A four-touchdown lead had been whittled to three points and No. 16 Michigan needed a response to Illinois' 25 straight points.
Shea Patterson and the Wolverines put together a long touchdown drive and the Michigan defense forced two turnovers in a late surge to hold off host Illinois 42-25 on Saturday.
"We rose to the challenge," Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh said. "But yeah, it got interesting for a while there."
Hassan Haskins ran for 125 yards and a touchdown and Zach Charbonnet had 116 yards on the ground for the Wolverines (5-1, 3-1), who were up 28-0 at half.
Turnovers and ineffective offense helped the Illini (2-4, 0-3) cut the lead to 28-25 with 12:50 left in the fourth quarter when Dre Brown ran in from a yard out. Brown also converted a two-point conversion.
Michigan drove 79 yards in 10 plays, capped by Patterson's 5-yard touchdown pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones. Patterson sealed it with a touchdown run after Illinois turned the ball over at its 1.
"We are doing a good job taking the ball away. That's giving us a spark," Illinois coach Lovie Smith said. "They pulled away late with us turning the ball over."
Patterson, when asked about the Illinois surge, smiled. "No worries. I mean, we were a little frustrated, but it turned out OK," he said.
Matt Robinson, starting for injured quarterback Brandon Peters, a graduate transfer from Michigan, was 16-for-25 for 192 yards and one touchdown for Illinois. He also ran for a score.
Michigan lost two more fumbles, raising its season total to nine lost on a total of 17 fumbles.
Illinois linebacker Jake Hansen had his fifth forced fumble of the season.
Indiana 35, Rutgers 0: Indiana linebacker Reakwon Jones couldn't believe his eyes. There was the football, rolling on the Memorial Stadium turf on the very first play from scrimmage.
Demarcus Elliott caused the fumble with a hit on Rutgers' Johnny Langan, and Jones scooped up the ball and carried it 17 yards to the end zone 10 seconds into the game. Indiana (4-2, 1-2) went on to beat the Scarlet Knights (1-5, 0-4).
It was the fastest TD in Memorial Stadium's 60-season history.
Rutgers has been outscored 165-7 in Big Ten games this season, including 117-0 on the road.
Whop Philyor posted his second straight game with 10 or more catches and 100 or more receiving yards. He had 10 for a career-high 182.
Purdue 40, Maryland 14: Jack Plummer completed 33 of 41 passes for 420 yards and three touchdowns — with no interceptions — as the host Boilermakers (2-4, 1-2) ended a three-game losing streak. It was the second-most passing yards by a freshman in school history.
Four freshmen scored all five touchdowns for Purdue, including David Bell, who had nine catches for 138 yards and two scores.
Brycen Hopkins had 10 catches — the most by a Purdue tight end since 2001 — for 140 yards.