Skip to main content

Gophers become bowl eligible with 17-3 win over Illinois

The Golden Gophers became bowl eligible for the first time since 2009 Saturday with a 17-3 victory over Illinois in Champaign, Ill. The Gophers improved to 6-4 overall and 2-4 in the Big Ten with the win.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

The Golden Gophers became bowl eligible for the first time since 2009 Saturday with a 17-3 victory over Illinois in Champaign, Ill.

The Gophers improved to 6-4 overall and 2-4 in the Big Ten with the win.

According to the Star Tribune, the Gophers could be headed to Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston or the Heart of Dallas Bowl -- which own the sixth and seventh choice of Big Ten teams. The Gophers could be featured in a different bowl game should they upset Nebraska next week or Michigan State to end the regular season.

Gophers running back Donnell Kirkwood dominated the Illini throughout the afternoon with 28 carries for 152 yards and two touchdowns.

The Illini got on the board first with a field goal in the first quarter and the Gophers evened it up with a field goal in the second for a 3-3 tie at halftime.

Kirkwood broke the logjam with a 3-yard run with 2:31 to go in the third quarter to push the team ahead 10-3 after the extra point.

Illinois had a chance to drive for a tying score with three minutes left in the game, but fumbled to the Gophers on a third-and-inches call at their own 30. Kirkwood sealed the victory for the Gophers when scampered in from the 12 yard line for his second touchdown with 1:34 to go.

Illinois fell to 2-8 and 0-6 in the Big Ten with the loss.

The Gophers travel to Lincoln, Neb., next week for their game against Cornhuskers.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-08-14 at 10.24.22 AM

Teen driver crashes into parked payloader; 16-year-old passenger dies

The crash happened early Saturday morning in Waconia.

Screen Shot 2022-08-14 at 10.10.50 AM

Barrage of gunfire injures boy in Brooklyn Park; vehicles, apartments damaged

Police say they recovered evidence that more than 40 rounds were fired in the shooting.

Screen Shot 2022-08-14 at 9.15.07 AM

Minnesota Wild back away from thin blue line T-shirt giveaway

The giveaway backfired when word of it reached social media.

Screen Shot 2022-08-13 at 1.26.13 PM

Workers at Minneapolis Trader Joe's become 2nd in nation to unionize

The vote was certified by the National Labor Relations Board Friday.

ATV, all-terrain vehicle

Driver killed in ATV crash in Brooklyn Park

The crash occurred in Monroe Park Friday night.

ambulance

Woman killed by suspected drunk-driver in St. Louis County

The crash occurred on Highway 21 in Embarrass Township Friday night.

Jaelyn Campbell

11-year-old girl missing from Mille Lacs County

Jaelyn Campbell was last seen in Onamia.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 1.58.08 PM

2 ejected, 1 killed in crash that closed southbound I-35

The State Patrol says neither were wearing seat belts.

best buy

Best Buy makes job cuts weeks after warning of soft sales

The Richfield retailer has been dealing with a shift in consumer trends.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 10.26.20 PM

Man makes 'vague comments' about Jewish people, smashes own car with club

It happened at a course that was founded as a Jewish country club 100 years ago.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 9.59.07 PM

4 abandoned puppies found in a bucket in Willmar

The puppies were in good health when they were discovered.

Minneapolis police

Suspect of home invasion, murder in Minneapolis arrested in Wisconsin

There have been 57 deaths reported as homicides in Minneapolis this year.

Related

Northwestern keeps Gophers from becoming bowl eligible

Minnesota needs to beat Wisconsin next week to become bowl eligible.

Gopher football

Gophers run all over Illinois to improve to 5-0

Minnesota racked up 332 rushing yards in a 40-17 victory at TCF Bank Stadium.

Preview: Gophers vs. Illinois

Minnesota (15-6, 3-5) is looking for redemption when they host Illinois Saturday night. The Gophers' lost to the Illini after double-overtime a month ago. Tubby Smith told the Star Tribune that the team is desperate for wins after starting the Big Ten conference 0-4. Minnesota went on to win three in a row, but Michigan State outmuscled the Gophers ending that streak Wednesday.

Preview: Gophers vs. Illinois

The Gophers women's basketball team will wrap up their regular season home schedule Thursday night when they host Illinois. Minnesota (13-14, 5-8 Big Ten) will also honor its four seniors following the game at Williams Arena.

Gophers vs. Illinois: Big Ten preview

Is the Gopher football team looking at a bowl or bust this weekend against Illinois? Head coach Jerry Kill doesn't think so, but most critics believe this is the only winnable game remaining on Minnesota's schedule.