Big Ten Football: Michigan Wolverines-Illinois Fighting Illini Preview

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 19: Head coach Rich Rodriguez of the Michigan Wolverines is flanked by quarterbacks Tate Forcier #5 and David Cone #17 as he signals during the game with the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Michigan Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Michigan won 45-17.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
The WolverineCorrespondent IOctober 30, 2009

Michigan will run, and run a plenty on an Illinois rush defense that ranks last in the Big Ten.

Hurt by key injuries and poor spirits, Illinois' defense will be no match for the Wolverines' offense. If the Michigan offense can actually get the ball into Tate Forcier's hands, the Wolverines will score plenty of points. Look for a huge day from Carlos Brown and a solid day from Mike Shaw. The wideouts redeem themselves and the offense begins to look like the one that showed up in the early part of the season.

As good as the Wolverines will be on offense, we just don't know which Illinois team will show up to play on offense.

The Wolverines have not one, but two, massive Achilles' heels: The middle and back of the defense. If Illinois follows the obvious game plan to attack those parts of the field, they will be able to put up points and compete. On the other hand, the defensive line is coming off of a generally impressive performance against a tough PSU line. If they show up ready to play, Illinois may not have time to throw the medium-to-deep ball.

Unfortunately that isn't what has killed us the majority of the season. Poor tackling, missed assignments, and blown coverage have allowed for scores that weren't dependent upon long range passing. Juice attacked us everywhere last year, including over the top. Let's see what Illinois does this year.

Look for a solid Wolverine performance. Michigan-34 Illinois-24.

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