10. November 2006 · Comments Off on Wolverines Bully Illini, Reviewing the Big Ten Race · Categories: Archive 2004, Big Ten

Michigan forced to comeback again, escapes Champagne
No, this won’t be remembered as a classic weekend of Michigan football. It is just another game that M was supposed to win and did win. Perhaps not as easy as Coach Lloyd Carr would like.

What he definitely likes is the remarkable performance of his true freshman, bite size Mike Hart, who ran for a remarkable 234 yards. He made both extra-effort type yards (scoring a touchdown with an incredible stretch), and nifty jukes and cuts and acceleration down the sidelines. The running game that was such a concern at the beginning of the year appears to be one of the most solid facets of M’s game. Not only for this season, but for the next few!

The other freshman and USA Today story-boy Chad Henne did not impress this week, but again, got it done. He threw a few bad passes and made some big mistakes that killed drives for the Wolverines.

Overall the game was similar to last week’s comeback over Minnesota Golden Gophers. Michigan was clearly the better team on offense and defense, but made some untimely mistakes (interceptions) that made the game close. Illinois just didn’t have enough to stop Hart.

Big Ten Shaking Out in 2004, Here’s an analysis of team’s that are left:

– Spartans. While probably not going to be a direct factor in the Big Ten race, these guys really whipped Minnesota & suddenly appear to be a tough team with the emergence of QB Drew Stanton. October 30 should be a great game in Ann Arbor. The Spartans may hold the key to the Big Ten race as Wisconsin visits East Lansing in November which could be critical.
– Buckeyes. 0-3 in the Big Ten and reeling. Nothing is working and it seems like all the luck and karma of years past has worn off.
– Purdue. In one of the biggest games in their history, the Boilers blew it. The remarkable final few minutes of that game may have ruined their season. We’ll see how they look next week against Michigan.
– Wisconsin. Here we go again. Another Wisconsin team is looking good but doesn’t play Michigan. My nerves. Get out your old “Wisconsin’s a Fraud” takes.

What will Happen next week:
– I saw some of Purdue/Wisconsin and wasn’t that impressed with the Boilers. That said, Michigan isn’t that good either. I see Michigan struggling on the road again and losing to Purdue in a tough game.

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