Jake Moody had a 35-yard field goal with nine seconds left, carrying No. 3 Michigan to a 19-17 win over Illinois on Saturday.
The Wolverines (11-0, 8-0 Big Ten, No. 3 CFP) played much of the second half without star running back Blake Corum, who grabbed his left knee after being tackled just before halftime.
Michigan will now turn its full attention to playing rival and second-placed Ohio State on the road, where it hasn’t won since 2000 with a berth in the Big Ten championship game and likely the playoffs. college football game.
The Fighting Illini (7-4, 5-3) took a 17-10 lead late in the third quarter on Chase Brown’s 37-yard touchdown. With a chance of running out of time, they had to travel to Michigan late in the game and failed to hold on and beat a top three team for the first time since eliminating the state. top-ranked Ohio in 2007.
Brown finished with 140 rushing yards and two scores on 29 carries.
With Corum out and the passing game canceled, Wolverines had to settle for Moody scoring four field goals in the second half.
JJ McCarthy was 18 of 34 for 208 yards, missing a few throws and losing.
Corum rushed for 108 yards and his 19th touchdown this season on 18 carries with just one rushing attempt in the second half. The Heisman Trophy prospect has 100 rushing yards in eight straight games, tying the school record with current running backs coach Mike Hart, who set the mark in 2007.
Illinois quarterback Tommy DeVito, a transfer from Syracuse, was 21 of 30 for 178 yards.
Illinois coach Bret Bielema led his team two days after the death of his mother, Marilyn.
The Wolverines entered the game without defensive end Mike Morris, who has a team-high 7 1/2 sacks, and dual-threat running back Donovan Edwards due to undisclosed injuries.
Illinois No. 3 receiver Pat Bryant missed the game with a concussion.
Illinois: After losing back-to-back games to Purdue and Michigan State, Bielema had prepared his team to play and made mid-game adjustments to make the game much tighter than expected.
Michigan: If Corum can’t play or is limited against the Buckeyes, his teammates will have a hard time coming out on top next week.
Illinois: Plays at Northwestern.
Michigan: Plays at Ohio State, where they last won in 2000.
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