After the teams exchanged punts to start the second half of play and Minnesota forced Illinois to punt on their second possession of the half as well, Minnesota started near midfield, and continued to show the ground game that has really been their only form of offense on the afternoon. The Gophers used freshman Roderick Williams on their first four plays, three carries and a 7-yard completion, and found themselves at the Illinois 25-yard line. After a sack of Philip Nelson and a three-yard carry by Donnell Kirkwood, Nelson found Brandon Green for a 13-yard gain to set up a fourth-and-one at the Illinois 16-yard line.
The Gophers went for it, and Nelson converted on a quarterback sneak to keep the football with Minnesota. After a personal foul on Illinois' Akeem Spence moved the ball to the Illinois' 5-yard line, the Donnell Kirkwood Show continued, and he eventually found his way into the end zone on second-and-three to give Minnesota the lead. Jordan Wettstein added the extra point, and the Gophers found themselves ahead 10-3.
Kirkwood has been outstanding this afternoon for Minnesota, amassing 109 yards on 18 carries to go along with his touchdown. As a team, the Gophers have rushed for 168 yards on the afternoon.
Just under two minutes to go in the third quarter of play, and the Minnesota Golden Gophers lead the Illinois Fighting Illini by a score of 10-3.