College Football Pick
The last time Michigan played, it took about eight minutes for the Game to be over. The last time Michigan played Illinois (2012), it took about seven minutes for the Game to be over. Is it possible this Game is decided in the first six minutes?
The Wolverines are on cruise control and there’s no reason to believe they’ll have to hit the brakes in this Game. They made an absolute mockery of Rutgers the last time out in Piscataway, winning 78-0. Surprisingly, Michigan’s quarterbacks still only finished 8-of-16 for 119 yards. That may be of concern in a different Game, but up against Illinois, there’s no reason to worry about the Wolverines.
Illinois is at least putting up a fight in their Games and living up to their name. Of course, putting up a fight and being good are two different things. The Fighting Illini still lost Four of their first five Games with one of those coming by 24 points against a MAC school. against some good offenses, their defense has failed to do much of anything and that’ll likely be the case on the road here. If the Illini give up 231 rushing yards and three touchdowns to Purdue, it’s likely things will be a little worse against Michigan.
Wilton Speight didn’t need to do anything in the win over Rutgers because the running Game went for a ridiculous 481 yards and nine touchdowns. The Wolverines had three players with at least 99 yards and Four with at least 74. On the other side, it was equally worse. The held both Rutgers QBs to a combined 2-for-18 showing for five yards with the running Game garnering 34 yards on 36 totes (sacks included).
There’s no way any of those numbers are reached again, but a 50-point win could easily be here for the taking again for Michigan. The main reason is because the Illini’s run defense is possibly as worse as Rutgers. They gave up 203 rushing yards to Nebraska, 287 to Western Michigan and 197 yards to UNC, a team that doesn’t even like to run. Reaching 300 rushing yards will be the target for Michigan in this Game.
And if Illinois wants to cover they’ll need to move the ball, something they’ve been able to do somewhat this season. A problem is that starting quarterback Wes LUnt isn’t fully healthy and freshman Chayce Crouch may be asked to make an appearance. If that’s the case, this Game could get ugly early. At the least, the Illini have run the ball fairly well this season and are at close to six yards per carry as a team. However, in the loss to Western, they managed just three rushing yards on 15 attempts (sacks included). If they can’t get past Western’s defensive front, how will they fair against Michigan’s?
Even with a high spread, the Wolverines will once again get plenty of money in this Game, coming off a week of rest after dismantling Rutgers. The Illini maybe aren’t as bad as Rutgers, but they’ll definitely have their hands full, especially if LUnt can’t make it the entire way.
Our Pick – Illinois +40