CHAMPAIGN, ILL. -- The first quarter of Saturday’s Gophers game included a scary moment, when Illinois wide receiver Malik Turner took a helmet-to-helmet hit from Minnesota safety Duke McGhee.
Turner lay on the field for several moments before being lifted onto a stretcher and carted off the field. Turner was placed in a neck brace but did appear to have movement.
Officials ejected McGhee for targeting, marking the fifth time the Gophers have received that penalty this season. Minnesota was penalized for targeting just two times over the previous four years and both of those calls were overturned.
Linebacker Jack Lynn, who took a targeting penalty last week against Rutgers, had to miss the first half of the Illinois game but was eligible to return in the second half.
The Gophers took a 14-7 lead into halftime after capitalizing on two Illinois turnovers. When Jeff George Jr., fumbled Illinois’ first snap, Scott Ekpe recovered. Shannon Brooks rushed for a 9-yard touchdown on the next play.
When Darius Mosely muffed a punt later in the first quarter, Antoine Winfield Jr., recovered. Rodney Smith rushed for a 20-yard touchdown on the next play. Both of Minnesota’s touchdown drives lasted seven seconds.
The Gophers have 66 points off turnovers this year, compared to 16 for their opponents.
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Minnesota's Duke McGhee has been ejected after a targeting penalty. We have the play & explanation here. https://t.co/DL9w0BHeGH— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) October 29, 2016