Saturday, October 22, 2016

Halftime: No. 3 Michigan 31, Illinois 0

                         Photo Credit: The Blueprint Michigan

On a crisp, fall Saturday afternoon, the Michigan Wolverines picked up right where they left off at from the 78-0 Rutgers win on Oct. 8, with a methodical 10-play, 75-yard drive in 4:37 as Wliton Speight found a crossing Butt for a 4-yard touchdown reception to open the scoring against the Illinois Fighting Illini.

With an injury to Wes Lunt in the Purdue game on Oct. 8, freshman Jeff George Jr. got the start for Illinois and the first drive left a lot to be desired as a botched snap by running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn at the quarterback spot for a five-yard loss highlighted Illinois' three and out on its first possession.

Michigan started its next drive at the ILL 44. as Speight pass complete to Hill for a 7-yd reception. Moments later, running back Chris Evans took a helmet-to-helmet hit and laid motionless for approx. 30 seconds, before getting up on his own about five minutes later to the sidelines. 

After the scary moment, the energy came back to life as Speight found Tyrone Wheatley Jr. on a slant route for a 21-yard TD pass to put the Wolverines up by 14.

Despite picking up its first first down of the game on Kendrick Foster's 17-yard run on 3rd and 9, Illinois punted three plays later on its second drive of the day.

Michigan's secret weapon came out once more as tight end Khalid Hill capped off a 79-yard drive with a one-yard score for his conference leading eighth on the season.

The Illini's third possession ended in disaster on special teams as Ryan Frain's punt was deflected by Khaleke Hudson for a nine- yard play as the Wolverines  took over at its own 38.

DeVeon Smith would score on that possession on a four-yard run as the Wolverines poured it on the Illini at 28-0 with 11:00 left in the first half.

Illinois and Michigan exchanged punts before Jeff George Jr. threw the ball while falling backwards as Dymonte Thomas benefited with the interception.

Michigan found itself in prime position once more on the Illinois 25 with 2:17 left, but settled for a Kenny Allen 23-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.

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