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Illinois Goes for Second Straight Win at Minnesota
The Illinois football team hopes its convincing win against Michigan last week carries over into this weekend's game at Minnesota.


Illinois (2-6, 1-5) at Minnesota (5-4, 3-3), Saturday, 11 a.m. (broadcast on WGIL AM 1400)

Line: Minnesota by 6 1/2

Series Record: Minnesota leads 32-27-3.

Last Meeting: 2008, Minnesota, 27-20

What's at Stake:

Both teams are looking to build on encouraging performances. The Gophers racked up 505 yards in a 42-34 win over Michigan State after managing just seven points total in two straight losses to Penn State and Ohio State. They are in the middle of a three-game home stand as they chase a lower-level bowl game.

The Illini snapped a five-game losing streak by rushing for 377 of 500 total yards in a 38-13 thumping of Michigan. Coach Ron Zook could need a strong finish to the season to save his job.

Key Matchup:

Minnesota LBs Lee Campbell, Nate Triplett and Simoni Lawrence vs. Illinois QB Juice Williams. The Gopher LB corps is one of the most active in the Big Ten. They'll spend the day chasing Williams, who woke from a season-long slumber to put up 220 total yards against Michigan. He needs 85 yards to become the sixth player in conference history to surpass 10,000 for his career.

Players to Watch:

Illinois: RB Mikel Leshoure. Has set a career high for yards rushing in a game three straight weeks, culminating with 150 yards and a TD against the Wolverines last week. Has 350 yards rushing and is averaging 7.3 yards per carry in last three weeks.

Minnesota: QB Adam Weber. Has struggled with a new throwing motion and new system for most of the season, particularly in two straight losses to Penn State and Ohio State. But broke out of that funk last week with 416 yards and five TD passes against Michigan State.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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