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Leshoure, Ilinois run past Baylor

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Associated Press
December 30, 2010
— Mikel Leshoure isn’t sure whether he’ll declare for the NFL draft or return to Illinois for his senior season.

But if Wednesday night’s Texas Bowl ends up being his college send-off it will certainly be remembered as a good one.


Leshoure ran for 184 yards and a career-high three touchdowns and set five school records as Illinois earned its first bowl victory since 1999, beating Baylor 38-14.


The Illini spoiled the Bears’ first bowl appearance in 16 seasons. Both teams finished at 7-6.


Leshoure had a 5-yard TD run in the second quarter, a 13-yard score in the third quarter and another 5-yard touchdown run in the fourth period.


The performance gave him school records for single-season rushing yards (1,697), single-season scoring (122 points), total touchdowns in a season (20), 100-yard rushing game in a season (9) and consecutive 100-yard rushing games (5).


“I can’t even really put it into words,” he said. “First of all winning and ... now that it’s the end of the season and I found out I broke those records it feels good.”


The Illini built a 24-0 lead and Leshoure’s last touchdown put the game out of reach.


Baylor’s Robert Griffin III threw for 306 yards and a touchdown, but his two fumbles in the first half put the Bears behind.


Leshoure was chosen the most valuable player.


and wore a cowboy hat as he hoisted the trophy above his head after the game while the small but vocal group of Illinois fans cheered.


Illinois finished with 291 yards rushing and 533 yards of total offense to give Zook his first bowl win as a head coach in his fourth try.



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