Oct. 13, 2012
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Michigan Stadium)
Score: #25 Michigan 45, Illinois 0
Records: U-M (4-2, 2-0 Big Ten), Illinois (2-5, 0-3 Big Ten)
Next U-M Game: Saturday, Oct. 20 -- vs. Michigan State (Michigan Stadium), 3:30 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Behind a stout defense that surrendered just 134 total yards and garnered its first shutout of the season, the University of Michigan football team (No. 25 AP/NR USA Today) blanked Illinois, 45-0, on Saturday (Oct. 13) at Michigan Stadium on homecoming.
Junior/sophomore linebacker Jake Ryan (Westlake, Ohio/St. Ignatius) tied a career high with 11 tackles, including 3.5 tackles-for-loss and 1.5 sacks. Fifth-year senior linebacker Kenny Demens (Oak Park, Mich./Detroit Country Day) also added eight tackles and his first career interception.
Michigan senior quarterback Denard Robinson (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach) connected on 7-of-11 passes for 159 yards and two scores while also adding 128 yards and two scores rushing -- the seventh career game that Robinson has tallied two scores both on the ground and through the air.
With his second-quarter rushing touchdown, Robinson became the eighth player in NCAA Division I football history to tally at least 40 career touchdowns both on the ground and through the air.
After forcing the Fighting Illini to punt on its opening possession, the Wolverines wasted no time in putting points on the board. On the fifth offensive play, Robinson connected on a wide receiver screen with senior/junior Jeremy Gallon (Apopka, Fla./Apopka), who took the ball 71 yards to the end zone. The reception marked the longest Michigan touchdown from scrimmage of the season and tied Gallon's career long.
On its second possession, U-M moved the ball 65 yards down the field on nine plays, ultimately adding three points to the lead on an 18-yard field goal by senior/junior kicker Brendan Gibbons (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman).
Midway through the second quarter, Illinois kicker Taylor Zalewski missed on a 50-yard field goal attempt, turning the ball over to the Maize and Blue. Robinson carried the ball three times on the drive, including a 33-yard run and a touchdown from six yards out to give the Wolverines a 17-0 lead shortly before halftime.
U-M took the ball to start the second half and six plays later Robinson dashed 49 yards for his second rushing score of the contest, giving the Wolverines a 24-0 advantage. On the run, Robinson became only the eighth Big Ten player to compile more than 10,000 total yards of offense in a career.
Demens snatched his first career interception on the first Illini play from scrimmage following the Michigan score. Four plays later, Robinson lofted a pass into the end zone for freshman tight end Devin Funchess (Farmington Hills, Mich./Harrison HS), who hauled in his third touchdown reception of the season. After a Gibbons extra point, Michigan owned a 31-0 lead just five minutes into the second half.
Deep in Illinois territory, Ryan forced an Illini fumble, which freshman defensive end Mario Ojemudia (Farmington Hills, Mich./Harrison) scooped up. On the second Wolverines' play, senior/junior running back Fitzgerald Toussaint (Youngstown, Ohio/Liberty) dove into the end zone for his first score of the game, extending the lead to 38-0 late in the third quarter.
Halfway through the fourth quarter, sophomore running back Thomas Rawls (Flint, Mich./Flint Northern) took the ball around the right side 63 yards for his second touchdown in as many games to give the Wolverines the final 45-0 advantage.
Michigan stays in Ann Arbor next Saturday (Oct. 20) to challenge in-state rival Michigan State. The game will start at 3:30 p.m. EDT and be televised by Big Ten Network.
Contact: Justin Dickens (734) 763-4423