Illinois vs Michigan prediction, game preview, how to watch. Week 12, Saturday, November 19
Illinois vs Michigan Prediction, Game Preview
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Illinois vs Michigan How To Watch
Date: Saturday, November 19
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
How To Watch: ABC
Record: Illinois (7-3), Michigan (10-0)
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Why Illinois Will Win
Can Michigan throw?
JJ McCarthy was fantastic after taking over the starting quarterback gig, but the passing attack has chilled a bit over the last three weeks. It’s hard to argue with five touchdown passes and no interceptions in easy wins over Michigan State, Rutgers, and Nebraska, but the accuracy wasn’t there – that matters.
What went wrong for Illinois in the losses to Michigan State and Purdue? Michigan State and Purdue could throw a bit, and they did – the Spartans hit 66% of their throws and the Boilermakers threw for 237 yards and three scores.
That’s how you beat Illinois – you throw. Michigan wins by running.
The playbook is simple. Get through the first half, wear teams down, and let the ground game take over. That has worked game after game after game, but Michigan isn’t going to be able to do that against an Illinois defense that allowed 100 rushing yards just twice in wins over Minnesota and Wyoming.
Why Michigan Will Win
Again, can Michigan throw?
More accurately, can Michigan be … accurate?
The Wolverines failed to connect on more than 57% of their passes just twice – again, the layups against Nebraska and Rutgers – and Illinois is 0-3 when allowing teams to hit more than 53% of their throws.
Yes, that means Illinois is 7-0 when holding passing games down, but that’s a tad bit misleading. The Illini didn’t exactly go against Bryce Young or Hendon Hooker in those seven wins.
Michigan might just be that strong to overcome the Illini defensive front.
Penn State has a D, and Michigan ran for over 400 yards against it. Iowa was able to hold up well, and Indiana didn’t do a poor job, but in those two games McCarthy was too busy throwing well.
No one has been able to keep Michigan under four yards per carry, but …
What’s Going To Happen
Poor old Illinois. That was a cute run and all, but now it’s over, it’s basketball season, and everything is back in its rightful place.
Be very, very, very careful here.
The world is already looking ahead to Michigan going to Ohio State for a showdown of 11-0 unbeaten teams to see who – for all intents and purposes – will win the Big Ten title and be off to the College Football Playoff.
This game is absolutely perfect for Illinois – at least in theory.
The defense should be able to hold up, the offense that’s sixth in the nation in time of possession will take the air out of the ball, and the No. 1 team in college football in pass efficiency defense will be all over the Wolverine receivers.
The Michigan defense will rise up when it absolutely has to – especially with Illinois star RB Chase Brown banged up – but there will be a whole lot of sweating for late November.
Illinois vs Michigan Prediction, Line
Michigan 23, Illinois 16
Line: Michigan -17.5, o/u: 42.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3.5
Illinois vs Michigan Must See Rating (out of 5): 4
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