The Gopher football team defeated Illinois 17-3 at Illinois Saturday to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2009.  Minnesota fell behind 3-0 but tied the game at 3 going into halftime.  Donnell Kirkwood ran 28 times for 152 yards and 2 touchdowns for Minnesota and Philip Nelson threw for just 78 yards and ran for 24 yards for the Gophers.

Minnesota was playing without its top 2 receivers A.J. Barker and Derek Engel.  Minnesota out gained Illinois 309 to 276.  The Gophers improve to 6-4 overall and 2-4 in the Big Ten.  Minnesota will play at Nebraska at 2:30 next Saturday, pregame on AM 1390-the Fan at 1:30.