Illinois Post Game Notes vs. Minnesota

Jacob Charest had a big game for the Illini.
Jacob Charest had a big game for the Illini.

Nov. 7, 2009

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Illinois Postgame Notes Illinois 35, Minnesota 32 Nov. 7, 2009 // Minneapolis, Minn.

1. With the win, Illinois has now won two straight against the Gophers in Minneapolis after a 44-17 win at the Metrodome in 2007.

2. The Illinois defense held Minnesota to just 50 yards rushing for the game on 36 carries (1.4 ypc), the least allowed by the Illini to an FBS opponent since giving up 40 to Penn State on Oct. 21, 2006. The Illini held FCS opponent Illinois State to 44 yards on the ground on Sept. 12 of this season.

3. The Illinois defense dominated the line of scrimmage, racking up seven sacks and eight tackles for loss, both season-highs. The seven sacks are the most by the Illini defense since it had seven at Indiana on 9/22/07.

4. Clay Nurse had a career day with four sacks for a loss of 28 yards in his seven-tackle performance, both career-highs. His four sacks tie him for the second most by an Illini in a single game behind only Simeon Rice's five sacks against Northwestern on 9/1/94 and are the most since Will Davis had four sacks against Indiana on 9/22/07.

5. Josh Brent had a career-best 1.5 sacks and also added 2.5 tackles for loss against the Gophers. He also forced and recovered a fumble in the first quarter, marking his third forced fumble in the past two games (2 vs. Michigan).

6. True-freshman cornerback Terry Hawthorne recorded his first collegiate interception vs. the Gophers and returned it 44 yards for his first touchdown. It was Illinois' first interception since Tavon Wilson's second-half pick against Michigan State on Oct. 10. Hawthorne also recorded a career-best five solo tackles.

7. Hawthorne's interception return for touchdown was the first pick-six for an Illini since Derek Walker took one back 34 yards against Missouri on Aug. 30, 2008.

8. Redshirt-freshman quarterback Jacob Charest posted career bests in his second collegiate game totaling 185 yards on 10 of 19 passing and tossed his first-career touchdown pass, a four-yarder to Arrelious Benn in the fourth quarter.

9. Benn's touchdown was his second of the season and his first through the air, as the other was a three-yard run against Michigan last week. Benn finished the game with three catches for 41 yards and one touchdown. He is now alone in fifth place on the UI career receptions list with 150.

10. Jeff Cumberland, playing his second game at tight end this season, scored his second touchdown of the season with a 22-yard reception from Juice Williams in the first quarter. In the past two games, Cumberland has four catches for 96 yards and a touchdown.

11. Juice Williams moved up to the third in the Illinois all-time passing list with his 53 yards vs. Minnesota before leaving the game in the first quarter due to injury. With 7,544 career passing yards, Williams passes Jason Verduzco's (1989-1992) 7,532 yards. He also improved to third on the all-time pass attempts list with 1,086. His touchdown pass to Cumberland was the 50th of his career.

12. True-freshman Justin Green scored the second rushing touchdown of his career on a two-yard run in the second quarter.

13. Jack Ramsey tied a career best with three receptions for 37 yards.

14. Illinois' 28 points in the first half are the most this year in the first two quarters of play and the most since scoring 28 in the first half against Indiana in 2008. Last week against Michigan, Illinois scored 31 points in the second half.

15. Illinois' 14-first quarter points ties a season best, matching the 14 vs. Illinois State on 9/12/09.

16. The victory is the second straight for Illinois, marking the first time the Illini have posted back-to-back wins since beating Eastern Illinois and Louisiana-Lafayette in September of last season.