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Minnesota Football-At the Half Minnesota leads Illinois 14-7

NCAA Football: Rutgers at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota leads Illinois 14-7. The Gophers have capitalized on two Illinois fumbles (one on a punt return and one botched snap) for scores and the defense has played well enough to keep the Gophers ahead.

Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks continue to be Minnesota’s primary offense. Each of the backs has a touchdown, both the play after an Illinois fumble. Smith has 10 carries for 58 yards in the half, while Brooks has 8 for 47.

Mitch Leidner is 4/8 for 52 yard, but has also taken multiple sacks from the fast Illini defensive line. There is a lot of wind today and Jay Johnson seems to have decided that passing is an unnecessary requirement.

Ryan Santoso had one of the worst punts I’ve ever seen in the first half, a pooch kick that went for only 10 yards. His other punts were better, but the inconsistency on special teams has become somewhat frustrating.

Duke McGee was ejected for targeting in the first quarter. Other than that, the defense has played reasonably well. Illinois’s only scoring possession was a revival of missed assignments and tackles, but since then the Gophers settled down and contained the Illini offense.