In his 31st year on the Illinois football beat, AP Top 25 voter Bob Asmussen is
on call 24/7. Submit your questions BY CLICKING HERE and he'll chase down answers:
What will it take for Illinois to shock the world and beat Michigan?
I have learned to never say never. But there isn't a lot of faith in Illinois when it comes to knocking off the Wolverines.
Illinois opened as a 19-point underdog and the line quickly moved to the current 22-points spread. What that tells me is that folks who wager on college football games are investing heavily in the Wolverines.
For Illinois to hang with Michigan, it needs to play a clean game. No turnovers. Few penalties. And it will need some breaks. An early pick six like it got against Minnesota would help a lot.
Illinois will likely be starting a redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Robinson. It is important that the rest of the offense make it easier for him. The line needs to block better. The receivers need to catch every pass. The runners need to find extra yards.
I have seen Illinois win games like this before. It's been 20 years but nobody gave the Kurt Kittner-led team in 1999 much of a chance to win at Ann Arbor. It looked even more dire after the Wolverines jumped to a 20-point lead. But the Illini chipped away against Tom Brady and eventually took the lead.
The win set off one of the wildest postgame celebrations I have seen. With a stunned Michigan crowd quietly walking out of the building.
If Illinois wins Saturday, it will be a similar-level upset. Though I don't consider Shea Patterson the next Tom Brady.