On Saturday, at 11 a.m. Central time, the Illinois Fighting Illini will take on the Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor, MI. The Illini defense, which is ranked 12th in points scored against them, will aim to slow down Denard “Shoelace” Robinson. Denard Robinson was at one point this season a candidate to win the Heisman Trophy because of his explosiveness and the amount of yards and touchdowns he has gotten. Unfortunately, his defense has not been able to keep up with him. The Wolverine defense is ranked 89th in the nation for points against them.
The Illini defense will have a hard time stopping the Wolverines on offense because of Robinson, but the defense has shown that they are up to the task in the past weeks. The Illini are now 5th in the Big Ten, just a few weeks ago they were last. The Illini are one win away from being bowl-eligible, don’t think that the Illini are going to allow the Wolverines get in the way of them and that goal. The last time that the Illini were in a bowl game was when they miraculously made the Rose Bowl and played USC. When the team starts off the season after being named a rebuilding team by their fans, it would definitely feel good if they were to make a bowl.
The keys of the game are pretty much the same as they always are. Nathan Scheelhaase cannot make mistakes and lose the game for his team by interceptions or fumbles. Mikel LeShoure will need to have a typical Mikel LeShoure game and run the ball well. Finally, the defense will need to do what they have been doing all season and not allowing the opposing team to move the ball well on them. Denard Robinson may be a great runner, but I am not scared to say the Illini defense will slow him down, maybe even pull off his untied shoes. Hopefully I don’t jinx the team by saying this, but I predict Robinson will have less than 200 total yards. That would be great for someone that averages over 300 total yards per game.
PREDICTION: Illinois- 38, Michigan-21
About the Author
Written by Gregg Pluta
I am currently a sophomore in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.