By The Numbers: Illini Take on Gophers

Illinois takes on the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the Metrodome in a 7:00 p.m. contest. The Illini open the game as an 11-point favorite. Read here for a few key pre-game stats.

Illinois comes in with an overall record of 6-3 (3-2) and Minnesota checks in at 1-8 (0-5) with only three weeks left to play. The game will be carried by the Big Ten Network, with expert analysis by Chris Martin.

Scoring Offense:
Illinois ranks 10th in the Big Ten with an average of 25.8 ppg while the Gophers are ranked 8th with a 27.6 ppg average.

Scoring Defense:
Illinois is 5th in the conference at 19.3 and Minnesota is 11th giving up 37.1 ppg per contest.

Pass Offense:
Illinois is 11th with an average of 146.6 and Minnesota is 3rd with 240.6 yards per game.

Pass Defense:
The Illini are 9th in the league giving up 246.6 and the Gophers are coming in 11th with 333.2 yards.

Illinois is the most penalized team in the Big Ten conference with a 51.6 average and Minnesota ranks as the 2nd least penalized team giving up just 39.1 per game.

The Gophers lead the all time series with a record of 31-26-3 and the advantage in Minneapolis with a record of 19-10-2.

Records that could fall this weekend in Minnesota:
Rashard Mendenhall has five 100+ yard games this season. The Illinois record is six. One more touchdown by Mendenhall would tie the school touchdown record at 15 held by Howard Griffith. Senior kicker Jason Reda needs just 29 points to become the career-scoring leader. Freshman Arrelious Benn broke the freshman record at Illinois for receiving when he racked up a team high 97-yards in receptions, giving him a total 556 yards which surpassed the record held by Brandon Lloyd in 1999 with 511-yards.

Illinois is one of nine teams with an overall record above .500 in the Big Ten. Head Coach Ron Zook knows that winning six games makes you bowl eligible but doesn't guarantee you a bowl game. If the Illini plan to keep this surprise season going, it's safe to say they must keep winning.

Information assisted with this column is from and the University of Illinois SID office.

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