Scores

Final

Illinois 35

(3-6, 2-5 Big Ten)

Minnesota 32

(5-5, 3-4 Big Ten)

Coverage: BTN

12:00 PM ET, November 7, 2009

TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN

1 2 3 4 T
ILL 14 14 0 735
MINN 0 7 3 2232

Top Performers

Passing: A. Weber (MINN) - 221 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: J. Ford (ILL) - 20 CAR, 82 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: J. Hoese (MINN) - 3 REC, 49 YDS, 1 TD

Illinois loses QB Williams, but beats Minnesota

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Terry Hawthorne returned an interception for a touchdown and Clay Nurse had four of Illinois' seven sacks to lead the Illini to a 35-32 victory over Minnesota on Saturday.

Jacob Charest threw for 185 yards and a touchdown after replacing Juice Williams, who left in the first quarter with an injured left ankle. Illinois (3-6, 2-5 Big Ten) led 28-7 at halftime.

Jon Hoese scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns for Minnesota (5-5, 3-4). Gophers linebacker Keanon Cooper blocked a punt that Ben Kuznia scooped up for a score to pull Minnesota within three points with 3 minutes to play.

The ensuing onside kick went out of bounds, and the Gophers couldn't overcome a dreadful first half from quarterback Adam Weber.

After throwing for 416 yards and five TDs in a breakout game against Michigan State last week, Weber completed 5 of 17 passes for 74 yards with a fumble and the interception returned for a score in the first half against Illinois. He finished 14 of 30 for 221 yards.

The blunders, and a furious pass rush, helped Illinois compensate for the loss of Williams.

It's been a long and difficult senior season for Williams, who has never been able to recapture the magic that helped him lead the Illini to the Rose Bowl during his sophomore year. He finally had a breakout game last week with 220 total yards in a 31-13 win over Michigan and looked sharp early against Minnesota.

He completed all five of his passes, including a 22-yard TD pass to Jeff Cumberland on the opening drive to get the Illini rolling. But he injured his left ankle and fumbled during a run later in the first quarter and watched the rest of the game on crutches from the sideline.

Weber probably wishes he could have joined him.

The Gophers quarterback also broke out of a season-long slump last week in a win over Michigan State.

He followed that with a brutal first half against Illinois, missing several wide-open receivers and taking too many sacks after not getting rid of the ball quickly enough, drawing boos from the home crowd.

Weber fumbled on a bad exchange with DeLeon Eskridge in Illinois territory and telegraphed a throw to Hoese near the sidelines in the first quarter.

Hawthorne, who chased down Michigan receiver Roy Roundtree and prevented a touchdown last week, read Weber's eyes and stepped in front of the pass. He returned the interception 44 yards for a score and a 14-0 lead going into the second quarter.

Minnesota cut the lead to 28-25 on Hoese's second score of the game. But Charest threw a 4-yard TD pass to Arrelious Benn on the next possession.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
ILL
MINN
1st Downs1621
Total Yards351271
Passing238221
Rushing11350
Penalties8-803-22
3rd Down Conversions9-178-15
4th Down Conversions1-11-1
Turnovers12
Possession30:0229:58

Passing Leaders

IllinoisC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Charest10/191859.710
MinnesotaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Weber14/312217.111

Rushing Leaders

IllinoisCARYDSAVGTDLG
Ford20824.1118
LeShoure10252.506
MinnesotaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Whaley8415.1114
Eskridge9394.3010

Receiving Leaders

IllinoisRECYDSAVGTDLG
Duvalt24723.5024
Cumberland24522.5123
MinnesotaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Green46416.0021
Tow-Arnett36321.0024

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERILLMINN
TD09:41Jeff Cumberland 22 Yd Pass From Juice Williams (Matt Eller Kick) 70
TD00:56Terry Hawthorne 44 Yd Interception Return (Matt Eller Kick) 140
SECOND QUARTERILLMINN
TD07:45Kevin Whaley 5 Yd Run (Eric Ellestad Kick) 147
TD03:51Justin Green 2 Yd Run (Matt Eller Kick) 217
TD00:01Jason Ford 1 Yd Run (Matt Eller Kick) 287
THIRD QUARTERILLMINN
FG08:57Eric Ellestad 26 Yd 2810
FOURTH QUARTERILLMINN
TD13:49Jon Hoese 10 Yd Pass From Adam Weber (Eric Ellestad Kick) 2817
TD09:13Jon Hoese 3 Yd Run (Adam Weber Pass To Da'Jon Mcknight For Two-Point Conversion) 2825
TD05:10Arrelious Benn 4 Yd Pass From Jacob Charest (Matt Eller Kick) 3525
TD03:05Ben Kuznia 3 Yd Return Of Blocked Punt (Eric Ellestad Kick) 3532