Oct. 16, 2004

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) Michael Hart rushed for 234 yards and No. 14 Michigan rallied from a halftime deficit to defeat Illinois 30-19 Saturday, sending the Illini to their 12th consecutive conference loss.

The Wolverines, who struggled through the air in the first half, turned almost exclusively to a running game after halftime and outscored Illinois 20-2 in the second half.

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Hart ran for 127 yards and Max Martin added 60 yards rushing in the second half as the Wolverines kept the ball on the ground after two first-half interceptions of Chad Henne led to a 17-10 halftime deficit.

Michigan threw only nine passes and rushed 39 times after the intermission.

Michigan (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) won its fifth straight. The Illini (3-4, 0-4) haven't won in the conference since the last game of the 2002 season.

The Wolverines held the Illini to 98 yards rushing, while running for 294 themselves. Henne was 14-for-27 for 114 yards and one touchdown.

Michigan scored the first 10 points of the game, but the Illini jumped ahead in the second quarter, thanks in large part to two long interception returns.

The Wolverines intercepted Illinois quarterback Jon Beutjer at his own 6 on the first Illini drive of the second half, and Henne found Tyler Ecker from 1 yard out to cut the Illinois lead to 17-16.

Michigan took the lead for good on its next drive when Henne ran the ball in himself from 2 yards out. A two-point conversion attempt failed, but the Wolverines led 22-17.

Beutjer finished 20-of-39 for 156 yards, but he threw three interceptions. Pierre Thomas caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from Beutjer, and added a 1-yard TD run.


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