Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/9/12
Michigan Football (3-2, 1-0) will play their first home game since September 15th when they host Illinois (2-4, 0-2) on Saturday afternoon at the Big House. Kick off is scheduled for 3:35 pm and the game will be broadcast on ABC.The Fighting Illini’s two wins this season have come against Western Michigan and Charleston Southern, yes they played host to the Charleston Southern Buccaneers and pulled out a 44-0 victory . They opened Big Ten play at home against Penn State and were crushed 35-7. Last week they lost at Wisconsin 31-14.Brady Hoke talked about Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase on Monday. “Scheelhaase is a guy that can be very dangerous,” he said. “He’s very effective running the football. He’s healthy. I don’t think he was healthy earlier in the year.” A healthy Scheelhaase played well at Wisconsin last week as he rushed for 84 yards and passed for 178 yards. He had a touchdown run and pass in the game.On defense for Illinois, junior LB Jonathan Brown has been a force, racking up 38 tackles, a team-high 6.5 TFLs (fifth-most in the Big Ten), 1.5 sacks and one PBU. Defensive end Michael Buchanan has tallied 24 tackles, 6 PBUs, 5.0 TFLs, a team-high 2.5 sacks, four QB hurries and one forced fumble on the season.Michigan was all but dismissed by many pundits after their 2-2 performance in the non-conference schedule. It didn’t seem to matter that those 2 losses were to #1 Alabama and #7 Notre Dame and that Michigan’s strength of schedule is among the 10 toughest in the country. It also went largely unnoticed that Michigan’s defense was able to overcome 6 turnovers by the offense at Notre Dame and keep the Wolverines in it until the final moments, before they ultimately lost 13-6. Many had written them off and heaped praises on teams with better records against weaker schedules (teams like Purdue). None of that mattered to the Wolverines. They went about their business over the bye week of fine tuning some things and preparing for a run at the Big Ten Championship.They opened that championship quest with a resounding 44-13 win at Purdue, a team many were hailing as a favorite to win the Leaders division. Now the Wolverines return to the friendly confines of Michigan Stadium for a game against Illinois. Michigan’s ground game powered the offense at Purdue and thanks to an improving offensive line it has become a strength for this year’s team. The Wolverines currently rank 29th nationally and 4th in the conference in rushing offense. Denard Robinson is of course Michigan’s catalyst on offense and he ranks 4th in the country and leads the Big Ten in rushing.Robinson earned a record tying 9th Big Ten Player of the Week award last week, but it’s the defense that has raised hopes in Ann Arbor. They’ve been able to force some turnovers in the last two games and have budding young stars all over the field. Players like Jake Ryan, Frank Clark, Brennen Beyer, Joe Bolden, James Ross III, Raymon Taylor, Mario Ojemudia, Ondre Pipkins and Jarrod Wilson are all freshmen or sophomore eligible and have made significant contributions to a rising defense.The unquestioned goal of this team from day 1 has been a Big Ten Championship and that is the mindset team 133 is operating with. “We know we’re in a championship game every Saturday,” Brady Hoke explained. “So our mentality and attitude needs to reflect that by our actions in practice.” Hoke has been pleased with what he has seen in practice and the results are starting to translate into success on the field. Michigan ranks 2nd in the Big Ten and 19th nationally in total defense. The Wolverines limited Purdue to 210 yards of offense and for the third week in a row, held their opponent to 13 points.Injury Updates: Jordan Kovacs played with a brace on his knee at Purdue. Brennen Beyer returned from a knee injury and played against the Boilermakers. Hoke expects Beyer will be closer to 100% this week.Notes: This will be Michigan Football’s annual Pink Game. Players will wear pink gloves and wristbands during the game, while all U-M coaches and staff members on the sideline will wear hats with pink trim and pink “Beat Breast Cancer” bracelets.Michigan will honor Gerald Ford this week and break his number 48 out of retirement. ”I don’t think there is any doubt there is a significance when you have a former president of the United States of America who’s a graduate and a player,” Hoke said on Monday. “Believe me, it’s very significant.”Prediction: So far this season I am 5-1 predicting the outcome of Michigan Football games. I think Michigan has a clear advantage in this contest. I think the defense will continue their ascent and the offensive line will put together their best performance of the season. Look for Fitz Toussaint to have a break out game and Michigan to roll to an easy 45-14 victory.Related articlesMichigan rolls past Purdue 44-13Michigan to honor Gerald Ford in 2012

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Kings blowing up roster, putting Darren Collison, Ben McLemore on block

Russell Westbrook's beef with Kevin Durant might not be over after all

Giants could use franchise tag on Jason Pierre-Paul

Two-time Le Mans winner felt he had to hide homosexuality

Emmanuel Sanders wife: WR lied to Broncos, skipped practice to party


Report: Celtics focused on Jimmy Butler amid Cousins trade news

DeMarcus Cousins traded to Pelicans for players, picks

West teammates hilariously celebrate Durant and Westbrook oop

Report: Romo willing to rework contract to facilitate trade

Lonzo Ball's father says son is better than Curry right now

Report: Rams could have interest in Cousins if Goff flops

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Best of Yardbarker: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

The 'Michael Jordan might still win the Dunk contest if he entered' quiz

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Box Score 2/17: Happy birthday, Michael Jordan (and welcome to 1000 point club, Sid!)

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher with 200 or more wins since 1961

Best of YB: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Who will break these NBA All-Star Game records?

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker