College Football Week 7: Illinois At #25 Michigan
|Tim Beckman didn’t have the resume many Illinois fans were hoping for from Ron Zook’s replacement. He went 21-16 in his three years as a head coach, at Toledo, and is now 2-3 as leader of the Fighting Illini.||Coaching||After a BCS bowl victory in his first year, Brady Hoke has Michigan looking like a strong contender to reach the Big Ten title game. Though Michigan State is looming, the Wolverines can’t be caught looking ahead.|
|The major stats (points and yards per game) suggest Illinois has one of the worst offenses in the country. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase has been equal parts injured and ineffective; his low point may have come last Saturday when a referee declined his high-five attempt after Scheehaase had scored a touchdown.||Offense||After the debacle against Notre Dame, Michigan went run-heavy against Purdue and dominated to the tune of 304 rushing yards and 44 points. When not facing an elite defense—Alabama and Notre Dame—Michigan has moved the ball at will.|
|The Illini defense has been solid, forcing turnovers at an above-average rate and holding opponents to 350 yards per game, but those numbers are boosted by games against Western Michigan and Charleston Southern, Illinois’ two victories.||Defense||This unit continues to impress, following up a dominant performance against Notre Dame with another strong showing against Purdue in which the Wolverines allowed just 213 yards and intercepted two passes, returning one 63 yards for a score.|
|Freshman Taylor Zalewski took over the kicking duties after three games but hasn’t looked too impressive; the rest of Illinois’ special teams play has had costly miscues.||Special Teams||Brendan Gibbons continues to be very reliable from 40 yards and in (and he did hit a 42-yarder on Saturday) and Michigan recovered a muffed kickoff against Purdue.|
The winner is
More Tales of the tape
NCAA Championship Game: #1 Louisville Vs. #4 Michigan
Rick Pitino has been here before, after making his 7th Final Four appearance, he’s now in his third go-round in the title game. He’s got plenty of experience on the big stage and he has the Cardinals playing high level basketball at the right time.
NCAA Tournament Championship Weekend: #4 Michigan Vs. #4 Syracuse
No. 4 Michigan and No. 4 Syracuse square off in Atlanta this weekend with the winner getting a shot to play for the National Title.
NCAA Tournament Championship Weekend: #1 Louisville Vs. #9 Wichita State
Rick Pitino and No. 1 Louisville take on No. 9 Wichita State in Atlanta this weekend for a shot to play in the National Title game on Monday.
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