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Inside Slant: Minnesota vs. Illinois

Minnesota's path to a bowl game is clear. Saturday's game against Illinois is a must-win situation. With a 5-4 record, the Gophers need one more victory to become bowl eligible and a road game against the struggling Illini is the best chance to do that, at least if one goes by what's happened this season.

While the Gophers have lost four of five in Big Ten play, Illinois has been even worse. The Illini are 0-5 in the conference and have been outscored by an average of 26.8 points in league games. Despite those numbers, coach Jerry Kill is more concerned about his own team than he is the Illini's problems. "We know we need to play better," he said. "Our players know they need to be ready." The... Recommended Stories