It will be a clash of two titans in college football on Saturday as Illinois running back Chase Brown, the nation’s leading rusher, is “good to go” against the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday per ESPN’s Pete Thamel:
Sources: Illinois star running back Chase Brown, the nation's leading rusher, is "good to go" against Michigan today. He practiced "full go" on Thursday and Friday. https://t.co/9Kzoe04yxn— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 19, 2022
The Fighting Illini running back went down with a leg injury in last week’s 31-24 loss to Purdue in a game where he recorded just under 100 yards and two touchdowns. However, on Saturday, he is in line to play the top-ranked defense and rushing defense in the country in Ann Arbor.
Brown has 1,442 yards on 280 attempts this season and averages almost 150 rushing yards per game. Meanwhile, the Wolverines' defense allows 72.7 yards on the ground per contest, half of Brown’s average. It’s the matchup that everyone in the country will have their eyes on as the Wolverines look to stay undefeated and in the College Football Playoff hunt.
There is no doubt Brown’s presence on the field will be felt by this Michigan program. Guesses are that they have been prepping as if they would face him all week. Reports from Illinois Head Coach Bret Bielema early in the week were positive in his projections for playing in Ann Arbor on Saturday.
Illinois is 7-3 on the season and has dropped its last two contests. Coming into Saturday, the Illini are knotted in a four-way tie for first place in the Big Ten West with a Big Ten Championship appearance hanging in the balance. Brown’s return will spike interest in the Illini side, but the Wolverines are still favored to win this game on Senior Day with ESPN’s FPI giving Michigan a 90.7% chance to win this one.