Oct. 31, 2009
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -Juice Williams broke loose against Michigan again and Illinois stopped the Wolverines on four plays from the 1 before the Fighting Illini ran all over the Wolverines for a 38-13 win Saturday.
Mikel LeShoure ran 70 yards for a touchdown following the fourth-down stop, and Illinois (2-6, 1-5) rolled up 377 yards rushing.
Williams, who went wild on Michigan in Ann Arbor last season, carried 21 times for 97 yards and a touchdown Saturday.
LeShoure's long run was the first of three touchdowns sandwiched around a pair of three-and-outs by quarterback Tate Foricer and Michigan in the third quarter.
Illinois and coach Ron Zook hadn't beaten a Bowl Subdivision opponent this season. But Michigan (5-4, 1-4) turned the ball over three times and gave up 500 total yards to what had been an ineffective Illinois attack.
A year after ending a three-decade bowl streak and finishing 3-9 in coach Rich Rodriguez's first season, Michigan remains one win from eligibility, but has four straight Big Ten losses and a win over Delaware State in its last five.
The Wolverines host Purdue next Saturday, then travel to Wisconsin before wrapping up the regular season at home against Ohio State.
It all seemed to come apart for the Wolverines seemed on one sequence in the third quarter.
Forcier found Roy Roundtree over the middle for a long completion, but Terry Hawthorne ran Roundtree down from behind at the 1. The play was originally ruled a touchdown before a video review spotted the ball at the 1.
After three runs by Carlos Brown went nowhere Brandon Minor appeared to just barely make it in on fourth-and-goal. But another review determined that Minor's elbow touched the ground just before he scored.
Illinois took over and moved the ball out to its own 30 before LeShoure went bursting up the middle and scampered 70 yards for a touchdown and a 14-13 lead with 8:58 left in the quarter.
After holding Michigan to a three-and-out, Williams led a 79-yard drive capped by his 2-yard toss to London Davis. Michigan went backward on its next possession and, after a rare bad punt by Zoltan Mesko, the Illini went 45 yards for another touchdown, this one a 3-yard run by Williams for a 28-13 lead.
Forcier finally got the Wolverines moving on the next drive, which looked promising until he was sacked and fumbled at the Illinois 16.
Illinois added a field goal and another stop and when Michigan blocked a punt with 3:49 to play, the Wolverines were in a three-score hole with only the faintest hopes left.
Forcier immiediately fumbled at the Illini 15, and six plays later, Jason Ford went 79 yards to put a cherry on top of the biggest win in a miserable season for Illinois.
Before the goal-line turnaround, Michigan had pretty much shut down Williams, who accounted for more than 400 yards of offense in their meeting last season, a 45-20 rout by Illinois.
After a first-quarter drive ended with Arrelious Benn's leaping, 3-yard touchdown run, Illinois' next three drives ended with Williams on his back on third-down sacks, all for three-and-outs.