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From mockery to magic at Wrigley

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Leshoure Runs Wild At Wrigley (1:45)

Illinois RB Mikel Leshoure ran for 330 yards and two TDs as the Illini beat Northwestern 48-27. (1:45)

CHICAGO -- Go figure. Illinois turned a potential circus into a spectacle.

In one potentially disastrous afternoon, the Fighting Illini and one very special running back elevated a PR stunt gone awry into a must-see performance. They walked into a purple haze at Clark and Addison on Saturday and ran off with a school record, a bowl berth, a much-needed measure of pride and, very likely, their coach's job secured.

Illinois' 48-27 victory over Northwestern, made possible by Mikel Leshoure's school- and Wrigley Field-record 330 yards rushing, rose above circumstances that threatened to embarrass both schools, the Big Ten Conference, the Cubs and whoever else was unlucky enough to be involved.

Read the entire column.