The No. 25 Michigan Wolverines (3-2, 1-0) look to remain unbeaten in Big Ten play Saturday when they host Illinois at 3:30 p.m. ET before some 112,000 at the Big House. This will be Michigan's final tuneup before facing in-state rival Michigan State (4-2, 1-1) on October 20.
Illinois (2-4, 0-2) is off to a disappointing start under new head coach Tim Beckman. The Illini have dropped their first two league contests, 35-7 to Penn State and 31-14 at Nebraska. Michigan, despite a rocky start of its own, could win its fourth game in its last five starts.
The Wolverines' improvement has mainly come from their defense, as defensive coordinator Greg Mattison's squad came up with a solid performance in last Saturday's 44-13 win over Purdue. The Wolverines defense also played very well in the 13-6 loss to undefeated Notre Dame two weeks ago.
Quarterback Denard Robinson added a pair of awards (Maxwell, Manning) to his trophy case this week as he continues to carry Michigan's offense on his back. But despite being 23-point favorites, Robinson can't do it alone.
Here are some of the keys to assure the Wolverines of another victory.