Ron Zook's Illini have won only one road game this season, over Indiana in Bloomington on Oct. 9. If they want to put to rest, if even temporarily, rumblings about Zook's status as head coach and charge into the bowl season with momentum, they'll need to defeat the Minnesota Golden Gophers in their place in a game that should mean much more to the Illini than it does the Gophers.
After upsetting Iowa and only losing to Michigan State on the road by a touchdown, it looked as if the Gophers were going to end the season on an upswing. But in the following two games though they lost to Wisconsin and Northwestern by a combined score of 70-26, indicating just how far coach Jerry Kill's program has to go until they're consistently competitive in the Big Ten. That said, the Illini can bet that the Gopher seniors will be looking to end their trying four year term in Minnesota with one last victory.
Game date, time: 2:30 pm CT, Saturday, Nov. 26
Location: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minn.
TV channel: BTN
Spread: Illinois favored by 11
Series history: Minneosta leads, 38-23-3
For updates on this matchup, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit SB Nation's Illinois blog, Hail to the Orange, and SB Nation's Minnesota blog, The Daily Gopher. For more news and notes from around college football, visit SB Nation's NCAA football news hub.