Originally written on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 11/11/12
The Golden Gophers are finally bowl eligible. Minnesota began the year 4-0 but didn't nab that sixth win until its 10th game of the season. Win No. 6 came by beating Illinois 17-3 on the road -- coach Jerry Kill's first Big Ten road win. The game was close until a late fourth-quarter touchdown sealed things for the Gophers, who improved to 6-4 on the year. Illinois, meanwhile, dropped to 2-8 overall and 0-6 in the Big Ten. Here are the grades for the Gophers in their sixth win of the season. Running offense: A Behind a career day from sophomore Donnell Kirkwood, the Gophers rushed for 231 yards on Saturday against Illinois. That marked the second-highest rushing total this year for Minnesota behind the 240-yard effort against New Hampshire. Kirkwood's 152 yards came on 28 carries, good for an average of 5.4 yards per carry. He also had the longest rush of his career -- 38 yards -- and iced the game with a 12-yard rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter. True freshman Rodrick ...
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