NCAA Game Summary - Illinois at Minnesota|
(Saturday, November 7th)
Final Score: Illinois 35, Minnesota 32
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Illinois backup quarterback Jacob Charest
threw for 185 yards and a touchdown, as the Fighting Illini held on for a
35-32 win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers in a Big Ten clash at TCF Bank
Illinois (3-6, 2-5 Big Ten) starting quarterback Juice Williams was knocked
out of the game with a left ankle injury in the first quarter and did not
return. Prior to leaving, he was 5-for-5 with a touchdown pass. Jason Ford
added 82 rushing yards and a touchdown on 20 carries for Illinois.
Golden Gophers (5-5, 3-4) quarterback Adam Weber was done in by a sluggish
first half, as he finished 14-of-31 for 221 yards with one touchdown and one
interception. He was also sacked seven times.
Williams got Illinois on the board first with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Jeff
Cumberland at the 9:41 mark of the opening quarter.
The Illini defense also provided a spark late in the first quarter, when Terry
Hawthorne stepped in front of a Weber pass and returned it 44 yards to pay
Minnesota cut the deficit to seven on a five-yard touchdown run by Kevin
Whaley midway through the second quarter.
But Illinois answered right back with a pair of touchdown drives to close out
the first half. Justin Green scored the first on a two-yard run at the 3:51
mark, and Ford scored on a one-yard plunge with one second remaining until
Minnesota kicker Eric Ellestad's 26-yard field goal accounted for the only
points of the third quarter.
The Golden Gophers made it a 28-17 game on Weber's 10-yard scoring strike
to Jon Hoese with 13:49 to play in the fourth quarter.
Four minutes later, Hoese scored again on a three-yard run. Weber added the
two-point conversion on a pass to Da'Jon McKnight, and the Gophers trailed,
28-25 with 9:13 remaining.
But their comeback hopes were deflated when Charest threw a touchdown pass to
Arrelious Benn, extending Illinois' lead to 10 with five minutes to play.
Still, the Gophers would not go quietly. Ben Kuznia scored on a blocked punt
to make it a 35-32 game with 3:05 remaining, but the Illinois offense was able
to run out the clock.
The Illini defense registered eight sacks for the game, including four by
Clay Nurse. Illinois has won two straight after snapping a five-game skid with
a win over Michigan last week.
11/07 16:13:53 ET