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domino23
11-14-2010, 02:17 PM
The University of Minnesota football team, led by a three touchdown rushing effort by DeLeon Eskridge and 225 yards passing yards and a pair of touchdowns by Adam Weber, put a halt to the the Gophers' losing skid with a solid 38-34 victory at Illinois on Saturday afternoon.

The Gophers scored 17 unanswered points in the second quarter, but the Illini battled back in a game that saw five lead changes and eventually grabbed a 10 point lead after a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.

Minnesota junior Troy Stoudermire answered right back as he took the ensuing kick-off back 90 yards to the Illinois four yard-line. The Gophers punched the ball into the end zone two plays later on a four yard touchdown run by DeLeon Eskridge.

The Gophers' defense held the Illini to two late three-and-out possessions, and with 2:44 remaining, senior quarterback Adam Weber led the Gopher offense on an 80-yard scoring drive, including rushing up the seam for 29 yards on third and 10 and completing a 25 yard screen pass to Duane Bennett. The game-winning drive was completed as Eskridge pushed through a goal-line pile to score with just 16 seconds remaining.

The Gophers' win was sealed as Stoudermire intercepted a pass off of Eddie McGee as time expired.

Minnesota (2-9 overall, 1-6 Big Ten) finished the game racking up 361 yards against the Illini. The 38 points scored tied a season high for the Gophers who put up 38 points on September 11 against South Dakota.

Illinois (5-5, 3-4) managed to move the field for 410 yards of total offense against the Minnesota defense, including 141 rushing yards and two touchdowns by Mikel Leshoure, but the Gophers came up big at pivotal moments, stymieing the Illini late in game. The Minnesota defense finished the day with three sacks totaling 19 yards.

Weber finished the game going 20-for-36 for 225 yards and two touchdowns, he also rushed six times for 37 yards. He now sits alone with the third most passing yards in Big Ten History with a total of 10,753 career yards.

Maqueis Gray continued to see time behind center, and while he attempted only one pass, he was successful moving the ball on the ground as he rushed 10 times for 40 yards. Gray also had two receptions for 32 yards.

Eskridge had a total of 49 yards on the ground to go with his three scores, marking the first time a Gopher rushed for three touchdowns in a game since Jon Hoese had three against Middle Tennessee in the season opener.

Da'Jon McKnight continued to be one of the favorite targets of Weber as he had five receptions for 70 yards and touchdown. McKnight now has had a reception in 16 consecutive games. His 10 receiving touchdowns this season are one shy of the Gophers' single-season record.