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Minnesota Football: RAPID RECAP Gophers Beat Illinois 24-17

Gophers earn first Big Ten win on homecoming

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

A low-scoring affair with plenty of self-inflicted wounds on both sides of the ball but eventually it as Minnesota who held on 24-17 to get their first Big Ten win of the season.

For the Gophers it was an inability to turn redzone trips into points. Two drives methodically got them to 1st and goal to go. Both of those drives stalled and netted a total of 3 points. It wasn’t until the 4th quarter, after Illinois tied the game at 13-13 when they drove and they found the end zone.

This drive and Koby McCrary touchdown was the game-winner. Jonathan Celestin picked the next Illinois play and housed it for a touchdown to seal the game.

Quick Thoughts

  • Rodney Smith moved into the top 10 in Gopher career rushing leaders. He passed Garry White and sits behind Amir Pinnix for now.
  • Minnesota ran the ball for 292 yards and a 5.3 per carry average (before the final kneeling of the ball). Both Smith and Koby McCrary rushed for over 100 yards with Smith earning 103 on the ground and McCrary gaining 153.
  • After an electric second half performance last week, Demry Croft really struggled today. His 2 interceptions were really bad decisions and his 5/15 completion percentage didn’t help the team sustain drives or convert them into touchdowns.
  • The Gopher defense managed 7 tackles for loss today, 2 of the came from Thomas Barber and 2 from Carter Coughlin.
  • Thomas Barber led the team in tackles with 11. This was his 4th consecutive game with double-digit tackles.
  • The Celestine interception was the first of his career.

Up Next

Gophers travel to Iowa to try and get back Floyd of Rosedale

Time: 5:30