Michigan-Illinois at a glance - KMOV.com

Michigan-Illinois at a glance

Michigan (5-3, 1-3 Big Ten) at Illinois (1-6, 0-5), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. Eastern

Line: Michigan by 7 1/2.

Series Record: Michigan leads 66-22-2.

Last Meeting: 2008. Illinois won 45-20.

What's at Stake

A year after finishing with three wins, the Wolverines are a victory away from bowl eligibility. With games against Purdue, Wisconsin and Ohio State to follow, this is Michigan's best shot to get there. Illinois just wants to end its five-game losing streak and find something -- anything -- good to build on.

Key Matchup

Michigan running attack vs. Illinois run defense. The Wolverines lead the Big Ten with 219.4 yards a game and a conference-best 22 touchdowns. Carlos Brown and Brandon Minor (who is struggling with ankle and foot injuries) have combined for 693 yards, but six Wolverines have at least 25 carries and 180 yards this season. Illinois, with middle linebacker Martez Wilson out for the year, gives up more running yards than any other Big Ten team (185.2 ypg).

Players to Watch

Michigan: Quarterback Tate Forcier. He needs a return to the form that saw him throw for 437 yards and five TDs in his first two games. In his last two Big Ten games, against Iowa and Penn State, the freshman is 24-of-61 passing with four interceptions and one touchdown.

Illinois: Quarterbacks Juice Williams (senior) and Jacob Charest (redshirt freshmen). In his first college game action, Charest led Illinois on a long drive last week while spelling the erratic Williams, and coach Ron Zook says both will play this week.

Facts & Figures

Illinois quarterback Juice Williams set the Michigan Stadium offensive production record in last year's Illini win with 431 yards. ... Michigan has won eight of the last 10 meetings between the teams. The Wolverines haven't lost in Champaign since 1983. ... Michigan is scoring 33.9 points a game, tops in the Big Ten. ... The Illini are last in the conference in scoring at 16.1 points a game.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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