Recap: Illinois vs. Minnesota
Champaign, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Reilly O'Toole threw for 118 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score, helping the Illinois Fighting Illini hold off Big Ten foe Minnesota, 28-24, at Memorial Stadium.
O'Toole completed 14-of-21 pass attempts for the Fighting Illini (4-4, 1-3 Big Ten), who snapped out of a three-game losing streak. The quarterback also rushed for a team-high 59 yards, filling in for injured number one Wes Lunt.
Mitch Leidner threw for 240 yards and a touchdown on 12-of-30 passing for the Golden Gophers (6-2, 3-1), who saw a four-game winning streak come to an end. David Cobb rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns on a game-high 22 carries. Isaac Fruechte caught three passes for 105 yards and a score.
Just over five minutes in, O'Toole connected on a three-yard touchdown pass to Jon Davis as Illinois opened the scoring. A little while later, O'Toole kept the ball and dashed nine yards for the score, making it 14-0.
Early in the second quarter, the Golden Gophers got on the board when Ryan Santoso converted a field goal from 44 yards out, leaving the hosts with a 14-3 edge at the break.
Two minutes into the second half, Leidner unloaded on a 52-yard touchdown pass to Fruechte, cutting the deficit to 14-10.
The Illini responded a short time later with a two-yard touchdown run by Josh Ferguson to make it 21-10.
Midway through the third quarter, however, Cobb ran in a touchdown from a yard out. A few minutes later, he rushed 13 yards for a second touchdown, giving the Gophers their first lead, 24-21.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Cobb was stripped of the ball, and the Illini's V'Angelo Bentley returned the fumble 12 yards for a TD, putting the team back up, 28-24.
With just over a minute left, the Illini stopped a threatening Minnesota drive, sacking Leidner and forcing a fumble on fourth down, which they recovered. With possession of the ball, they were able to run out the clock and hang on for the win.
The Illinois defense repeatedly came up with key stops, holding Minnesota to just four third-down conversions out of 16 opportunities.Game Notes