Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
The Minnesota Golden Gophers can gain bowl eligibility by beating the Illinois Fighting Illini on Saturday afternoon.
Struggling through their Big Ten schedule this season, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are facing one of the few teams in the conference with even larger issues, the Illinois Fighting Illini, on Saturday afternoon. Even in a down year for the conference as a whole, these two teams have combined for just one conference victory this season.
With a victory on Saturday, Minnesota can guarantee itself bowl eligibility for this season, as it would be the team's sixth victory of the season. Given that the Golden Gophers' final two games of the season are against the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Michigan St. Spartans, this is likely Minnesota's best chance to get that important sixth win.
Five games into their conference schedule, the Fighting Illini haven't proved to be much of an opponent, though. Coming off a 52-22 loss to the Ohio St. Buckeyes last Saturday, Illinois has lost its past six games by an average margin of 27 points.
Saturday's game kicks off at 2:30 p.m. CT from Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill. The game will be aired on the Big Ten Network.