Kelvin Hayden makes a diving attempt in the first half of Saturday's game.
Oct 25, 2003
By JIM PAUL
Associated Press Writer
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Laurence Maroney ran for 179 yards and two touchdowns and Asad Abdul-Khaliq threw three TD passes as Minnesota beat Illinois 36-10 on Saturday.
Marion Barber III added 129 yards rushing to help Minnesota roll up 575 yards in total offense, its fourth game of more than 500 yards. The Gophers (7-2, 3-2 Big Ten) have had only one game under 400 yards this season.
Minnesota snapped a two-game losing streak, while Illinois (1-8, 0-5) lost its seventh straight game.
Abdul-Khaliq was 12-of-15 for 237 yards. He threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Hosack, a 21-yarder to Jared Ellerson and a 1-yarder to Jarod Poshumus.
Dustin Ward completed 17 of 32 passes for 221 yards for the Illini. Illinois' only touchdown came on a 4-yard pass from Ward to fullback Carey Davis.
After Abdul-Khaliq's 80-yard TD pass to Hosack put Minnesota up 17-0 with 12:28 remaining in the first half, Ward replaced starting quarterback Chris Pazan and led the Illini on a seven-play, 80-yard scoring drive, ending with the pass to Davis. Ward was 4-for-4 on the drive, including a 47-yard completion to Kelvin Hayden.
Illinois missed a chance to make the game close late in the first half.
With Minnesota up 17-7, the Illini drove to the Minnesota 10. But Justin Isom intercepted Ward's pass in the end zone with 20 seconds left in the half.
Minnesota's first scoring drive went 89 yards in 12 plays and was spurred by a fourth-down conversion when, with the Gophers in punt formation, Benji Kamrath took the snap from center and pushed the ball ahead 2 yards for a first down. From there, the Gophers marched downfield in six plays before Maroney ran scored from 5 yards out.
Penalties nullified big plays for both teams. The Gophers had an 88-yard run by Maroney called back by a holding penalty, and Illinois had a 10-yard TD pass from Ward to Mark Kornfeld nullified because Kornfeld stepped out of bounds before he caught the ball.
The penalty down forced the Illini to kick a field goal.