Brown's 180 yards, defense carry No. 24 Illini past Gophers

Updated Oct. 15, 2022 3:52 p.m. ET

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Chase Brown rushed for 180 yards on a career-high 41 carries and caught a 40-yard touchdown pass, Minnesota was limited to its fewest yards in five years, and No. 24 Illinois won its sixth straight game with a 26-14 victory Saturday.

The Illini (6-1, 3-1) became bowl eligible for the first time since 2019 and will end the day tied for first in the Big Ten West.

Mohamed Ibrahim rushed for 127 yards, his nation-leading 14th straight 100-yard game and the bulk of the Gophers' 180 total yards. It was the fewest yards against Illinois by a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent since at least 2000.

Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan, held to just 21 yards on 4-for-12 passing, left early in the fourth quarter after taking a hit to the head. Athan Kaliakmanis entered for the Gophers (4-2, 1-2) and was intercepted twice.


Illinois quarterback Tommy DeVito, back from an ankle injury that forced him out of last week's game at Iowa in the first half, ran for a 5-yard touchdown early in the third quarter to put the Illini up 20-14. He completed 25 of 32 passes for 252 yards and a touchdown.

Brown went over 1,000 yards rushing for a second straight year with his eighth straight 100-yard game. He now has 13 100-yard games, second most at Illinois behind Robert Holcombe's 16 from 1994-97.

Brown got wide open on a wheel route for his 40-yard touchdown to finish Illinois' nine-play, 75-yard drive to open the game. Fabrizio Pinton tacked on a 31-yard field goal to give the Illini a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter.

Pinton connected from 23 yards in the third and from 30 yards in the fourth to extend Illinois' lead.

Ibrahim was about all Minnesota had going offensively. The Gophers were just 2 of 7 on third downs and finished with their fewest yards since gaining 133 against Ohio State in 2017.

No opponent had scored a touchdown at Memorial Stadium this season before Morgan's 9-yard run in the middle of the second quarter. The play capped an eight-play, 80-yard drive the Gophers were unable to replicate the rest of the game.

Quentin Redding's 92-yard return of the second-half kickoff set up Ibrahim's 4-yard touchdown, which gave the Gophers a brief 14-13 lead.


Minnesota: Just as Ibrahim returns from an injury, Morgan exits. The extent of the sixth-year quarterback's injury could factor heavily into how the Gophers finish.

Illinois: The Illini have won six straight home games, four in a row against Big Ten West oponents and are out to their best start since 2011. With DeVito healthy, the Illini could be favored in each remaining game except for a Nov. 19 trip to No. 5 Michigan.


Minnesota: A challenging trip to No. 10 Penn State next Saturday.

Illinois: An open date precedes an Oct. 29 visit to Nebraska.


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