Michigan dismantled Illinois on Saturday, 41-8, and moved to 7-0 on the season. It wasn’t the best showing out of the team from start to finish (which is saying a ton about how this team has looked so far). Check out my five biggest takeaways from the Wolverine’s seventh win of the season:
1. Jim Harbaugh respects Lovie Smith
Harbaugh respects what new Head coach Lovie Smith is doing at Illinois. Smith is a former NFL guy coaching his first year of college football and there’s no bad blood there. Harbaugh could have implemented the Chris Ash treatment, but didn’t.
2. Harbaugh and Michigan see the bigger picture
Michigan had every opportunity to destroy the Fighting Illini by more. Why didn’t they continue to run up the score? Because Jim Harbaugh knew they had the game in the bag at halftime and didn’t feel the need to show anymore new wrinkles to upcoming opponents. With Michigan State being next on the cutting board, it’s smart to keep things “vanilla” until they need them.
Even when Illinois stacked the box with 8-9 guys, Michigan ran the ball.
3. Michigan believes Peppers has a shot
Jabrill Peppers touched the ball often on the first few drives, hoping to stick one in the endzone to add to his Heisman resume. Although he didn’t score, it’s clear that teams understand how dangerous he is with the ball in his hands, as they keyed on him all afternoon.
4. Wilton Speight is doing ‘enough’
Quarterback Wilton Speight is making the throws and running the offense while not making mistakes. That’s all he needs to do to for this team to be successful. Saturday, he looked comfortable and ready for the biggest road test of the season thus far as the team travels to East Lansing.
Speight was 16-for-23 with 253 yards and two touchdowns.
5. The future looks bright
Michigan continues to sprinkle in younger players during games, preparing them for the future. This time it was TJ Wheatley with his first touchdown catch early in the first half.
Freshman Eddie McDoom also continues to see the ball in different ways. He will break one open at some point this season, it’s just a matter of time.
What were your biggest takeaways from Michigan’s win over Illinois? Let us know in the comment section below!
Photo Credit: Eric Upchurch/MGoBlog
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