Earlier this week, Ron Turner said that one of the goals of his offense would be to keep the ball away from the Gophers with a balanced attack that ate up the time of possession. The Illini went through two quarterbacks, and the ground game was surprisingly very weak. The Illini only totaled 72 yards on the ground, averaging 2.2 yards per carry. None of Illinois' tailbacks were able to tally yards as quarterback Brad Bower had more yards on scrambles than Pierre Thomas, EB Halsey, and Marcus Mason could muster on designed running plays.
|Rushes - Yards||49-319||22-72|
|Total Offense (Plays-Yards)||71-587||62-231|
|Fumble Returns - Yards||0-0||0-0|
|Punt Returns - Yards||1-6||1-10|
|Kickoff Returns - Yards||0-0||7-100|
|Interception Returns - Yards||1-0||0-0|
|Punts (Num - Yards)||3-129||8-372|
|Fumbles - Lost||2-0||2-1|
|Time of Possession||28:27||31:33|
|Third Down Conversions||7-14||6-16|
|Fourth Down Conversions||1-1||0-0|
|Red Zone Scores - Chances||4-5||0-1|
|Sacks By: Num - Yards||4-34||0-0|
RUSHING STATISTICS The Illini were not able to muster anything on the ground, as the running statistics show. None of Illinois touted running backs were able to gain yards, despite every one of them being given the chance by Ron Turner. Pierre Thomas, Marcus Mason, and EB Halsey only combined to gain 47 yards. Quarterback Brad Bower rushed for 39 yards. That just shows how ineffective the Illini running game was on Saturday afternoon against the Gophers.
EB Halsey: Halsey was returning from a knee injury that kept him out of last week's game, and he was not at one hundred percent. He was rather ineffective as well, and surprisingly was no where to be seen in the Illini passing game as he had no receptions out of the backfield.
Ron Turner did not make it known who would be his starting quarterback on Saturday until game time. Some people like Loren Tate had figured it out because they saw Friday afternoon's walkthrough, but the Gophers and most fans did not know until the Illini took the field on Saturday. Brad Bower started for Illinois, and he was replaced by Chris Pazan. Pazan was then replaced by Bower. Bower was then replaced by Pazan. Yes, the quarterbacks were shuffled in and out of the game on Saturday, and only Tim Brasic did not see time behind center for Illinois of the three quarterbacks Turner named that had a chance at replacing Jon Beutjer as Illinois' starting quarterback.
There really is not much to say about either quarterback. When you look at their numbers, they are pedestrian, but the constant rotation of who Illinois' quarterback will be has to be tough on not only the individual quarterbacks, but on the receivers.
Minnesota made it a point on Saturday afternoon to try to take away the deep throw from Illinois. They were content to let Illinois catch the ball underneath and tackle them for short gains, as long as they did not let the Illinois offense make that one deep pass.
Minnesota rushed for 319 yards and won the game 45-0. I don't think any defensive statistics can paint a good picture, other than one for the Golden Gophers.
|Charles Bailey, Jr.||1||1||2|
|Arthur Boyd III||1||0||1|