Reggie Corbin rushed for 213 yards and two touchdowns — both coming on runs of more than 70 yards — as Illinois defeated Minnesota 55-31 on Saturday.

Corbin became the first Illini player to rush for two 70-yard-plus touchdowns in a single game since 1944.

Illinois wide receiver Dominic Stampley (6) is tackled after making a catch in the second half of a NCAA college football game against Minnesota, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)
Illinois wide receiver Dominic Stampley (6) is tackled after making a catch in the second half of a NCAA college football game against Minnesota, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)

“Reggie plays like that every game,” Illinois coach Lovie Smith said. “Week in and week out, he just plays football for us.”

Illinois head coach Lovie Smith watches from the sideline in the first half of a NCAA college football game against Minnesota, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)
Illinois head coach Lovie Smith watches from the sideline in the first half of a NCAA college football game against Minnesota, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)

Minnesota (4-5, 1-5 Big Ten) had trouble all game stopping the run, giving up 430 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.

Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck has a serious conversation with officials in the second half of a NCAA college football game against Illinois Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)
Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck has a serious conversation with officials in the second half of a NCAA college football game against Illinois Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)

The 55 points were the most points for Illinois (4-5, 2-4) since Smith took over as head coach before the 2016 season.

Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) is grabbed on the face mask by Illinois' Calvin Avery (93) in the second half of a NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)
Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) is grabbed on the face mask by Illinois’ Calvin Avery (93) in the second half of a NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)

“We didn’t tackle anyone,” said Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck. “I think our speed got exposed on defense. They were running away from us.”

Illinois’ first two possessions resulted in two 72-yard touchdown runs — one by Corbin and the other by Dre Brown. Both came on second-and-long and both backs were untouched once they cleared the line of scrimmage. Corbin later ripped off a 77-yard scoring run.

Illinois running back Reggie Corbin (2) is ushered into the end zone by teammate AJ Bush, Jr. in the second half of a NCAA college football game against Minnesota, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)
Illinois running back Reggie Corbin (2) is ushered into the end zone by teammate AJ Bush, Jr. in the second half of a NCAA college football game against Minnesota, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)

Brown rushed for 92 yards and one touchdown. He was playing in lieu of injured starting running back Mike Epstein, who generally shares carries with Corbin.

Illinois' Head Coach Lovie Smith has a talk with an official in the second half of a NCAA college football game against Minnesota, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)
Illinois’ Head Coach Lovie Smith has a talk with an official in the second half of a NCAA college football game against Minnesota, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)

Illinois quarterback AJ Bush managed the game well and accounted for four touchdowns, going 18 of 25 for 216 yards passing with two touchdowns and one interception. Bush rushed for 127 yards on 14 carries and two more touchdowns.

Minnesota's Mohamed Ibrahim (24) out runs the grasp of Illinois' Calvin Avery (93) in the first half of a NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)
Minnesota’s Mohamed Ibrahim (24) out runs the grasp of Illinois’ Calvin Avery (93) in the first half of a NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)

“AJ played well, both running and passing,” Smith said. “He’s shown us what kind of a leader he is.”

Illinois quarterback AJ Bush, Jr. (1) hands the ball off to running back Reggie Corbin (2) in the first half of a NCAA college football game aganist Minnesota, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)
Illinois quarterback AJ Bush, Jr. (1) hands the ball off to running back Reggie Corbin (2) in the first half of a NCAA college football game aganist Minnesota, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)

Tanner Morgan, starting at quarterback for the second straight game for injured starter Zack Annexstad, was 14 of 27 for 258 yards and two touchdowns.

Illinois led 24-17 at the half.

Minnesota Head Coach P.J. Fleck talks with an official in the first half of a NCAA college football game against Illinois Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)
Minnesota Head Coach P.J. Fleck talks with an official in the first half of a NCAA college football game against Illinois Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)

Sandwiched between the Illini scoring runs to open the game was a 12-play Minnesota drive that resulted in a 4-yard touchdown run by Mohamed Ibrahim.

Illinois running back Dre Brown (25) takes the ball to the end zone as Minnesota's Jordan Howden (23)defends in the first half of an NCAA  college football game, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)
Illinois running back Dre Brown (25) takes the ball to the end zone as Minnesota’s Jordan Howden (23)defends in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)

“It’s a lack of consistency that’s hurting us,” Fleck said. “And it’s all over the field, on offense, defense, special teams. This was just not a good football game for us. And that’s on me.”

Minnesota's Mohamed Ibrahim (24) runs as Illinois' Jamal Milan (55) defends in the first half of an NCAA  college football game, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)
Minnesota’s Mohamed Ibrahim (24) runs as Illinois’ Jamal Milan (55) defends in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)

THE TAKEAWAY

Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim (24) runs as Illinois' Sydney Brown (30) tries to bring him down in the first half of an NCAA  college football game, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)
Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim (24) runs as Illinois’ Sydney Brown (30) tries to bring him down in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)

Minnesota: Needs six wins to nail down a bowl bid, and Saturday’s defeat makes it all the more difficult. With three games left, against Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin, they need wins in two of them. Not impossible, but not easy.

Illinois running back Reggie Corbin (2) breaks a tackle to score Illinois' first touchdown of the game against Minnesota in the first half of an NCAA  college football game, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)
Illinois running back Reggie Corbin (2) breaks a tackle to score Illinois’ first touchdown of the game against Minnesota in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)

Illinois: The easy win may have helped cool the hot seat coach Lovie Smith had found himself on. Calling the defense after the abrupt resignation last week of coordinator Hardy Nickerson, Smith acquitted himself well, with his defense giving up 438 yards, substantially less than in past weeks.

“We needed to come back and show we can play defense,” Smith said. “I think we’re getting closer.”

Minnesota's Seth Green (17) runs the ball in the first half of an NCAA  college football game, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)
Minnesota’s Seth Green (17) runs the ball in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)

UP NEXT

Illinois' Dre Brown (25) out runs for a touchdown against Minnesota in the first half of an NCAA  college football game, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)
Illinois’ Dre Brown (25) out runs for a touchdown against Minnesota in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)

Minnesota: Hosts Purdue on Saturday.

Illinois' Tony Adams (6) and Sydney Brown (30) go up for an interception in the first half of an NCAA  college football game, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)
Illinois’ Tony Adams (6) and Sydney Brown (30) go up for an interception in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)

Illinois: Travels to Nebraska next week.

Illinois running back Reggie Corbin (2) runs the ball as Minnesota's Blake Cashman (36)and Carter Coughlin (45) pursue  in the first half of an NCAA  college football game, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)
Illinois running back Reggie Corbin (2) runs the ball as Minnesota’s Blake Cashman (36)and Carter Coughlin (45) pursue in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Holly Hart)

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Source: The Associated Press