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Michigan 67, Illinois 65: Wolverines outlast Illini in triple overtime shootout, Baylor dream season derailed

With so many college football games on today who would have though that all of the scoring in the early slate of games would have wound up in Ann Arbor, Michigan? The Michigan Wolverines finished on top of the Illinois Fighting Illini Saturday afternoon when a two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful by Illinois in the third overtime of a game that featured no defense. Michigan held on for a 67-65 victory in the Big House.

The game featured 132 combined points and was the highest scoring game in Michigan’s storied football history. Before Saturday’s Big Ten explosion with the Illini the highest scoring game in Michigan history saw the Wolverines shutout West Virginia 130-0. The last scoring outburst like this in FBS football happened almost exactly one year ago when Navy beat North Texas 74-62 on November 10, 2007, according to STATS, LLC.

After a slow first quarter saw the Wolverines leading 7-6 things blew wide open in a wild second quarter. The two teams combined for 49 points and they went to the locker room tied at 31. It was another slower third quarter but neither team was able to seize control of the game, and Illinois scored a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter but were unable to keep Michigan out of the end zone to set up an overtime game.

On six combined overtime possessions Michigan and Illinois reached the end zone on six straight attempts. By rule, once the game reaches a third overtime both teams are forced to go for two point conversions rather than kick an extra point. On the most important play of the afternoon, it was Michigan’s maligned defense that brought the pressure on Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, forcing him to scramble out of the pocket before not being able to find an open receiver.

The teams combined for 1,237 yards of offense, 58 first downs and 132 points. Clearly neither team’s defensive coordinator will rest easy tonight. Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Robinson had already been under fire for the performance of the Michigan defense this season, especially after last weekend’s loss at Penn State. How long will the former Syracuse head coach survive in Ann Arbor?

Baylor’s dream season derailed?

The Baylor Bears traveled to Stillwater, Oklahoma today for a Big 12 South showdown that would tell us who would control their own fate in the division moving forward. Baylor, led by quarterback Robert Griffin III had high expectations and had become one of the feel-good stories in college football program. A week after taking down the Texas Longhorns in Austin it was a question if they could maintain that level of play against a high-flying offense such as the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

It did not take long for Oklahoma State to show that they will be the team to beat in the Big 12 South. Jumping to an early 10-0 lead on the upstart Bears set the tone. The Cowboys built an insurmountable 34-0 lead on Baylor before the Bears sniffed the scoreboard with a touchdown run in the third quarter.

Oklahoma State defeated Baylor 55-28 thanks in large part to quarterback Brandon Weeden’s near flawless performance, going 34-for-42 and 435 yards and three touchdowns. Cowboys receiver Justin Blackmon had 173 receiving yards and Griffin failed to throw a touchdown for Baylor.

About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.
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