No. 3 Michigan beats Illinois 19-17 after Corum hurts knee

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan survived a pair of scares.

Jake Moody made a go-ahead, 35-yard field goal with nine seconds left, lifting the third-ranked Wolverines to a 19-17 win over Illinois on Saturday.

Michigan (11-0, 8-0 Big Ten, No. 3 CFP) played much of the second half without star running back Blake Corum, who hurt his left knee after being tackled just before halftime and had only one carry in the second half.

X-rays, though, gave coach Jim Harbaugh and his players a sense of relief.

“Structurally good, which is great news,” Harbaugh said.

The Wolverines will now turn their attention to playing rival and second-ranked Ohio State on the road, where they have not won since 2000 with a spot in the Big Ten champinship game at stake and College Football Playoff implications.

“We’ve been preparing for this the whole year,” defensive lineman Kris Jenkins said.

The Fighting Illini (7-4, 5-3) took a 17-10 lead late in the third quarter on Chase Brown‘s 37-yard touchdown run. But the couldn’t build on it.

With a chance to run out the clock and a one-point lead, they had to punt to Michigan late in the game. The Illini failed to hold on and beat a top-three team for the first time since knocking off top-ranked Ohio State in 2007.

“Very angry. Very upset,” coach Bret Bielema said. “I think our kids did a lot to win the football game and to continually have things just go against us, very frustrating.”

Brown finished with 140 yards rushing and two scores on 29 carries, choosing to play with an injured right leg that he hurt last week.

Illinois quarterback Tommy DeVito, a Syracuse transfer, was 21 of 30 for 178 yards.

With Corum out and the passing game off, the Wolverines had to settle for Moody making four field goals in the second half.

J.J. McCarthy was 18 of 34 for 208 yards, missing some throws and having some dropped on afternoon that had a wind chill of 11 degrees and wind gusts hovering around 18 mph.

“A lot of things to fix, but it was great to go out there and just get the win and be in those elements,” McCarthy said. “We haven’t been in a game where the wind was really like that and it was great to get that experience.”

Corum had 108 yards rushing and his 19th touchdown this season on 18 carries before watching nearly two quarters from the sideline with his helmet off. The Heisman Trophy hopeful has run for 100 yards in eight straight games to tie the school record set by current running backs coach Mike Hart, who set the mark in 2007.

HEAVY HEART

Bielema led his team two days after the death of his mother, Marilyn.

“I made the decision really during the day Friday that this was something I was going to do,” he said. “Very emotional time and I’m still just on the high of the football game. It’s going to be a rough couple days.”

JUST FOR KICKS

Moody’s four field goals gave him a school-record 65, breaking Garrett Rivas’ record set from 2003 to 2006, and matched Remmy Hamilton’s single-game mark at Michigan set in 1994.

MISSING MEN

The Wolverines went into the game missing defensive end Mike Morris, who has a team-high 7 1/2 sacks, and dual-threat running back Donovan Edwards due to undisclosed injuries.

Along with Corum, Harbaugh expects any player who is not completely ruled out to face the Buckeyes.

“Anybody that’s on the fringe, knowing our guys they’re going to want to play,” Harbaugh said.

Illinois’ No. 3 receiver, Pat Bryant, missed the game with a concussion.

THE TAKEAWAY

Illinois: After losing two straight games to Purdue and Michigan State, Bielema had his team prepared to play and made in-game adjustments to make the game much closer than expected.

“Thought our guys answered the bell and rose up to the challenge,” he said.

Michigan: If Corum can’t play or is limited against the Buckeyes, his teammates will have a hard time winning next week.

UP NEXT

Illinois: Plays at Northwestern.

Michigan: Plays at Ohio State.

Improved Illinois extends contract of OC Barry Lunney Jr.

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Illinois offensive coordinator Barry Lunney Jr. has agreed to a one-year contract extension through the 2025 season, the school announced.

Lunney, who is earning $675,000 this year, will be paid $800,000 in 2023 and $825,000 each of the following two years.

Coach Bret Bielema in January hired Lunney away from UTSA, where he was offensive coordinator and associate head coach. Lunney previously worked on Bielema’s staff at Arkansas.

The 21st-ranked Illini (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten) are averaging better than 83 yards more per game this season, the biggest improvement in the Big Ten by more than 20 yards.

Illinois features the nation’s leading rusher in Chase Brown, the No. 2 quarterback in completion percentage in Tommy DeVito, and an offensive line that is up for the Joe Moore Award as the nation’s top unit.

Illinois is in first place in the Big Ten West heading into its home game against Purdue on Saturday.

“Coach Lunney has had a huge impact in his time here directing our offense,” Bielema said. “He has provided an excitement for our offensive players and coaches in the building every day since he came in. The opportunities he has provided our players through his efficient scheme has been vital for the success of our program as we set new expectations going forward.”

Chase Brown’s 180 yards, defense carry No. 24 Illinois past Minnesota

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Chase Brown just keeps impressing Illinois coach Bret Bielema.

“If there’s a better player in college football who has had an effect on his program,” Bielema said, “I’d like to know who it is.”

Brown rushed for 180 yards on a career-high 41 carries and caught a 40-yard touchdown pass to complement the No. 24 Illini’s strong defensive performance in a 26-14 victory over Minnesota.

The Illini (6-1, 3-1) became bowl-eligible for the first time since 2019 with their fifth straight win. They’ll go into their off week tied for first in the Big Ten West.

Brown has a lot to do with it. But he might have to take it easy for a bit after setting a Bowl Subdivision season high for single-game rushing attempts.

“(Ice) tub and tub again,” Brown said. “Just live in the training room for the next two weeks.”

Brown became the first player to go over 1,000 yards for the season. He has a nation-leading 1,059 after running for 1,005 last year. His average number of carries per game has increased from 17 last year to 27.

“It hurts,” he said, “but I just have got to take my recovery to a whole new level and just come back stronger. Use this bye week to get my body back and come back explosive against Nebraska.”

Mohamed Ibrahim rushed for 127 yards, his nation-leading 14th straight 100-yard game and the bulk of the Gophers’ 180 total yards. It was the fewest yards against Illinois by an FBS opponent since at least 2000.

Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan, held to just 21 yards on 4-for-12 passing, left early in the fourth quarter after taking a hit to the head. Athan Kaliakmanis entered for the Gophers (4-2, 1-2) and was intercepted twice.

Illinois quarterback Tommy DeVito, back from an ankle injury that forced him out of last week’s game at Iowa in the first half, ran for a 5-yard touchdown early in the third quarter to put the Illini up 20-14. He completed 25 of 32 passes for 252 yards and a touchdown.

DeVito said the Illini haven’t reached their potential.

“We’re going bowling in October, and that’s a really good feeling,” DeVito said. “But I don’t think that’s the team’s goal. I think we want to go way past that. But it’s just another notch in our belt.”

Brown recorded his eighth straight 100-yard game and has 13 for his career, second most at Illinois behind Robert Holcombe’s 16 from 1994-97.

Bielema said Brown “takes incredibly good care of his body,” but promised he would have a light week after carrying the load against the Gophers.

“He won’t be doing much this week,” Bielema told reporters. “You guys could hang out with him for all I care.”

Brown got wide open on a wheel route for his 40-yard touchdown to finish Illinois’ nine-play, 75-yard drive to start the game. Fabrizio Pinton tacked on a 31-yard field goal to give the Illini a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter.

Pinton connected from 23 yards in the third and from 30 yards in the fourth to extend Illinois’ lead.

Ibrahim was about all Minnesota had going offensively. The Gophers were just 2 of 7 on third downs and finished with their fewest yards since gaining 133 against Wisconsin in 2017.

No opponent had scored a touchdown at Memorial Stadium this season before Morgan’s 9-yard run in the middle of the second quarter. The play capped an eight-play, 80-yard drive the Gophers were unable to replicate the rest of the game.

Quentin Redding’s 92-yard return of the second-half kickoff set up Ibrahim’s 4-yard touchdown, which gave the Gophers a brief 14-13 lead.

HUMBLE HELPS

Illinois offensive lineman Alex Palczewski said he expects he and his teammates to stay humble as winning raises their profile. That especially goes for Brown, who could start getting some Heisman Trophy buzz.

“That’s one thing I love about him,” Palczewski said. “All the guys, no one is really a diva. No one’s like, `Me, me, me.’ ”

BOUNCING BACK

The Gophers have dropped in the West standings, but that doesn’t mean they won’t bounce back in a wide-open division race.

“We have a chance to respond, learn from this game and move on for the next,” sixth-year center John Michael Schmitz said.

THE TAKEAWAY

Minnesota: Just as Ibrahim returns from an injury, Morgan exits. The extent of the sixth-year quarterback’s injury could factor heavily into how the Gophers finish.

Illinois: The Illini have won six straight home games, four in a row against Big Ten West opponents and are out to their best start since 2011. With DeVito healthy, the Illini could be favored in each remaining game except for a Nov. 19 trip to No. 5 Michigan.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

No. 19 Kansas’ loss to Oklahoma might allow the Illini to move up.

UP NEXT

Minnesota: A challenging trip to No. 10 Penn State.

Illinois: An open date precedes an Oct. 29 visit to Nebraska.