Minneapolis — Minnesota's Tellis Redmon was a backup one week ago, bounced from the starting lineup by a fumble and the promise shown by the redshirt freshman who replaced him.
Redmon made quite a case for his permanent return to the starting lineup by accumulating nearly 300 yards in the Gophers' 44-10 victory over No. 24 Illinois on Saturday.
He ran for 183 yards on 31 carries, gaining 151 of them in the first half, and caught three passes for 116 yards.
Minnesota coach Glen Mason had settled a quarterback controversy this week by replacing Asad Abdul-Khaliq with Travis Cole, who passed for 170 yards and ran for 82 in three quarters against the Illini. Mason wasn't ready to choose between Redmon, who was removed from the field after fumbling at Baylor, or Thomas Tapeh, who rushed for 183 yards in that game but was limited Saturday by a foot injury.
Mason, instead, focused on the Gophers' best performance of the season.
"We're probably not as bad as people would think of the last four games, and probably not as good as today," Mason said.
The Gophers (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten) overwhelmed the Illini (3-2, 0-2) much as they did in a 37-7 victory last season, by running between the tackles. They gained 364 yards rushing.
"The first half was an embarrassment," Illinois coach Ron Turner said. "One team came to fight, one team didn't."
Illinois' Kurt Kittner completed only 13 of 34 passes for 103 yards, and the running game accounted for only 82 yards. Tackle Mike Anderle batted down five passes by Kittner.