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NCAA Football '14 Simulation: Illinois Fighting Illini @ Minnesota Golden Gophers

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We used the popular EA Sports video game to simulate the results of Saturday's Illini game. Is this the game Illinois earns a bowl berth? Or will the Gophers have the last laugh?

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

With the help of some passionate college football fans in the world of the internet, TCR will be simulating every Illinois football game this season using EA Sports' NCAA Football '14. We've downloaded updated rosters and the team depth charts will be changed on a week-by-week basis to reflect what we'll see on the field. We'll also check the weather forecast to mirror the expected conditions at kickoff.

Last season, our simulations predicted the correct outcome 70% of the time.

This season, our simulation is (9-1).

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Week 11: Illinois Fighting Illini (5-5) @ Minnesota Golden Gophers (4-6)

With both teams fighting to earn a bowl berth in consecutive seasons, this game serves as the best chance for Illinois to achieve that goal.  Will the Illini shake their offensive woes and continue to dominate on defense?  Or will the Gophers earn the first of two victories needed to make a bowl game?

Let's see how both teams are rated:

Illinois Fighting Illini

  • Overall: 79
  • Offense: 83
  • Defense: 78
Minnesota Golden Gophers
  • Overall: 81
  • Offense: 79
  • Defense: 82

Simulation:

In a game that would be defined by streaks, as the Illini would open the game with a 26-0 run in the first 2 quarters thanks to Wes Lunt, Geronimo Allison, and Marchie Murdock.  Allison caught two touchdown passes, and Wes would run 2 yards for the opening score of the game.  The Gophers would answer with 24 points of their own, with Mitch Leidner throwing 2 touchdown passes and Rodrick Williams running for the other (Ryan Santoso added a 50 yard field goal).

With the exception of a Taylor Zalewski field goal, Minnesota would take the lead early in the 4th quarter after scoring 10 consecutive points.  However, Illinois would close the game with a 21-0 run including a 49 yard touchdown run from Josh Ferguson and an interception return from Darius Mosley.

Final Score: Illinois 50, Minnesota 33

Here is the scoring summary and team stats for the game: