On 3rd-and-7 from the Illinois' 23, Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase dropped back to pass, but faced a heavy rush from Minnesota's RaShede Hageman, who got to Scheelhaase for his second sack of the game. The hit forced a fumble, and defensive end Michael Amaefula fell on the ball at the Illinois 16-yard line to give the Gophers great field position.
It took the Gophers just one play to capitalize on the turnover, as MarQueis Gray faked a handoff, kept it himself, and bulled his way into the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown run. The extra point gave the Gophers a 7-0 lead, and the early momentum in this Big Ten season finale.
The Gophers' defense continues to be impressive, as Illinois now has just two net yards of total offense, and we have 12:40 remaining in the first half of play. The Illini came into this one reeling from a five-game losing streak after starting 6-0, and it doesn't appear to be getting much better for them thus far.