Michigan may not have had Hart in uniform on Saturday night in Champaign, but they showed they had plenty of heart. Carlos Brown stepped in for Michael Hart and delivered a 113-yard effort against Illinois. With Mario Manningham having a 100-yard receiving night, it was enough to put the Wolverines over the top and win a hard-fought game in the fourth quarter.
It was a satisfying win for Lloyd Carr, and it had to be equally frustrating for Ron Zook. This was a game Illinois had every chance to win and their own mistakes cost them. They had double-digit penalties. They let foolish penalties keep Michigan drives alive. In short, they made the mistakes that teams make when they have the talent to win championships, but the maturity level is not yet there.
Ohio State kept their ship on course with a workmanlike win over Michigan State. It wasn't as close as the 24-17 makes it sound. The Buckeye defense was dominant. Javon Ringer and Jehuu Caulcrick were completely shut down. MSU's only two touchdowns were scored by the defense, and after falling behind 17-0, the Spartans still weren't able to close to within one score until less then four minutes remained.
Jim Tressel's squad also pounded the ball on the ground, with Chris Wells romping for 221 yards. But the story of the day in the one town in Central/East Ohio not in a baseball-induced depression right now is the defense. Bob Hunter at The Columbus Dispatch reports that this D gets no satisfaction and that's a good thing.
At the start of the season, observers circled the USC game as the conclusion of the first part of Notre Dame's season--one where they would play eight probable bowl teams. That part of the schedule came to an end in much the same way it began. Routed at home with no offense to speak of. At 1-7, ND goes into a bye week before what it hopes will be a November renewal against a softer schedule. Rakes of Mallow looks at the particulars of the awful 2007.