going up 14-zip. The several red zone sputters was too eerie of 2009 at IL. The Michigan defense was AWESOME! Again, on the road, a team coming off a bye week, should have had more momentum. IL certainly could not take advantage of the Michigan offensive miscues, either. Michigan's offense made big plays early to set the tone for the defense. Kudos to Fitz Toussaint both early and late in the game. Denard played his typical road game but did use his feet more. I will not throw him under the bus. Devin found rhythm and help put the game out of reach. Michigan is a wonderful 8 and 2. They went 2 and 2 on the road this season which met my expectations before the season started. Remember, Denard plays better at home for those who are critical. I am sure the Maize and Blue defense will be more confident against NE after this impressive road performance. I am happy and look ahead to NE and go for win number 9....GO BLUE!!!


Sat, Nov 12, 2011 : 10:28 p.m.

Very happy Michigan is up 14-0 at the half. However, it should be 28-0 at this point. Offensive mistakes hurting us. Michigan defense is playing well. Thank goodness. Mattison has worked miracles. Somewhere Greg Robinson has his head buried in his hands. Borges clearing incorporating more Robinson runs into the offense. Generally speaking they are *not* very effective. The defense is focused on preventing Denard running free. His arm is not a credible threat and the rest of this offensive is sometimes good (Touissant early in the game) and sometimes not (Touissant later in the half). One player does not an offense make. It's really that simple. No matter how "good" he may be. So when will people stop saying that running Robinson play after play is the key to victory? It's not.


Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 12:43 a.m.

@ted -- no, they don't. Not sure that would make a difference. It did last year ... early on. But not later on. That was Rodriguez's full-octane read option and it didn't work well against Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio State or Mississippi State. Why is that? My opinion is because defenses early on (a) weren't that good, and (b) the better defenses later on studied the offense and Robinson and knew it was all Robinson, with no Steve Slaton or Noel Devine-like backs to complement. So they keyed on Robinson and that's all it took. Fitzgerald Touissant does not look like a particularly good to-the-edge type of runner. He's an up the middle type of runner. So not sure he'd be all that good in the read option.


Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 12:24 a.m.

do you think they run the same read option that they did last year ?


Sat, Nov 12, 2011 : 10:41 p.m.

A near INT for Robinson ... another "throw it up and hope" pass. *sigh*