- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Detroit Lions reporter
- 0 Shares
Stat of the half: Negative-12. That is the rushing yards Illinois had in the first half. And for how many turnovers the Illini had (a fumble, which was recovered by Michigan safety Thomas Gordon). Michigan's defense stifled Illinois with whatever it tried to do on offense, forcing quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase from the pocket and loading up on running back Jason Ford.
Best player in the half: For the first time this season, two different players. Michigan defensive tackle Mike Martin was dominant in the first half. He took up massive amounts of space, drew two defenders and generally ended up helping freeing the rest of his teammates to be able to pressure Scheelhaase. He also was able to get free and add pressure himself. Offensively, Fitzgerald Toussaint was crucial to Michigan. He had 18 carries for 134 yards, close to his career-high of 170 yards set two weeks ago.
What Michigan needs to do, What Illinois needs to do: Michigan -- Stop turning the ball over. The Wolverines have been in control of the game, outgaining Illinois 249-30 and have moved the ball at will. But Michigan has two fumbles -- both by quarterback Denard Robinson -- and an interception on a Hail Mary. It has negated a stellar defensive performance by Michigan. Illinois -- Find a semblance of an offense. The Illini defense has been good enough, pressuring Robinson and adjusting to Michigan's run game in the second quarter. But Illinois' offense has been terrible. Haven't been able to do anything correctly. Some of that goes to Michigan. A lot goes to Illinois.
Stat of the half: Negative-12. That is the rushing yards Illinois had in the first half. And for how many turnovers the Illini had (a fumble, which was recovered by Michigan safety Thomas Gordon).