Football

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CHAMPAIGN — For all the pent-up concern about this Michigan football team, there was never much of a question as to whether it would beat Illinois on Saturday. The question lay in the how of it. 

Michigan will be looking to continue a two-game win streak when it faces Illinois on Saturday.

And yet, football season is 12 games, so you’ll be watching anyway, eager to see whether the Wolverines win by 20 or 30.
And when you do, you’ll want something to keep your interest after Michigan goes up multiple scores. The Daily breaks down what to watch for:

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oe Milton’s chance is as close as it’s ever been these days, having meandered his way up the depth chart by equal parts fortune and persistence. Redshirt sophomore Dylan McCaffery has yet to return from his concussion suffered against Wisconsin, and as such, Milton has inherited more reps, both in practice and game. He completed three of four passes in an appearance against Rutgers, tallying 59 passing yards and two total touchdowns (one rushing). A brief stint, sure, but an undeniably encouraging one.

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Two-and-a-half weeks ago, Josh Metellus sat expressionless behind a podium in Madison.

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After a win over Iowa, Michael Dwumfour texted his defensive coordinator.

“Coach, I jumped some gaps,” he said, according to Don Brown. “It won’t happen again.”

Senior quarterback Shea Patterson has kept his faith in new offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, despite some statistical struggles to start the season.

Michigan ranked 25th in offensive SP+ last year. It brought in a new coordinator, Josh Gattis. Through a month of the season, it ranks 66th in the same category. Pick whatever number you want — the Wolverines are probably down. As Patterson and others pointed out, they are 4-1, their fate still in their hands. But the numbers seem to portend things getting worse once the tough part of the schedule comes around.

Offensive coordinator Josh Gattis’ offense has scored 7.2 fewer points per game and over 51 fewer yards than the group did last season.

Josh Gattis came in with a plan to revolutionize Michigan’s offense and bring it into the modern era of college football. Through five games, the unit is down 51.7 yards and 7.2 points per game from a season ago, when it was roundly criticized as antiquated and inefficient.

Brandon Peters will face his old teammates as Illinois' quarterback this weekend.

Peters was once anointed Michigan’s savior, coming into a 2017 game against Rutgers to raucous cheers after it was clear John O’Korn would no longer cut it. It seemed like Peters could finally be the quarterback the Wolverines had been missing. The feeling lasted for three fleeting games. Then Peters suffered a concussion against Wisconsin, could only watch as O’Korn was dreadful in a loss to Ohio State and looked utterly pedestrian in a bowl loss to South Carolina. That April, Shea Patterson was granted an instant-eligibility waiver and Peters’ entire career was thrown into flux.

Jim Harbaugh voiced his opinion on NFL Draft entry rules and paying college athletes on Monday.

Jim Harbaugh was asked an open-ended question Monday, as reporters searched for his thoughts on the California bill that was passed last week allowing players to profit off their name, image and likeness. As the hot-button topic of the college sports landscape, it’s more than a reasonable question to ask of the highest-paid figure in the state of Michigan. Harbaugh used the chance to expound upon — even flesh out — his own thoughts about amateurism, pay-for-play and potential reform options.

Saturday's victory over Iowa marked the fifth top-15 win of Jim Harbaugh's tenure at Michigan, none of which have come on the road.

It was the fifth top-15 win of the Jim Harbaugh era, none of which have come away from Michigan Stadium. That’s a game Michigan wins at home and might not on the road.
And that’s all it was.