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Illinois At Minnesota: Gophers Face Struggling Illini

For more on the Golden Gophers, visit SB Nation's The Daily Gopher. For more on the Fighting Illini, visit SB Nation's Hail to the Orange.

It is not often that a team with a 2-9 record comes in with more momentum than a team at 6-5, but on Saturday when the Minnesota Golden Gophers host the Illinois Fighting Illini that is exactly the case.

Illinois enters Saturday's game having lost five straight games after starting the year 6-0. Their previously potent offense, which had scored almost 35 points per game during the winning streak, has not scored more than 17 in a game since.

Illinois blog Hail to the Orange seems to think the sudden drop off for Illinois will cost Ron Zook his job:

Things can be very bad when you have to fire your coach after a winless season, and you have to start from scratch. But there is still quite a bit of talent on this roster, and there is something to build off of. This might be the best possible year to make a move, and not let the team descend into another mid decade slide like we have seen.

Minnesota has improved greatly since starting the season slowly. The Gophers will still need to improve their offensive attack in order to beat the Illini.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.