Gophers defeat Illinois 17-3, emerge bowl eligible

Nov. 12, 2012
Donnell Kirkwood and a dominant defense led Minnesota past the Illini.
Minnesota cheerleaders warm up on the field before the Gophers' game against Illinois on Nov. 10, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Illinois defensive back Earnest Thomas sacks Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson (9) on Nov. 10, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Minnesota defensive lineman Cameron Botticelli (46) tackles Illinois wide receiver Ryan Lankford on Nov. 10, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Minnesota linebacker Keanon Cooper (4) tackles Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase on Nov. 10, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Minnesota running back Donnell Kirkwood (20) is pushed out of bounds by Illinois defensive back Earnest Thomas on Nov. 10, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Minnesota kicker Jordan Wettstein (39) pushes Illinois wide receiver Ryan Lankford out of bounds on Nov. 10, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Minnesota running back Donnell Kirkwood (20) is tackled by Illinois' Ashante Williams on Nov. 10, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Minnesota wide receiver Marcus Jones (15) evades Illinois' defense on Nov. 10, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Minnesota running back Donnell Kirkwood (20) scores a touchdown against Illinois on Nov. 10, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Minnesota wide receiver Isaac Fruechte (14) catches a pass from Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson (9) on Nov. 10, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Minnesota offensive lineman Zach Mottla (62) leaves the field after suffering a severe leg injury on Nov. 10, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Minnesota defensive back Derrick Wells (13) charges towards the Illinois end zone after recovering a fumble in the fourth quarter of the game on Nov. 10, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Minnesota running back Donnell Kirkwood (20) scores his second touchdown of the game against Illinois on Nov. 10, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Gophers offense celebrates after Minnesota running back Donnell Kirkwood (20) scores their second touchdown of the game against Illinois on Nov. 10, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Minnesota cheerleads celebrate after the Gopher's second touchdown in the fourth quarter, bringing the score to 17-3 over Illinois on Nov. 10, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Minnesota running back Rodrick Williams Jr. (35) celebrates with fans after the Gophers defeated Illinois 17-3 on Nov. 10, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Minnesota wide receiver Isaac Fruechte (14) celebrates with fans after the Gophers defeated Illinois 17-3 on Nov. 10, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Comment Policy

The Minnesota Daily welcomes thoughtful discussion on all of our stories, but please keep comments civil and on-topic. Read our full guidelines here.
Minnesota Daily Serving the University of Minnesota Community since 1900