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Gophers defeat Illini 41-35 in triple OT

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1 Gophers defeat Illini 41-35 in triple OT on Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:13 am

The Minnesota Golden Gophers capped off a undefeated regular season with a thrilling 41-35 victory over the Illinois Fighting Illini in triple OT.

The Gophers won the toss and elected to receive, they proceeded to drive into Illini territory when I believe Marques Gray would throw his first of two picks of the game. On the very next play N. Scheelhaase would throw his first of two picks of the game as ROLB Keanon Cooper would intercept him for his first of two interceptions. The Gophers would drive down the short field and with 3:38 remaining in the 1st quarter Lamontte Edwards would punch it in from 3 yards out. Illinois would march down the field inside Minnesota's 20 to have there drive stalled and would have to settle for a D. Dimke 31 yard FG with 0:30 seconds left in the 1st quarter.

In a hard fought 2nd quarter the Gophers would be the lone team to score as Marques Gray would punch one in from 1 yard out with 2:18 to play. Minnesota would go into the break with a 14-3 lead.

The Illini would open the 2nd half with the ball and be forced to punt early on and on Minnesota's first play of the 2nd half Marques Gray would give to Duane Bennett on a triple option and he would take it up the middle untouched for a 75 yard touchdown with 6:07 to play in the 3rd Q putting the Gophers up 21-3. Illinois would respond with a solid drive netting them 3 pts on a D. Dimke 31 yard field goal. On the Gophers next drive Marques Gray would take it around the corner and be visciously face masked and would fumble the ball, no penalty was called and the Gophers staff is submitting the video to the NCAA and Big Ten Officiating committee. On the very next play after the fumble N. Scheelhaase would toss up what turned out to be a jump ball between A. Jenkins and 2 Gopher defenders and Jenkins would come down with it for the 30 yard TD to make the score 21-13.

Illinois QB Scheelhaase suffered a major injury after sustaining a minor one earlier in the game. M.Osei would take over and the lefty did a fine job.

The fourth quarter saw both defenses play stingy, Minnesota played conservative for the most part but saw some questionable play calls. Trying to surprise the D Gray would throw his 2nd interception in the 4th quarter and late in the 4th q on a 3rd down they would pass and throw an incompletion to stop the clock. Illinois would have the ball but they would turn the ball over on downs near midfield with about 55 seconds left and all there timeouts. Minnesota took over and was stopped for small gains on 2 consecutive plays and Illinois would use there timeouts, on 3rd down Duane Bennett had a opening and got close to the marker but was ruled just short, Illinois would use there final timeout and the Gophers would have a 4th and inches. Surprisingly Coach Turner didnt trust his offense to convert and sent out the punting unit (a decision he would later disagree with). The Gophers would pooch punt and Illinois would start inside there 15 with around 40 seconds left down 8. The Illini would move steadily down the field and made it to the Gophers 47 where they would spike the ball with 4 seconds left. 4 WR to the right, 1 to the left, the defense who came out with a questionable play would cheat to the 4 WR side and A. Jenkins would beat his man with the safety out of position and haul in the pass with no time left. The Illini would convert the 2 pt conversion to tie as Minnesota brought a all out blitz and a WR would make a easy catch in the middle of the endzone. Off to overtime we go.

Illinois would win the toss and would play defense. Minnesota ran well and would see Lamonte Edwards punch it in from 4 yards out to go up 28-21. Illinois would answer with a Osei to R.Lankford 8 yard pass to tie it up. The two would hook up again in the 2nd overtime this time from 3 yards out to take the lead for the first time all game 35-28. Minnesota would respond as Donnell Kirkwood would score from 3 yards out to tie it up and sent it to a 3rd OT. Minnesota would drive down and QB Marques Gray would score on a 7 yard run to go up 41-35 and now Minnesota would have to go for 2, Gray would take it outside the tackle and appeared to have room when he would run into a Gopher lineman and it would slow him down enough that he would be stopped just short. Illinois would march down and on 1st and goal from about the 8 would score on a WR run but wait a minute there is a flag, a Illinois lineman was called for holding setting up 1st and goal from the 18, on that very next play M.Osei who played a great game in relief going 15 of 19 for 195 and 3 tds up to that point would make his only mistake of the game as ROLB Keanon Cooper would make his 2nd interception of the game and seal the victory.

Lamonte Edwards was for some reason named the player of the game for the Gophers finishing with 50 yards on 9 carries with 2 TD's and added 3 receptions for 46 yards. Marques Gray was 5 of 9 with 105 yards passing a 2 INT's and added 26 carries for 78 yards and 2 TD's including the game winner. Duane Bennett chipped in with 8 caries for 103 yards a 1 TD and Donnell Kirkwood ran 9 times for 57 yards and 1 TD and added a reception for 8 yards. LB of the year canidate Keanon Cooper had 5 tackles (3 solo) and 2 interceptions including the game clinching lead the way on defense and DT Anthony Jacobs had 3 sacks.

9 recruits were in attendance for this one, none to substantial but this win could possibly help out the Gophers recruiting staff spend more time on others.

Next up the Gophers will face the Boilermakers in the Big 10 championship game. The Gophers won in Purdue 17-2 earlier this season but the Boilermakers have reeled off 6 (likely 7 after there game @ Indiana) straight wins.

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2 Re: Gophers defeat Illini 41-35 in triple OT on Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:19 am

Gg again man was an espn classic! Lol

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3 Re: Gophers defeat Illini 41-35 in triple OT on Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:45 am

Wow! That sounds like a heck of a game!

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4 Re: Gophers defeat Illini 41-35 in triple OT on Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:30 am

wow! great game. Tough loss for the Illini

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