The Gopher men's football team couldn't keep its Big Ten winning streak going against lowly Illinois, falling 28-24 at Champaign Saturday in the Illini's homecoming game.
Running back David Cobb scored two touchdowns in the second half to give the Gophers the lead for the first time. But later in the fourth quarter he fumbled the ball, and Illinois's V'Angelo Bentley scooped it up and ran 15 yards into the end zone for what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown, the Star Tribune reports.
The Gophers (6-2, 3-1 Big Ten) tried but failed to stage a comeback score in their last series. The loss snaps their four-game winning streak and their unbeaten record in the Big Ten.
Minnesota started slowly in the first half, scoring only one field goal. They went into halftime down 14-3, but came back in the second half to score three touchdowns – one on a 52-yard bomb to Isaac Fruechte, and the two by Cobb on runs of 67 and 13 yards.
Cobb scored this touchdown in the third quarter to give Minnesota the lead.
After this score, Illinois had two drives that ended in punts. But then came Cobb's fumble on a third-down play and suddenly the momentum shifted.
"We played hard early, but not with the amount of energy that we're accustomed to," said head coach Jerry Kill after the game.
Illinois (4-4, 1-3) has won only one Big Ten football game since 2011, according to Bleacher Report, and they came into the game with the worst defense in the conference, according to the Star Tribune.
Cobb had 22 carries for 118 yards. Quarterback Mitch Leidner finished 12 for 30 passes for 240 yards and the touchdown to Fruechte.
The Gophers have a bye next week and will play Iowa at home on Nov. 8.