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Posted on Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 7:14 p.m.

Michigan beats Illinois in 3rd overtime, enters bowl picture with eyes wide open

By Pete Bigelow


Michigan players celebrate after beating Illinois in triple overtime, 67-65, on Saturday.

Melanie Maxwell |

On the final play of a crazy game, Steve Schilling couldn’t bear to watch the outcome.

The senior captain had endured plenty over the past three years with the Michigan football team - two rebuilding years, a postseason drought, an NCAA investigation.

Could the snake-bit Wolverines really catch a break?

“The last defensive play, I just closed my eyes right before and just listened for it,” Schilling said. “When the crowd kind of exploded, I opened my eyes and everyone was just running on the field.”

A butt of jokes all season, Michigan’s beleaguered defense came alive and blitzed Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaasse on a failed two-point conversion attempt to end the game.

Four Wolverines converged on him as he flung a pass toward no one in particular. The defensive stand clinched a 67-65 win in the highest-scoring game ever in a Big Ten conference game.

“Both Coach Robinson and Coach Gibson on the sideline said, ‘We’re bringing the house.’ And I’m like, ‘That’s good,’” Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said.

“Earlier blitzes we weren’t able to get enough pressure on him, but on that one we sold out. It was a complete sell-out and we got some pressure,” he said.

The win ended a three-game losing streak and, more importantly, a two-year postseason drought. With the win, Michigan (6-3 overall, 2-3 Big Ten) becomes bowl eligible for the first time in the Rodriguez era.

The Wolverines sniffed the postseason last year, but closed the season on a five-game losing streak that left them one win shy of eligibility. Fears of a repeat collapse reverberated the past few weeks.

But a win that re-wrote the yellowed portions of the record books ended those concerns.

The 132 combined points are the most in a Big Ten conference game, surpassing the 119 scored on Oct. 8, 1902, in a game between Michigan and the Michigan Agricultural School.

(The Wolverines won, 119-0, against soon-to-be Michigan State). It was the second-most points in a game involving a Big Ten team. Minnesota and Grinnell combined for 146 points in a 1904 game.

Michigan receiver Roy Roundtree broke the school record for single-game receiving yards, catching nine passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns.

Thing is, he had broken the previous record ¬- Jack Clancy’s 197 on Sept. 17, 1966 versus Oregon State - by halftime. Roundtree’s first touchdown came on Michigan’s first play from scrimmage, a 75-yard TD that caught Illinois’ safeties cheating toward the line of scrimmage.

All of the excitement left Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon struggling to find the right words to summarize the topsy-turvy game.

“Six hundred thirty yards, and five turnovers, one on special teams and four on offense,” he said, noting Michigan’s offensive struggles. “I mean, how does that happen? How do you do that?

“But it was wide open, full-bore football, and it was exciting.”

Michigan actually had 676 yards of total offense, but the Illini compiled 561 of their own in a game that featured nine lead changes and eight ties. The combined yards (1,237) is a new Michigan single-game record.

The overtime sequence alone was difficult to comprehend.

It appeared Illinois (5-4, 3-3), ahead 59-52, had finally emerged with the win when a defender batted down a Tate Forcier pass intended for Junior Hemingway on a third-and-nine play near the goal line.

But the ball spun off another Illini defender’s helmet. Hemingway scooped the ball off, and fell into the end zone.

“That was lucky,” said Hemingway, who finished with six catches for 104 yards and two TDs. “He got in front. I wasn’t expecting the ball to get batted in the air because he swung down. But it just popped in the air, I stayed with the ball and caught it.”

On the ensuing possession that started the third overtime, Illinois received two personal foul penalties that moved the ball to the 1-yard line. In a series reminiscent of last year’s season-defining stand against Michigan, the Illini stopped Michael Shaw and Forcier on consecutive plays for no gain.

This time, though, the Wolverines responded.

Shaw plunged into the end zone on third-and-one, and then the Wolverines a pass to Hemingway on the rulebook-mandated two-point conversion attempt.

It wasn’t over. Illinois went right back to Mikel Leshoure, who had five touchdowns on the day, the last of which was a 3-yard run that brought the Illini to within two.

Then Michigan’s defense stopped the conversion attempt, Schilling opened his eyes and saw players and fans spilling onto the field and the Wolverines gathered to sing The Victors in front of a rabid student section.

“We turned the corner,” defensive tackle Mike Martin said. “We have six wins, we’re going to a bowl game. We’ve got Purdue, we’ll be ready and healthy. This is huge. We’ve turned the corner. It’s huge for Coach Rod, and it’s huge for everyone.”

Pete Bigelow covers Michigan football for He can be reached at (734) 623-2556, via email at and followed on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.



Tue, Nov 9, 2010 : 3 p.m.

Just a thought regarding some of the earlier comments about our offense being "the future" and that in some fashion what Oregon is doing is proof of that. Worth noting that while the Ducks can surely put the points up on the board they also have the 13th ranked scoring defense (FBS) in the nation. There may be some similarities in our offenses but one big difference in our programs is that Chip Kelly realizes when you don't have the football it means you have to play "this defense thing" against the other team. This concept continues to elude RR.


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 5:52 p.m.

The defense is certainly young in the back 7 and should therefore be better next season. However, I still think we should pay top dollar for a great defensive coordinator for next season. Let him bring in a few of his guys. The only thing stopping this team from dominating the B10 is the defense. And the D doesn't need to be top 20 either. With a top 10 offense, the D only needs to be average, like top 50 or 60 in the country.


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 4:09 p.m.

lgc15... OMG!!! go find another team and coach that you like, problem solved... nuf sed! GO BLUE... 3andout is that you? don't be clowning around on us...


Mon, Nov 8, 2010 : 12:51 p.m.

This is not Michigan Football and to all of you who are excited about a fiasco of a game like this was...well,it was a joke! A 3 ring circus led by the biggest clown of all RR and his troup of horrid coaches. Just awful and worst of all this joke on Saturday will make the once proud University of Michigan Football program bowl eligible..OMG! I got nauseus and left. We have become the laughing stock of college football...I pray Bo was not watching...and, to think just because the D finally blitzes and wins this charade doesn't mean we know how to play defense. Our only defense is our offense...just an embarrassment! nuff sed!


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 11:37 p.m.

Yes the defense gave up a lot of points and yards but they played with a lot of passion out there!! They hit a lot harder and I think some of those young freshman really matured today. Awesome game and LET'S GO BLUE!!


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 5:40 p.m.

@Chris, btw, I agree with your frustration with the defense, and if we merely hade the 50th best defense rather than the 104th or whatever we currently have, we might be 9-0 or 8-1. They have to do better, but I was encouraged by several key stops, including obviously the last one. It wasn't a 65 pt game per se. Regulation was 45. Not good, but not 65 either.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 5:27 p.m.

@Chris: Correction: Illinois had the top ranked defense against the score in the Big 10, and 12th in the nation. If Illinois gave up that many points, so might OSU, assuming it goes into several overtimes as this game did. Your point is well taken that this would be a better team if it had a better defense, but that's also sort of stating the obvious, don't you think? @Pete: As at least one other has pointed out, the 119 points scored by Michigan against Michigan Agricultural College in 1902 was not a Big 10 Conference game. Michigan Ag did go through several name changes and (much) later fell under the current name of Michigan State University, but the school was independent for most of the first half of the 20th century, until it joined the Big 10 in 1949 under the name Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science. They first won the Big 10 Championship, under that name, in 1953. The name changed to Michigan State University of Agriculture and Applied Science in 1955, and finally became simply Michigan State University in 1964.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 2:42 p.m.

Again, if they could come up with a competent defense, they wouldn't have to score 67 points to win. It's not a reliable way to play football. Ohio State WILL NOT allow that many points to be scored on them and their offense is at least as good (most likely miles better) than Illinois. Same goes for Penn State, Michigan State, and Iowa. Say nothing of the other teams in the country. So while it's a win, I disagree that the score doesn't matter. All the defense really did was bring the house when they had nothing to lose and it happened to work.

Terry Star21

Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 12:08 p.m.

Bowl For Blue......Bowl For Blue...................................Bowl For Blue............ I'm thinking a pretty good January 1 Bowl Game for 9-3 (5-3) Michigan....maybe even better than 9-3 (5-3) Michigan State Penitentiary and 9-3 (5-3) Ohio State..... Now maybe the MSU Free Press can shut their mouth, being burned by incompetent reporting, and hopefully treat Michigan like the other Universities in it's news reporting. Michigan Football - still the Nations Best..........Others -still trying.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 11:33 a.m.

Really, what does it matter what the final score was? Regardless of the ultimate outcome, it would be well to consider the efforts and dedication of this team. I read the post from "win" (posted 15 hours ago, asking if anyone would've felt better if it was a 10-7 loss)and I thought it was pretty much smack-on. Michigan played their usual inspired game to start with, coming on like a ton of bricks and then shooting themselves in the foot, but games like that from a squad filled with youth and inexperience are to be expected. I mean, how would you feel if your kid played his heart out on Saturday, and on Sunday heard nothing but whizzing and moaning about how bad his team is? I grew up watching Michigan football, and they will always be my team - win or lose, good plays or bad, flashes of brilliance or inspired momemts of unbelievable stupidity (you listening out there, Coach?). I just can't get excited about anyone else, and I always look forward to these 3 months of ups and downs, however fleeting it may be. Brian Griese was correct when he said that we can expect great things from this football team, that Shoelace is nowhere near his full potential (I beg to submit that he's not the only quarterback, either, in case nobody's noticed...), WHATEVER - building a conference powerhouse from scratch, out of mostly raw talent, is gonna take a bit of time, and I'm not going anywhere. So here's to the boys in blue - I may still be lukewarm about your coach, but I'm damn proud of you guys. Rest up, look at some film, get some sleep, and then we'll work on Purdue. HAIL!

Chad Williams

Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 10:32 a.m.

Im proud of this team for just playing football, not getting caught up in any of the negative things surrounding the program for three years. It's a shame people wanted this team to fail just so the coach will get fired, as if the players dont matter. This was always a 7 to 8 win team and to be honest they lost the 3 games most people expected them to lose before the season. 15 extra practices after the OSU game hopefully we can get 7 wins play in the insight bowl or maybe the gator bowl. By the end of spring the D will be good enough maybe not great but good enough to win our DIVISON to play for the conference title.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 8:15 a.m.

"There is 7 freshman in the two deep of the secondary. Seven!! Nobody plays with that many." Especially after having two full years and one partial year to recruit. There should be at least two Juniors in the secondary and the rest should be Sophomores. The good: - it's a 'W' - 67 points - 676 total yards (INSANE) - everyone contributed - they did not fold - did not allow a td in the first and third quarter The not-so-good: - they had to score 67 points - 5 turnovers - 561 yards allowed - huge plays by Illinois' offense - the exact same play beat them two or three times. I think the thing will be just fine if Rich Rodriguez could field any kind of defense. How is it mostly true freshmen in year 3? I know some went to the NFL, one guy was completely out of shape, and one guy got hurt recently, but I do expect some improvement out of this unit. There needs to be somebody in that secondary who can make things happen. (tipping passes, interceptions, forcing fumbles, etc.) I had the opinion the last two weeks that the AD should step in and tell Rich Rod that he doesn't get to pick the next defensive coordinator. That can't work because you'd set up two factions within the program and would make the head coach a lame duck. But if they can get a defense that is at least comparable to what they had in 07 (Lloyd's last year), they'd roll through everybody. That D did have a couple stinkers, but this offense is explosive enough to keep up now.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 7:41 a.m.

Listen Haters...This defense is not good. There is 7 freshman in the two deep of the secondary. Seven!! Nobody plays with that many. We did not give up 65 points in regulation. You glass half empty haters keep saying 65. They gave up 45 in reg. 45. 5 Turnovers by the offense gave defense short field position. Bad kickoffs gave defense short field position. With no turnovers and better kickoffs then this bad defense gives up around 30 to Illinois. This is not to brag about at all, but they are young and will get better. If they improve on defense and kicking then this will be a 10 0r 11 win team next year. Maybe more!!!!


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 4:15 a.m.

Worst defense I have seen in my 50 years. I hope that defensive coordinator has better plans for OSU than running along the sidelines clapping his hands. They are terrible. 65 points to Illinois, at home? What a joke.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 12:58 a.m.

bi polar Michigan strikes again and it was awesome. the offense scores in two minutes most the time, how can you expect a defense that is on the field most the game and is young to be able to handle itself. they did greater than I thought. they need to line both tate and Robinson in the backfield. that would be the bomb. go blue. and rich rod haters can step back, he isn't getting fired this year.


Sun, Nov 7, 2010 : 12:08 a.m.

Somebody's gotta win at the Special Olympics, I suppose. Go Blue.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 11:57 p.m.

You fans should enjoy this.Just about the whole country watched the end of this game.Rich always makes it exciting.I'm telling you now,Ohio State is in trouble.After this kind of a game,Rich has these kids moving the right way.Rich will make Sweater Vest lose alot of sleep before their game.Ohio State can't keep up the scoring.Your AD doesn't know what to say either.This week watch how many recruit's get on board.9 an 3 sounds better than 3 an 9.

Macabre Sunset

Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 10:42 p.m.

At least we're seeing some improvement. This is a game the Michigan of the last two seasons would never have won. No second-half fade, like we saw most of the time late in the season the last two years. But -4 on turnovers and 560 yards allowed? Was that pinball or football? Maybe it's time to get some more size on that defense and play a pure 4-3. Today it looked more like the 425 we saw a lot against MSU.

Bob Dively

Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 9:40 p.m.

The 132 combined points are the most in a Big Ten conference game, surpassing the 119 scored on Oct. 8, 1902, in a game between Michigan and the Michigan Agricultural School. (The Wolverines won, 119-0, against soon-to-be Michigan State). This cannot be correct as MSU did not join the Big Ten until 1953, so the 1902 game would not have been a conference game.

Josh Ditton

Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 9:10 p.m.

The Michigan fan base id disgusting, we lose and they complain, we win, more complaints. The offense is responsible for 22 illini points. The defense made many important stops today


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 8:56 p.m.

I can't think of any situation in which it's OK to scream "You suck!" at a college kid playing football for his school, as some fans were today. Yell at the coaches, yell at the officials, but jeering at individual students is not cool. Michigan fans are better than that..this isn't Columbus! Exciting, entertaining football today. Plenty of screw-ups, yes, but a great moment for the students and coaches and fans!


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 8:44 p.m.

rocco, You're delusional if you're even using the names "Alabama" and "Oregon" in the same statements as this team that RichRod is foisting on the world. That was my point. Those teams are in a different league...figuratively and literally...than this travesty that is Michigan football.

Robbie Webb.

Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 8:42 p.m.

Gettingbluer, I got news for you, brother. I don't know why you're bring up the Toledo loss, but if you want to go down memory lane, the loss to App. State (Carr's #5 team) lost to a division II school. What's your excuse the collapse of Texas this season? We all know they clearly have a great coaching staff. But they are 4-4 and about to lose to KSU. Could it because of youth and injuries? Kind of like what happened to Michigan the last two years and even now? But you'll probably give Texas some free pass. But I got news for you, the big 12 is not as tough as the big ten and Texas is fallen this season. So go ahead and try to spin it any way you like, it wont matter.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 8:17 p.m.

Gettingbluer, Your nickname shall be changed to Wisebluer!


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 8:07 p.m.

Greg Robinson is a lock for Big Ten Coordinator of the week. His D held a legit Big Ten team to under 70 points and less than 600 yards of total offense. Start warming up his seat in the Hall. He is to coaching what Matt Millen is to drafting.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 7:46 p.m.

"I was hoping for an Alabama Oregon national championship game to put to rest old style Michigan football that never was competitive, especially during the Bo years, at the national level. Bowl results don't lie." Then you must be happy that the lack of ANY bowls has been shouting at you loud and clear the last two years. And the Tidy Bowl won't be pretty for this team when some 7-5 MAC team trounces them with a commuter student team.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 7:40 p.m.

I heard the score on the radio and thought it was a basketball game.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 7:35 p.m.

I actually feel kind of bad for our defense. They came out on the opening drive, held Illinois to a field goal, then got NO HELP from the offense the next few series. An interception, but they got a fumble recovery, only for Denard to make a bad throw behind the TE and IL with another short field. Gallon fumbles the kickoff, Michigan's defense was literally on the field the entire first quarter due to turnovers and they were playing their hearts out trying to hold us in the game. Illinois played a short field all game. Average starting position was almost the 50 yard line. That is ridiculous! Remember, too, they gave up 31 first half points (despite all the turnovers), but only gave up 14 in the second half (despite yet more turnovers...Tate's horrible fumble and an INT). I'm not trying to sugar coat anything, but keep in mind, too, that 20 of those 65 points came in overtime, when the starting line is the 25 yard line. Those aren't true drives. OT is a whole different game, and all that matters then is who makes the last stop and U-M did. The defense definitely has room for improvement (i.e. whoever continually botched the coverage of the Illinois running back on those passes down the sideline). But that's what the week is for. You can make any negative/sarcastic remarks you want, but the bottom line is that a win's a win and no matter how much you whine and complain, you CAN'T take that away from them. Go Blue!

Solar Blue

Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 7:35 p.m.

Football is the ultimate "team game" as we all know. Do the defense and special teams units (especially kickoffs) need to get better? Absolutely yes. But, the offense put up almost 700 yards against a very good defense (that held PSU to 13 points in Happy Valley). While the offense was excellent overall, they turned it over and especially in the first half, gave Illinois a short field. The defense, while far from great - held Illinois to some field goals and made the play (to win) on the final two point conversion. We all know that the offense is the strength of the team, but they did win as a team today. They hung in there and believed in themselves and did not fold like they might have last year. GO BLUE!

Pete Warburton

Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 7:34 p.m.

Poor kickoffs cost us at least 12 points!!!!

Howard the Duck

Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 7:34 p.m.

"Alabama (the anti-spread) is the last bastion of old style Big 10 type football, only Saban does it better than previous Michigan coaches because he recruits bigger faster players on both sides of the ball." Ok, I've heard it all. Is everyone here losing their minds?


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 7:26 p.m.

Shadow Manager, here's the thing. Alabama (the anti-spread) is the last bastion of old style Big 10 type football, only Saban does it better than previous Michigan coaches because he recruits bigger faster players on both sides of the ball. I was hoping for an Alabama Oregon national championship game to put to rest old style Michigan football that never was competitive, especially during the Bo years, at the national level. Bowl results don't lie. Now it might turn out that Oregon has to play TCU or another school with a Rich Rod type offense. I guess if you have two team with the same type of offense playing in the national championship game, it says something positive about their style of play.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 7:24 p.m.

Orlando - as you and others know I have never been a fan of RR coaching my beloved Blue, but I will not say anything negative today...let the PLAYERS enjoy a hard earned victory today!!! GREAT job guys!!!!!!!!


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 7:23 p.m.

For everyone who said the spread could not work in the Big 10 - enough said. ILL was the best defense (points allowed) in the Big 10 - ranked 12th nationally. With that said, let's start to focus on the defense. I think they played decent today. Obviously not great, but they were able to get some very needed stops. I think that we will be seeing what happened in ILL last year happen to Mich. They will keep RR and hire a new staff of coaches. I just hope its works for us as well as it has for ILL.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 7:21 p.m.

Shadow Manager, here's the thing. Alabama (the anti-spread) is the last bastion of old style Big 10 type football, only Saban does it better than previous Michigan coaches because he recruits bigger faster players on both sides of the ball. I was hoping for an Alabama Oregon national championship game to put to rest old style Michigan football that never was competitive, especially during the Bo years, at the national level. Bowl results don't lie. Now it might turn out that Oregon has to play TCU or another school with a Rich Rod type offense. I guess if you have two teams with the same type of offense playing in the national championship game, it says something positive about their style of play.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 7:07 p.m.

Why is the assumption made that this team would lose if it played defense?


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 7:05 p.m.

As a 3 - 5 star recruit, I'm sure the prospect to contribute "immediately" on D is attractive (besides the acedemic standards). Wow, a win next week puts blue at 7 - 3 (3 - 3 B10) with two unwinnable games... wait thats why they play on the field.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 6:59 p.m.

For all the haters, would you prefer a 10-7 loss? A great defensive battle where we lose? Say what you want about RR, the defense, etc..... But what I saw was kids out there battling for each other and their program. They gave all they had. And most of this season, their best wasn't good enough. We are what we are. And now we are bowl eligible. A Purdue win is possible and then it gets really tough. But as long as I see a team go out and play their hearts out the way this team did today, I will appreciate their effort and cheer for them. It doesn't matter what I think about the coach or the scheme. Cheer for the kids! GO BLUE!!! And if you don't like it, GO HOME!!


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 6:57 p.m.

"Personally, I like this style of football. It is entertaining and a thrill to watch. When Oregon plays Alabama (the anti-spread) in the national title game and wins, Rich-Rod's brand of football will be firmly established at the national level" LOL....where is this game to be played? Neverland? The First annual Neverland Bowl. Hate to break it to you...but Bama just lost....again.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 6:55 p.m.

Hai Guys! Thank goodness Michigan's defense is better than Illinois defense this year huh? perspective everyone. Go Blue!


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 6:53 p.m.

I think people are impatient with the defense mainly because it didn't need to change in the first place. When Rich Rod first came here, we all knew he was going to overhaul things with the offense. IMO, he didn't need to do that to the defense. I think the offense is clicking now and it's nice. It took three years to get there. You shouldn't have to score 67 points to win a football game. His entire secondary is different after last year -- I'll give him that, but they really need to be more consistent up front and across the board. Tackling leaves something to be desired. They did make a huge play at the end to secure the win. This wasn't LSU, Oregon, or USC. This was Illinois who put up 65 on them. Even Massachusests gave them a run for their money. I expect even a young defense to improve as the year goes on. There is a higher ceiling for younger players and they learn a ton in their first two years. So to sum it up, I'm impatient with this defense because before Rich Rod they were perennially top 10-15 defense. AppState and Oregon were exceptions, not the rule. The last game in Carr's tenure was a sound defeat of Florida in a bowl game. Rich Rod takes the reins and they're almost instantly the laughing stock of the nation defensively. Why was that necessary? In my mind a good coach wins with what he has. He doesn't run in and chase perfectly good players away. After saying all that, if they can field a defense that knows which way is up next year, there's not a team in the country who can keep up with them offensively.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 6:47 p.m.

also a big thank you to our troops and what happened with the flyover? it was late


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 6:46 p.m.

O.K. the defense stinks. we won. did anyone see the halftime show what a hoot a bobcat tackling brutus, has to be the best halftime show at the big house.go blue


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 6:32 p.m.

These kind of games aren't good for my heart, lol. U-M showed a lot of character in hanging in there to pull one out against a good Illinois team. The U-M offense is so effective at times that it can make good defenses look silly, and Illinois has a good defense. The defense, though porous as usual, came through in the end with the stop on the 2-pt conversion, which shows that they continue to battle in spite of the lack of experience. There are lots of heroes on offense, as usual. It was good to see Tate shake off his first miscue by playing well after that. If the lady from 'Bewitched' could only wiggle her nose and switch the U-M defense with TCU's, U-M would be national championship contenders. At least they're going to a bowl game, which is a big improvement over the past few years.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 6:11 p.m.

rocco and jarhead... your post's are spot on... i have said before when the D catche's up to the O this team will win a lot of football games... heck if the D was 50% better we would win a lot of games... GO BLUE...


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 6:02 p.m.

Does anyone think Oregon would win in the big ten? Sure they would. And that is the kind of team we are building towards. Next year this sophomore team will be a junior led team and the year after it will be senior dominated. As they grow there will be less turnovers, less mistakes and the Def will be catching up to speed. We as a fan base just need to be patient and support this team the way State fans have always hung in for their school. Go Blue!


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 5:54 p.m.

I think a lot of people fail to realize what the statement "young" means. 18 and 19 year olds are kids. 20 and 21 year olds are men. It usually takes 2 years to develope, to grow physically, mentally, to acquire game experience and secure confidence. We basically have a sophomore team. We have 7 freshmen that start or rotate in on the defense alone! Name me any other team that has as many. Who were our seniors that went pro last year? Brandon Graham, Stevie Brown, and who? Jabreel Black is a freshman and starting on the line for pete's sake. I think Greg and RR are scrambling and trying what they can. I do believe that they held on to the 3-3-5 too long. They need to leave Roh on the line, that is his strength. They hung in with Ezah too long also. I understand there is a fine line (in timing) in which to make switches. You just never know how well a kid plays in the game atmosphere. We have some 20 freshmen that are redshirted this year that may contribute next year. And then there is the hope of the new recruits coming in next year. If we get our defense even in the 40 rankings, we win a whole lot more of these games, and then everyone will feel all warm and gooey inside again.

Sean T.

Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 5:50 p.m.

I am truly happy for the kids out there and I predicted us to lose. I was surprised that Illinois had trouble with our offense but we did come out throwing and that helped. Well enjoy Fellas, we are now bowl eligible. I can't believe we survived!


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 5:38 p.m.

Brian Griese gets it. But many Michigan fans do not. Like it or not, we're in a new era of Big 10 football. Not just our program, but Big 10 offenses are much, much more dynamic and quick than anything we ever saw during the ages of Bo, Moeller and Lloyd. There was some stat Griese marveled at regarding the number of TDs Michigan scored in very little time. That's what we can look forward to in the age of Rich Rod. The role of defense is to make big plays, period, just as Michigan did today. That's it. They can give up 500 yards, 600 yards, it doesn't matter. What matters is that the defense gives the offense a chance to win. Personally, I like this style of football. It is entertaining and a thrill to watch. When Oregon plays Alabama (the anti-spread) in the national title game and wins, Rich-Rod's brand of football will be firmly established at the national level, something Big 10 football has never previously been able to do on its own.

joey z

Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 5:33 p.m.

well said Bleed Maize n Blue

Bleed Maize n' Blue

Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 5:28 p.m.

Hey, great win guys! So happy for RR and the whole team. Fun to watch a team, who has endured much critisizm, celebrate a hard fought victory. @ Those who talk about how far our program has fallen. Yes its true, it has fallen. All kingdoms will rise and fall, its the fact of life. But why not be excited for these guys? They are truly passionate about what they are trying to accomplish. The program is on its way back up from a fallen state. I think our fan base's true character and pridefullness has been exposed. Shows how far that has fallen too! No matter what happens every week, I will be cheering these guys on from the bottom of my heart. Enjoy the win! Go Blue!


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 5:27 p.m.

"Michigans beleaguered defense played its best game of the Big Ten season." REALLY? Giving up 65 points is M defense's "best game of the Big Ten season"??? Wow, please pass the Koolaid. On the flip side, M scored 67 points and ALMOST LOST? I have no words for that...even sadder, some of you will be excited about the point total. I stopped watching the game in the first quarter after M already had 3 turnovers.

Blueman Rick

Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 5:26 p.m.

Absolute silliness.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 5:25 p.m.

What an unbelievable game! I am so proud of Michigan for gutting it out and finishing off their opponent for a win. Way to go guys - GO BLUE!


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 5:24 p.m.

it's funny to hear all the "a win is a win" when the past three weeks it's been "but we almost caught up, that should count". i'm glad all the fans at least got their money's worth with a nail biter, especially on a chilly day. i do like Tate's enthusiasm with the crowd when he scores, also.

joey z

Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 5:19 p.m.

attedance 111,441 Temps in the 30's in the morning kept some people from going I guess. The athletic dept got it's sales though. The games will always sell out. Too many die hards out there


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 5:17 p.m.

Let's savor the win and hold back any negative comment. Kudos to the players for fighting really hard to win. For the staff, let's see how they performs in the remaining games


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 5:14 p.m.

the guys played hard today and that was good to see. Really doesn't change anything, still making same mistakes on defense week after week. I would not say we are celebrating the win so much as we are relieved we didn't lose. I will keep saying it, you can be younger and less talented and make mistakes but there is no excuse for not being well coached.Winning a game like this doesn't make me feel better for a day or 2, because nothing has changed. If you want to lower the bar and say you are happy about this good for you, doesn't mean I have to, and I won't. We should be better than this.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 5:07 p.m.

After the game, Michigan got ticketed for going 2 over the speed (points) limit of 65. Bo would have been shocked at giving up 65 pts to a second tiered conference opponent. RR, thanks a lot for giving us nothing but MEDIOCRITY! Michigan should petition for Pac 10 membership or other western conference or even Big East. An embarrassment to Big 10.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 5:05 p.m.

RR should savor his only Big 10 win against a team that will be over.500. Lots of talk about 'enjoying it'? WOW. Very, very low expectations. Let's move on and hire the TCU coach and end this defensive misery.

joey z

Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 4:53 p.m.

Very good comments both Orlando and M. I would also be lying if I said that I enjoyed the three games before this and certainly also have been pretty disgusted about our D. I agree totally that we are very young and with the fact that D Coordinator has had a very poor game plan before this game. But like Orlando said...we won the Game!!!! I take this stupid game too seriously and feel crappy when we lose and good when we win. So relish the win and for once say yea! We changed up the d game plan and it barely worked..but just did work.And for MSU fans who like to diss us..well after so many years of mediocrity I guess you deserve some fun.... But is isn't bad that we acted like we won a was FUN!


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 4:40 p.m.

I'm looking more for feedback then anything else: I know that people are unhappy with now winning like we were before Coach Carr retired, but my question for everyone is - being that we have an offense that scores at will and everyone knows that the defense is full of very young players, why are people being so impatient with the development of Coach Rodriguez and his program? They need to get a ton better on defense, there is no doubt about that, but they are going in the right direction - I just think people need to be a little more patient. It is hard to go from a power offense to the spread like he runs and the athletes he needs. The defense I will blame him for - he could have had that be better then what it is.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 4:35 p.m.

@joey z this was a good win and much needed, i wish people undertood that i dont care at this moment if we had won 100-99 a win is a win is a win..our defense is poor,we kmow that so thank god for the offense, it was able to bail us out..yes lots of people predicted we would lose big today. looks like we won big...what a game to have watched, definitely increased my heart rate.. but love my team always will, just wish we could fix the defense..but we won. its a happy saturday. so proud of the players to keep fighting to win this game

joey z

Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 4:26 p.m.

Seems like there were a lot of people out there that predicted a loss today to a hot Illinois team. I just thought it was nice to win an exciting game. I kinda thought there would be plenty of negative comments about the win and the coach. Everyone has the right to speak their on that note have a great night M fans. Enjoy the victory. And to the others enjoy whatever it is that makes you happy. If dissing the current program is that...then go for it. Gets just a little old though


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 4:26 p.m.

@Ben Tate came in later in the game, Denard was doing just fine before he got hurt. As for being disgusted, sorry man, this is what we have right now. Youth and inexperience is clearly showing on D. Even in losses, the offense scores. I did like the 4-3 look today, lack of depth hurts them though. I agree with other posts though, our corners need to be up tight on those receivers, mess with timing. And we need to bring more pressure on opposing QB's. Purdue and Wisconsin aren't going to bring mobile QB's so I think we can get to them if we send more pressure.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 4:25 p.m.

From the AP: By rule, the teams had to start going for 2 at that point. Michigan got theirs. Illinois failed to convert and the Wolverines celebrated as if they had clinched a Rose Bowl bid instead of just a trip to a second-tier bowl. Thats kind of sad if you think about it.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 4:23 p.m.

A win is a win is a win. That said, my 1 criticism is the coaching decision to use 2 time-outs at the end of the first half on the way to a field goal where we ended up leaving Illinois ample time to go back down and get a field goal to tie it back up. The players gave a very solid effort and should be congratulated for hanging in there and getting the win.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 4:21 p.m.

For once, rather than try to critique the flaws (many) I am going to enjoy a victory. If you think we feel bad giving up 65 points, how does Illinois feel giving up 67? Denard a question mark but a win is a win and if the defense can get close to playing like the offense, wow. Go Blue


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 4:21 p.m.

Congrats to Michigan, but WOW has this program fallen. The defense played bad today and not horrible. To me this game shows why it is time to move on from this experiment. Did UM win the national championship because it looked like it after the game. This brand of football plays in the WAC, but it was just a bad football game today. OSU is gonna dominate this team. At least their going to the pizza bowl to play Southwestern East Rochester community college. Maybe they can hold them under 50.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 4:16 p.m.

whats up ann arbor my post to mmsufish wasnt bad but you leave his up???are you all nuts??? i just cant figure you must be a spartan..goooooooooooooooooooooo blue....dont worry im out of here this is petty, the post you take off and the ones you leave up is blue


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 4:13 p.m.

Well, I am happy we won. I missed the first half, thankfully from what I hear. Can we please play Tate more? It's clear the team plays better with him taking the snaps. Anyways - I am disgusted at the final score. I am truly disgusted.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 4:10 p.m.

Michigan wins in 3OTs and gives up 65 points to a marginal big ten opponent. Then they celebrate like they won the national championship. I love Rich Rod!!! 4 more years!

Jon Saalberg

Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 4:09 p.m.

I found this reference: Most point in a NCAA game, combined score so it seems likely that U-M did set a record today for most points surrendered by a winning team.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 4:02 p.m.

A truly spectacular second-tier Big Ten football game. A fantastically mediocre fall tussle to clean the palate. A new rivalry is born. In future engagements I propose defensive coordinators switch sides for the second half. Tear down the goalposts boys, we are marginally better today!


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 4:01 p.m.

No mention but I find it hard to believe UM has ever given up 65 points in a game before. If that is the case congrats to Rich Rod for setting yet another in a long line of records at UM. His teams might hold the most records in school history by now.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 4 p.m.

...Yeaahh..renew the bowl streak!.. shotgun on 2nd and inches from the goal line?? uh.. anyway.. Go Blue! v


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:55 p.m.

What a game, I love the Michigan offense, it is fun and exciting. The defense, what can you say about them. They are all young, true freshman starting, a walk on playing safety, I mean what can you expect. Early in the first half when Michigan was turning the ball over the D kept them in it. The offense scores so quickly sometimes, the D is forced to play a lot of plays on D and with the number of injuries they have, they are going to give up points. The fact of the matter is, the offense scored more today than the D gave up! Purdue is a winnable game next week and the 7 win mark is about what people expected. These young D will get experience and hopefully become better as true sophomores next year.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:53 p.m.

Fallen? They won a long, tough game. Good on them.

joey z

Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:50 p.m.

well least we can say that the positive comments far out weigh the negative ones today. That is surely a start. Go Blue!


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:49 p.m.

Rich Rod was jumping around like it was his first college victory. Long live Rich Rod!!!


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:45 p.m.

Watching Rich Rod, the coaches and players jumping around celebrating after giving up 65 points, 560 yards of total offense and over 300 yards rushing tells you all you need to know about how far this proud program has fallen!!

joey z

Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:43 p.m.

I believe it was the most given up by the winning team. Navy won 74-62. That was the highest combined score


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:43 p.m.

it was nice to see the defense gets some important "3 AND OUTS." 6 - 3 means yesbowlforblue.....


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:40 p.m.

four down lineman helped a bit but we still need to jam recievers. They getting track style starts and the corners cant keep up. Just jam them for the 5 yards your allowed. Get them off there timing and you might see improvement in the secondary. Cam Gordon way to block down low buddy. You cant run if your legs aren't underneath you.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:38 p.m.

@true_wolverine_fan the same thing happened to me..i think they want you to comment on the game instead of saying go blue, but i find it weird, nothing wrong with just saying that...what a game today...could not relax for a minute...just hope there are not to many haters on here today.wait til monday to hate, lets enjoy the win., it is what it is.. gooo blue, now go beat purdue and get to 7 wins, what most people expected this year..

joey z

Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:38 p.m.

ooops...didn't see the comment and still won the game. So Illinois doesn't count. Sorry

joey z

Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:37 p.m.

Jon. There have been more points scored in Division one before for sure. Even in this game Illinois gave up 67 that is more in itself. Thanks to everyone for all the positive comments today! What a roller coaster ride..but we won!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go Blue

Jim Pryce

Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:36 p.m.

It would be nice to outscore Purdue next week & upgrade from the Motor City bowl to maybe Papa or the Poinsettia Bowl


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:34 p.m.

I never knew it was possible to feel happy and shamed at the same time. Frankly, not just the defense and the turnovers, but being ecstatic about getting a 6th win and going to a bowl game, I feel, is a sign of how low we've fallen, just talking about myself. I came close to jumping up and yelling, "We're going to a bowl game! We're going to a bowl game!" And then I felt bad. Just sayin'... But the defense finally did something right. It got to a point where you had to concede Illinois would get that 3OT TD, so I said to myself, "Michigan needs to run as fast as they ever have before and get to Scheelhaase." And they did. Between bowl eligibility and the "positive" NCAA ruling (I mean, nothing's positive about violations), I think a lot of us can put away the coaches hotlist we'd started making. Again, you take the good with the bad in our situation.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:31 p.m.

Mr. Bigelow, please clarify your article. (1) With UM (and more specifically RR) having it "all on the line," how does this game satisfy everything(RR coaching skills, poor defense, NCAA violations)? (2) How can you possibly say, "...defense played its best game of the Big Ten season?" Gave up 65 points, 53 in the regular period. Any team that needs 67 points of offense to win in triple overtime is in serious trouble. For the trivia buffs, the last time UM played Illinois in BASKETBALL the score was 51-44.

Jon Saalberg

Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:29 p.m.

U-M had a football game today, but instead, arena bowl teams showed up. Really, it's a win, but there is the fact that U-M surpassed themselves in defensive mediocrity today. 65 points given up? That must be the most a Division 1 team has ever given up and still won. Anyone know for sure?


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:27 p.m.

way to go. very very good win..can we all just be happy with this for a day or 2..we all know the weaknesses of this team. but as jim rome says, at the end all that matters is the ticker hung in there during this game..guess i am in pretty good health..wooooooo go blue..


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:26 p.m.

It was nice to see the D not play the 3-3-5. Just think how they would be by now if they wouldn't have used it all year. GO BLUE!!! Now on to next week and I still think Michigan has a chance against Wis.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:25 p.m.

Good call UMgoblue47, it was good to see that Greg Rob released the hounds on the 2 pt conversion, The "D" answered the call when it mattered most.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:25 p.m.

The defense did have to play hard considering their avg. start for illini was at the 45. Plus int. and fumbles they had very bad field position. Hats off to change in scheme rarely saw the 3-3-5 today. Offense shred a stout defense that has given big ten troubles including OSU. Stay discipline and the defense can improve.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:20 p.m.

congrat's to roy roundtree, the michigan football team and coaches!!! the defense in ot bent but did not break... the no bowl 4 blue MONKEY is off of michigan's back... GO BLUE...


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:18 p.m.

They did in fact score more points than their basketball teams did back in February. As bad as the D is, it's nice to see them pull out a win like this.


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:17 p.m.

Heres my deal...We are all U of M fans, we know the "D" is young & terrible (the effort is there), kicking game & Spec. teams are terrible, RR this & RR that, but finding a way to win despite that is big (not to mention turnovers). The question is, was Tim Hardaway jr watching?


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:13 p.m.

The final score was more like something I'd expect to see in U-M basketball. But that's OK. Any win is a good win!


Sat, Nov 6, 2010 : 3:10 p.m.

I'm going to withhold any negativity and just enjoy this November win. Way to play hard until the end boys! I'm proud of you... both sides of the ball! GO BLUE!