Gophers defeat Illini on strong freshman performances

The story of the day was the play by four freshman Gophers who had standout games.  Rashad Still caught a leaping pass on a fade route, Shannon Brooks destroyed the Illini defense for 30+ yards on two occasions.  Cornerback KiAnte Hardin had two great kick returns, one for 32 yards, the other for 60 and broke up a pass on a key play and Julian Huff recorded a key sack in the fourth quarter, forcing a punt at with the game nearing the end.

If one looked at the stat sheet before looking at the score, one might think that the Illini won as they had 433 total yards to the Gophers’ 343. Minnesota, however, won the turnover battle, turning over the Illinois offense three times.

Minnesota’s Shannon Brooks had a 38 yard touchdown run in the first half and capped off an impressive 174 yard rushing day with a 75 yard touchdown trot in the fourth quarter. Ryan Santoso kicked a field goal and quarterback Mitch Leidner connected with Rashad Still for a , touchdown.

The Gophers will host the Wisconsin Badgers on November 28 to close out the regular season. The Paul Bunyon’s Axe is at state in the annual border-state rivalry. Stay tuned to The Minnesota Sports Report for news from the game.

Story by Matt Blewett, photos by Rick Corwine and Matt Blewett

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