I did not watch the game - but I have read everythin available about the game and here are my preliminary thoughts - please add yours:
1. Losing Trumpy is significant for NU. Some posters mentioned here that the backups are as good as Trumpy - but the data and NU's bloggers don't think so - there is a significant dropoff. Even if Persa comes back, he will be limited in running - add that to the loss of Trumpy - and expect us to have an easier time stopping the run.
2. Brandon Williams, the NU Punter, is not good. His punts were: 35, 11 (out of bounds), 27 (fair catch), 37 (fair catch), 29 and 65 (!?) yards. We should get a fair amount of special teams yardage advantage on punts. Steve Flaherty, the Kickoff guy is pretty good though.
3. NU's secondary gives big plays. NU's bloggers are all blaming going into a 3 man rush after the lead for the extra time to the QB and resulting big completions - but even before that there were several 30+ yards pass plays. ILL's first series had a 40 yards completiond and the second series had a 36 yards completion.
4. NU had no business losing this game. ILL has 3 TOs and multiple stupid penalties (8 for 70 yards!) - and they managed to find a way to lose. I don't know how they can recover from that.
This will be an interesting game. My impression after all this quasi-reasearch is that we will shut down NU's ground game, give a lot of short passes and manage to pull out some really big plays against them.
Overall: Michigan 31 NU 16