The recap: Once Devin Gardner, Michigan's fill-in quarterback, got comfortable, the Gophers couldn't stop the Wolverines' long drives, and couldn't capitalize on their own opportunities.

What was learned: A capable quarterback can make you competitive, but it isn't enough to win when he doesn't have enough weapons around him.


• The Gophers have scored exactly 13 points in each of their four losses. Only one Big Ten team has won a game this year (Michigan) in which it scored so few points.

• Without wide receiver A.J. Barker in the lineup, the Gophers had only one gain of longer than 15 yards, a 32-yard pass to Derrick Engel. Michigan had seven such plays, and four (three completions and a rush) gained more than 40 yards.

• Nine Gophers caught a pass, including quarterback Philip Nelson on a fake field goal, but two of their top three receivers this season, Barker and Devin Crawford-Tufts, had zero.

• Nelson was sacked for the first time in his career, losing 4 yards. The Gophers sacked Michigan's quarterback three times, matching last season's total of 19.


2:30 p.m. Saturday, Champaign, Ill.

TV: BTN. Radio: 100.3-FM

Records: Gophers 5-4, 1-4 Big Ten; Illinois 2-7, 0-5 Big Ten

The skinny: The rebuilding job might be more difficult than first-year coach Tim Beckman imagined. Illinois' lone victories are over Western Michigan and FCS-level Charleston Southern, and it has lost 11 consecutive Big Ten games, and two in a row to Minnesota. The Illini offense is last in the Big Ten is scoring, yardage and rushing, and 11th in passing. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase has only four touchdown passes (and six interceptions) after throwing 13 TD passes last year.