CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- With Mike Hart walking the sideline in a warmup jacket, Michigan (No. 25 BCS, No. 24 AP) needed some substitute stars.
Brown rushed for 113 yards and Henne played through a hand injury to throw two touchdown passes in the Wolverines' 27-17 win over Illinois on Saturday night.
Receiver Mario Manningham also caught nine balls for 109 yards and two touchdowns, including the tiebreaking score.
"The only word to describe Henne is courageous," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "He did something anybody on this team will never forget."
Hart, the nation's leading rusher with 152 yards a game, watched from the sideline after hurting an ankle last weekend in a win over Purdue. Michigan (6-2, 4-0) was still able to extend its winning streak to six games.
After starting the season with humbling losses to Appalachian State and Oregon at home, Michigan is tied with No. 1 Ohio State for the Big Ten lead.
The Illini have lost two in a row and are still looking for the win they need to become bowl eligible for first time since 2001.
"We had opportunities to win the game," Illinois coach Ron Zook said. "We let it slip away from us."
The Illini (5-3, 3-2) were flagged 10 times for 107 yards and kept two Michigan scoring drives alive with penalties.
Also return man Kyle Hudson fumbled away a fourth-quarter punt with the score tied 17-17 that set up Michigan's go-ahead score.
After signaling for a fair catch, Hudson dropped the ball at his own 13. Michigan senior Sean Griffith fell on it.
"I guess he just misjudged it," Zook said. "That was really the straw that broke the camel's back."
The turnover set up the Manningham's second touchdown, which came on a gadget play.
Wide receiver Adrian Arrington ran right on a reverse before tossing to Manningham open in the Illini end zone.
"I was thinking I was going to run it the whole time but then I saw Mario and I knew I had to throw it to him," Arrington said.
A short punt and interference penalty by Illinois led to the Wolverines' first points, a 25-yard K.C. Lopata field goal that made the score 7-3.
Michigan took its first lead on a drive that, if not for another costly mistake, would have ended deep in Wolverine territory.
After back-to-back sacks of Henne, the Wolverines were forced to punt from their own 13. But Illinois' Joe Morgan ran into punter Zoltan Mesko, giving Michigan a first down on the penalty.
Ten plays later, Henne hit Arrington for a diving 8-yard touchdown and a 17-14 lead.
Henne hurt his hand on a first-quarter sack, and left the game twice. But he finished the game, completing 18 of 26 passes for 201 yards with an interception. Backup Ryan Mallett was 2-for-6 for 16 yards and an interception.
Carr declined to discuss the nature of Henne's injury, but said he let the quarterback decide whether he could keep playing.
"At the half, we were just hoping he would be able to return at some point," Carr said. "He played with a lot of discomfort."
The Illini sacked Henne and Mallett a combined four times.
But aside from a 90-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter, which put Illinois up 14-3, the Illini struggled to move the ball.
Carr said his team struggles in practice against the no-huddle, spread offense that Illinois runs, but handled it well during the game.
"Other than that [drive], our defense I thought adjusted to the speed of the game," Carr said.
Rashard Mendenhall, who came in averaging 119.9 yards, was held to a 85 yards on 18 carries.
Williams was 8-for-14 for 70 yards with an interception and one touchdown. For the fourth straight week, Zook gave backup Eddie McGee some time, looking for a change of pace. McGee was 6-for-12 for 46 yards.
"We just have to work from here," Willis said. "The game's over. We just have to forget about it."