Posted by Jerry Hinnen
At one point, it looked like Michigan had it in the bag, up 38-31 with the ball and driving deep into Illinois territory. Then it looked like they had no chance, down 45-38 with time for only one drive and Tate Forcier in for the injured Denard Robinson , out with either a head r hand injury (again).
But Forcier converted that drive into a critical last-minute touchdown, and Michigan survived three overtimes to win today's nominee for Big Ten game of the year 67-65 when Nathan Scheelhaase couldn't get a two-point conversion passoff. The game featured all kinds of superlatives and records, but maybe the most impressive is that Michigan receiver Roy Roundtree is now the school's single-game record holder for receiving yardage, having hauled in 9 catches for 246 yards. Even considering the addition of three extra frames, the amount of offense is staggering: 676 total yards for the Wolverines, 561 for the Illini. And the game provided some nice redemption for Forcier, the one-time golden boy who lost his job to Robinson in the offseason and began his outing today by setting up an Illini score with an unforced fumble.
But the biggest winner of all is Rich Rodriguez , who has his team bowl-eligible for the first time in his three seasons and could even push to seven wins with a victory over injury-riddled Purdue . As powerful as the Michigan offense looks, it seems unlikely the usually-stolid Michigan administration will rfire him after a bowl season over simply asking him to make defensive staffing changes. RichRod had never been in more trouble after last week's defensive meltdown against Penn State , but he might never have been safer than he is after this week's victory.
That's crazy, but it's also week-to-week business as usual in the college football business.