Minnesota came into this game in need of a resounding win. Facing a 4th string QB and a defense that can be charitably described as awful, the Gophers did just that. Mo Ibrahim did his best Red Grange impression, Mike Sanford remembered that Rashod Bateman plays wide receiver, and the defense even forced three and outs. Also this happened:
Yes, Illinois ended up having a sequence that concluded with them punting on 4th and goal.
Look Illinois is very bad. That shouldn’t discount Mo Ibrahim doing work. Led by an offensive line that ran outside zone to near perfection all game, Ibrahim put up 224 yards on the ground, 31 yards in receiving and four touchdowns. Ibrahim is the first Big Ten running back to have back to back 200+ yard games since Larry Johnson. He also tied the school record for 200+ yard games. Not bad for three games into the season.
Rashod Bateman is always very good. Today, Bateman had 10 receptions for 139 yards and a TD. The TD reception was a high degree of difficulty that required Bateman to spot the ball over his shoulder and tap dance his feet down in the back corner of the endzone like the 1st Round NFL draft pick he will become.
Finally, let’s check in on our friends at the Champaign Room