Nov. 4, 2007
Illinois 44, Minnesota 17
Nov. 3, 2007
Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minn.
ILLINOIS POSTGAME NOTES
1. Illinois improves to 7-3 on the season and 4-2 in the Big Ten with the win, moving into sole possession of third place in the conference standings. It was the Illini's first win in Minneapolis since 1994.
2. The Fighting Illini offense rolled-up 655 total yards (448 rushing and 207 passing), which ranks as the third-highest total in school history and the most since Nov. 19, 1983 when the Orange and Blue had 662 yards at Northwestern. It was the first time the Illini have put up over 600 yards of total offense since Sept. 21, 2002 (602 yards vs. San Jose State).
3. Illinois' Big Ten leading ground attack racked-up 448 yards for the game, a total that ranks fifth on the all-time UI single-game rushing list. It was the first time an Illini squad rushed for more than 400 yards in a game sine Nov. 11, 1975, when it ran for 420 vs. Minnesota. It marked the seventh time this season Illinois has rushed for over 200 yards and the third time over 300.
4. Illinois' 44 points scored are the most in the Ron Zook Era at Illinois, bettering the 42 points against Eastern Illinois on Sept. 2, 2006, and the most since the Illini scored 52 points against Florida A&M on Sept. 4, 2004.
5. Juice Williams tied his career-high with two touchdown passes and completed a season-high 14-of-21 passes for a season-high 207 yards. He also rushed for a season-high 133 yards and another score.
6. Doak Walker and Maxwell Award Candidate Rashard Mendenhall rushed for 201 yards in the game to bring his season total to 1,314, moving him up to second on the UI single-season rushing list, just 16-yards shy of the UI record of 1,330 set by Antoineo Harris in 2002. It was second time this season Mendenhall has eclipsed the 200-yard barrier, and the sixth time this season he has rushed for over 100 yards, tying the single-season school record held by Jim Grabowski and J.C. Caroline.
7. With his two touchdown runs, Mendenhall became the Illinois single-season total touchdowns leader with 16, breaking Howard Griffth's mark of 15 in 1990. Mendenhall's 14 rushing TDs (he also has two receiving TDs) are one shy of Griffin's school record of 15 rushing TDs in a single season. Mendenhall's 64-yard TD run in the second quarter was his longest run of the season.
8. With 201 yards tonight, Mendenhall topped the 2,000-yard career rushing mark. He now has 2,172-career yards, which moves him from 13th to ninth on Illinois' all-time rushing list.
9. Combined with his 189-yard performance last week, Mendenhall became the first UI back to rush for over 175 yards in consecutive games since Antoineo Harris in 2002 (195 vs. Purdue on 10/12/02 and 176 vs. Indiana on 10/26/02)
10. With Mendenhall (201) and Williams (133) both surpassing the 100-yard rushing mark, it marks the first time the Illini have had two 100-yard rushers in the same game since Nov. 11, 2006, when Williams (145) and Pierre Thomas (105) each went over the century mark.
11. Freshman receiver Arrelious Benn caught four passes to break the Illinois freshman receptions record. With 46 catches this year, Benn tops Ty Douthard's 43 catches in 1994.
12. Lou Groza Award candidate Jason Reda connected on a season-high three field goals on three attempts, including a season-high 51-yarder, his third 50+ yard FG of the season. Reda is now 13-of-14 on the season and has 48-career field goals, inching him closer to Chris Richardson (52) for second place on the UI career list.
13. Jeff Cumberland, who recently converted from tight end to wide receiver, caught a career-high tying four passes for 53 yards, including his second career touchdown pass, a 22-yarder from Williams in the first quarter.
14. Marques Wilkins had his first-career reception with an 11-yard toss from Juice Williams in the second quarter. Later in the second quarter he caught his longest reception of the year, a 36-yard strike from Williams.
15. Not to be outdone by the offense, the Illini defense held the Gophers 337 total yards, well below their season average of 415, and to just 95 yards on the ground, marking the fourth time this season Illinois has held its opposition to less than 100 yards rushing.
16. Vontae Davis' interception on the first play from scrimmage was his fourth INT of season and fifth of his career. All four of his picks this season have come in Big Ten play.
17. Defensive end Antonio James recorded his first-career sack when he took down Gopher QB Adam Weber for a 12-yard loss in the third quarter.
18. Senior defensive tackle David Lindquist led the Illini with a career-high eight tackles, including a sack for a loss of seven yards.