It was a warm and especially windy day in Champaign, but that didn't bother what the Golden Gophers do best. Minnesota used the strength of their running game to extend their Big Ten win streak to three with a victory over the Illinois Fighting Illini.
Minnesota used a pair of rushing touchdowns by Rodney Smith, and single touchdown runs by Shannon Brooks and Mitch Leidner to build a 28-14 one play into the fourth quarter. Minnesota added a safety forced by Merrick Jackson, a Emmit Carpenter 24-yard field goal and added their fifth rushing touchdown of the day late in the game when Kobe McCrary found the endzone to finish off their scoring as they coasted to a 40-17 win over the Illini.
The victory over Illini is the Gophers (6-2, 3-2) sixth win of the year ensuring Minnesota of their fifth straight trip to a bowl game. The Gophers will look to extend their winning streak to four games and strengthen their bowl resume next Saturday when the Purdue Boilermakers visit TCF Bank Stadium.