Minnesota-Illinois Postgame Notes

Go Gophers!
Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!

Nov. 10, 2012

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SERIES NOTES

  • Minnesota and Illinois met for the 66th time today.
  • Today's game was the 31st visit to Memorial Stadium for the Gophers.
  • With the victory, Minnesota's edge in the all-time series improved to 35-28-3, including a 14-16-1 mark in Champaign.
  • Today's win was Minnesota's third in a row and its seventh in the last nine meetings with the Illini.
  • The Gophers have not lost to Illinois since being edged 35-32 at TCF Bank Stadium in 2009.
  • The Gophers' victory also extended Minnesota's winning streak at Memorial Stadium to four games (2003-08-10-12).
  • Minnesota last fell to the Illini in Champaign in 2001.

TEAM NOTES

  • Minnesota became bowl-eligible for the first time since 2009 with today's victory.
  • The six wins are the most for the Gophers since winning the same number in 2009.
  • Minnesota's six wins equals their combined victory total for the 2010 (3) and 2011 (3) seasons.
  • Today's win was Minnesota's first in a conference road game under head coach Jerry Kill.
  • Minnesota has now won two of its last three games and improved to 2-4 in the Big Ten with today's victory.
  • Minnesota is now 2-2 overall on the road this year after going 0-5 away from home in 2011.
  • Today's win snapped a five-game Big Ten road losing skid.
  • Minnesota's last Big Ten road win was a 38-34 victory over Illinois in 2010.
  • The Gophers combined to rush for 231 yards for their fourth 200-yard rushing game this season. Minnesota is 4-0 this year when topping 200 yards on the ground.
  • With Donnell Kirkwood's 152 yards rushing today, Minnesota improved to 4-0 on the season with a 100-yard rusher.
  • The Gophers held a Big Ten opponent to its fewest points today (3) since shutting out Illinois 45-0 in 2004. It was the fewest points scored by any Minnesota opponent since the Gophers held Florida Atlantic to 3 in 2008.
  • Illinois is the first Big Ten team to be held without a touchdown by the Gophers since Purdue in 2008.
  • Minnesota has held Illinois to a combined 10 points in its last two meetings.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • Donnell Kirkwood rushed for 152 yards on 28 carries for his third 100-yard rushing game of the season and career.
  • Kirkwood scored on a 3-yard run late in the third quarter for his fourth rushing touchdown of the season and the seventh of his career. He added a second TD with 1:34 to play for his second two-TD game of the season (Syracuse).
  • Kirkwood now has 819 rushing yards on the year and becomes the first Minnesota RUNNING BACK to top 700 yards in a season since Amir Pinnix ran for 1,272 yards in 2006.
  • D.L. Wilhite helped keep Illinois off the scoreboard late in the first half, pushing the Illini out of field-goal range with a sack. He now has a team-leading 7.5 on the season, which ranks among the Big Ten leaders.
  • Roland Johnson recovered his first career fumble during the second quarter to stop an Illinois drive.
  • Derrick Wells also scooped up his first career fumble recovery in the fourth quarter to help seal the win.
  • Alex Keith and Brock Vereen combined on a late third-quarter sack. It was the first time either player has been in on a sack this season.
  • Jordan Wettstein connected on a 20-yard field goal late in the second quarter to get the Gophers on the scoreboard. It was his 12th field goal of the season on 20 attempts and the 18th make of his career.