Game 8: Minnesota at Illinois
Coach Kill is 2-0 against Illinois as Minnesota head coach.
 Minnesota (6-1, 3-0) at Illinois (3-4, 0-3)
 Date Saturday, October 25
 Time 11 a.m. Central
 Location Memorial Stadium / Champaign, Ill.
 Television ESPNU / WatchESPN
 Radio KFAN 100.3 / Gopher Radio Network
 Internet Listen Live / I Heart Radio App
 Live Blog Gophersports.com
 Live Stats Gametracker
 Game Notes Minnesota | Illinois
 Social Media @GopherFootball | Facebook


Five Things You Need To Know

The Last Meeting
Minnesota17
Illinois3
November 10, 2012
Champaign, Ill.
Gophers Defeat Illinois 17-3, Become Bowl Eligible
It wasn't pretty, but Minnesota was good enough in a 17-3 win over Illinois on Saturday. In a battle of sluggish offenses, Minnesota running back Donnell Kirkwood did most of the work, rushing for 152 yards and two touchdowns. Kirkwood's 3-yard run in the third quarter broke a 3-3 tie. He scored on a 12-yard run late in the fourth quarter to clinch the victory, giving his team its fourth straight win at Illinois. Minnesota (6-4, 2-4 Big Ten) became bowl eligible for the first time since 2009, and won for the second time in three tries. Illinois (2-8, -6) has dropped seven straight including 12 in a row within Big Ten play.

1. Minnesota heads to Illinois on Saturday for an 11 a.m. game (Gophers are 7-1 in their last eight 11 a.m. games, including a win last week against Purdue). Minnesota leads the series 35-28-3, which includes a 17-3 road win in 2012. Minnesota has won three straight overall against Illinois and four straight on the road. Minnesota’s last loss at Illinois was a 35-32 setback on Oct. 6, 2001.

2. Coach Kill is 23-22 at Minnesota. The Gophers were 9-16 after his first two seasons, but are 14-6, since giving him a .511 winning percentage leading the Maroon and Gold. Kill’s record through his first 45 games is the best for a Gopher head coach since Bernie Bierman. The legendary Bernie Bierman was 35-6-4 after his first 45 games, which translates to an .822 winning percentage. The 1934-36 national championship seasons (Minnesota is the last team to win three straight national titles) are included in Bierman’s first 45 games and the Gophers were 23-1 during that three-year stretch. Murray Warmath was 21-22-2 (includes games from 1954-58) in his first 45 games leading the Gophers, while Cal Stoll was 22-23 and Glen Mason was 21-24.

3. The Gophers are 7-2 in their last nine Big Ten games (Oct. 19, 2013 – Oct. 18, 2014), as they have posted home wins against Purdue (2014), Northwestern (2014) Nebraska (2013) and Penn State (2013) and road wins at Michigan (2014), Northwestern (2013) and Indiana (2013). Minnesota’s two defeats came at home to No. 16 Wisconsin (20-7 in 2013) and on the road to No. 11 Michigan State (14-3 in 2013). The 7-2 mark is the best record for Minnesota in a nine-game conference stretch since it also went 7-2 from Nov. 18, 1967 – Nov. 23, 1968. Minnesota beat Indiana (twice), Wisconsin (twice), Illinois, Michigan State and Purdue, while it lost to Michigan and Iowa.

4. A win on Saturday would give Minnesota a 7-1 record. The last time the Gophers started the season 7-1 was 2008. More importantly a win would give the Gophers a 4-0 record in Big Ten play (Gophers are 3-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since 1990). The last time Minnesota was 4-0 in the Big Ten was 1967, when the Gophers topped Illinois, Michigan State, Michigan and Iowa to begin conference action. Purdue beat the Gophers in the fifth Big Ten game, as Minnesota finished league play at 6-1. The last time the Gophers were 5-0 in the Big Ten was 1961 when they beat Northwestern, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State and Iowa to start conference play. Minnesota finished the 1961 season with a 6-1 Big Ten record.

5. Minnesota is 6-1, which means it is bowl eligible for the third straight year under Coach Kill. The Gophers will play in their 17th bowl game in program history when the regular season ends. Minnesota has only played in three straight bowl games one time before, as it played in five straight bowl games from 2002-2006 under former coach Glen Mason. Kill joins Mason as only the second Minnesota coach ever to take the Gophers to three straight bowl games.

TV Viewing Alert
Saturday's game will be the Gophers' first on ESPNU since 2012. Plan ahead and check now to see if ESPNU is part of your TV package.

Channel numbers for ESPNU in Minneapolis include:
Charter 310
Comcast 729/869 (HD)
DirecTV 208
Dish Network 141
U of M residence hall TV 82.1

The game will also be available on computers/tablets/mobile devices via WatchESPN. WatchESPN access comes free through participating TV providers. However, even for viewers who have ESPN on TV, not all providers are part of WatchESPN. To find participating providers and learn how to access WatchESPN, visit espn.go.com/watchespn/faq.

Don't have ESPNU or WatchESPN? The Joe Senser's Roseville location will have a watch party for the game.


 

 

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