Menu
Home

College Sports

Illinois-Michigan Preview Capsule

No. 25 Michigan (3-2, 1-0 Big Ten) vs. Illinois (2-4, 0-2), 3:30 p.m. (ABC)

Line: Michigan by 23½.

Series Record: Michigan leads 68-23-2.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Michigan can't afford to lose a game it is supposed to win during its quest to win a Big Ten title for the first time since 2004. Illinois can get an unexpected boost with an upset after getting blown out by Penn State and Wisconsin to open Big Ten play.

KEY MATCHUP

Michigan TB Fitzgerald Toussaint vs. Illinois' run defense. Michigan is determined to run Toussaint early and often, hoping to take some pressure off QB Denard Robinson on the ground. The Illini gave up 173 yards rushing in each of their last two losses to Wisconsin and Penn State.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

MICHIGAN: Toussaint. After running for 1,091 last year, the junior has not been able to find his groove. Toussaint ran for just 19 yards on 17 carries in last week's win over Purdue and has just 169 yards rushing in four games this season.

ILLINOIS: QB Nathan Scheelhaase. He has bounced back from an ankle injury well enough to lead the team with 84 yards rushing, including a 5-yard TD, and 178 yards passing and another score in last week's loss to Wisconsin.

FACTS & FIGURES

If Michigan beats Illinois as expected, college football's winningest program will be going for win No. 900 next week against Michigan State, which has won the last four games in the rivalry. ... The Illini have lost their last three games by a combined score of 118-45. ... The Wolverines are 14-0 when they score at least 20 points with second-year coach Brady Hoke and are 0-4 when they score fewer than 20. ... Michigan beat Illinois 67-65 in their last meeting at the Big House two years ago, setting Big Ten records with 132 combined points and 1,237 yards of offense.