Ibrahim, Minnesota blank Rutgers 31-0 to stop 3-game skid

Oct 29, 2022, 3:03 AM | Updated: 5:56 pm
Rutgers tight end Johnny Langan (21) is unable to make a catch as Minnesota defensive back Tyler Nu...

Rutgers tight end Johnny Langan (21) is unable to make a catch as Minnesota defensive back Tyler Nubin (27) defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

(AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

              Rutgers tight end Johnny Langan (21) is unable to make a catch as Minnesota defensive back Tyler Nubin (27) defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
            
              Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim (24) runs for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Rutgers, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
            
              Rutgers quarterback Gavin Wimsatt looks to pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Minnesota, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
            
              Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano reacts after a touchdown by Minnesota during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
            
              Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan (2), left, scrambles during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Rutgers, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
            
              Rutgers tight end Johnny Langan (21) cannot make a catch while defended by Minnesota defensive back Tyler Nubin (27) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
            
              The Minnesota defense celebrate after a fumble recovery during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Rutgers, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
            
              Minnesota tight end Brevyn Spann-Ford (88) is tackled by Rutgers defensive back Robert Longerbeam (7) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
            
              Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim (24) runs for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Rutgers, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — There aren’t many accomplishments left at Minnesota for Mohamed Ibrahim.

Helping stop a three-game losing streak was just the indefatigable Ibrahim’s latest feat.

Ibrahim rushed for 159 yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries to lead the Gophers past Rutgers 31-0 on Saturday for their first win in four weeks.

After grinding his way back from a torn Achilles tendon in the 2021 season opener and playing through an ankle injury earlier this month, Ibrahim turned in some of his finest work to date against a Scarlet Knights team that entered the game ranked sixth in the FBS and third in the Big Ten in rushing defense. The sixth-year star extended his streak of 100-yard games to 16 straight.

“I feel good,” Ibrahim said. “I do my best throughout the whole week just to get better and better each day, and then I come out on Saturdays and see where we’re at.”

Quarterback Tanner Morgan crisply returned from a concussion that kept him out of the previous game for the Gophers (5-3, 2-3), who enjoyed a 19-play, 99-yard drive on their first possession that drained 10:24 off the clock.

“That’s kind of something that we pride ourselves on, being to play that kind of ball,” Morgan said.

The Gophers converted 13 of 19 third downs and were in full control on this sun-drenched 69-degree afternoon, turning the second half into a snoozer and giving coach P.J. Fleck a victory over his mentor and former boss Greg Schiano. The Gophers had the ball for 41:02, the third time they’ve topped 40 minutes this season.

Minnesota’s revived defense produced a punishing and unrelenting performance against a Scarlet Knights team missing leading rusher Samuel Brown V and dealing with quarterback instability.

“I’m really proud of their resolve,” Fleck said. “There’s a lot of teams that can really spiral after that.”

Gavin Wimsatt made his second career start for Rutgers (4-4, 1-4), going 6 for 17 for 68 yards. He threw the first of two interceptions by Tyler Nubin at the Rutgers 33 early in the fourth quarter that set up Ibrahim’s third touchdown — the 46th of his career — for a three-score lead.

Ibrahim seized the all-time program record from Darrell Thompson, who cheered the feat from his perch in the radio broadcast booth. Thompson had 43 touchdowns in 44 games. Ibrahim has played in 35 games, with four or five left.

“Fifteen teams before us in a row couldn’t slow him down, right? We knew that was a tall order, but we were confident that we were going to do it,” Schiano said. “They did a very good job schematically.”

Rutgers punter Adam Korsak showed off his Australian-bred leg strength, with a 77-yard punt in the first quarter that landed 2 yards short of his own program record. Korsak has five of the 11 longest punts in Rutgers history.

The field position hardly helped. The Gophers responded with a 13-play, 86-yard drive on their second possession. After Scarlet Knights made their first third-down stop of the game, Ibrahim muscled his way in on fourth-and-goal from the 1 for a 14-0 lead.

“The way that he just makes it look effortless is honestly amazing,” Nubin said. “People on the outside aren’t going to understand how he does it. People think, ‘That’s just Mo,’ but on the inside you see how hard that guy works, how hard he pushes other people, how dedicated he is, just the way that he carries himself.”

AILING RUTGERS

Brown will have season-ending foot surgery next week, Schiano said. Wimsatt is also in recovery mode, after a shoulder-to-shoulder hit at the end of a run caused his head snap back hard against the turf midway through the fourth quarter. The sophomore was replaced by Noah Vedral, the sixth-year player who started the previous three games.

THE TAKEAWAY

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights had just 134 total yards of offense in the type of game that got offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson fired earlier this month. Wimsatt was frequently out of sync with his receivers, who didn’t do him many favors.

“Some of them were a little high and some of them needed to be caught. Drops, they’re inexcusable at this level,” Schiano said.

Minnesota: Morgan, who was knocked out of the 26-14 defeat at Illinois on Oct. 16, bounced back from a couple of rough performances prior to his injury. He went 14 for 21 for 122 yards and rushed three times for 17 yards without a turnover. Between Morgan and freshman Athan Kaliakmanis, who took the helm in the 45-17 loss at Penn State last week, the Gophers averaged 13.7 points over the previous three games while completing only 33 of 73 passes with seven interceptions.

UP NEXT

Rutgers: Hosts No. 4 Michigan next Saturday night.

Minnesota: Plays at Nebraska next Saturday afternoon.

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://apnews.com/cfbtop25

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill catches a pass during the first half of an NFL football ga...
Associated Press

Tyreek Hill, Dolphins success shows value of elite WRs

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Miami Dolphins running back Jeff Wilson Jr. mostly practices wide receiver drills during his offseasons, partly because running back drills are second nature to him, but also because he understands the importance of being a pass catcher in today’s NFL. “I remember one point in time, it was a running […]
2 days ago
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick walks off the field after the team's 24-10 loss to t...
Associated Press

Questions linger as Patriots’ offense falls short again

FOXBOROUGH, Mass, (AP) — Quarterback Mac Jones was adamant his expletive-laced tirade on the sideline during the Patriots 24-10 loss to Buffalo was about motivating himself and not an emotional plea about the play calling or anything directed at his coaches. Only he knows for certain. What does seem apparent is his vocal outburst had […]
2 days ago
Michigan defensive back Mike Sainristil, left, tackles Ohio State receiver Emeka Egbuka during the ...
Associated Press

CFP deja vu: TCU in third, Ohio State lurking and lobbying

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — TCU has been in this position before, third in the College Football Playoff rankings going into its last game before the final four teams are set. And just like in 2014, there sits Ohio State in fifth, hoping for a chance to move up. Those rankings are the same, but […]
2 days ago
FILE - Portland Thorns FC celebrates with the trophy after the won the NWSL championship soccer mat...
Associated Press

Thorns coach resigns after players ask her to step down

Portland Thorns coach Rhian Wilkinson resigned Friday, just five weeks after she led the team to the National Women’s Soccer League championship. Wilkinson issued a statement that said players had asked for her resignation and she complied. Wilkinson said she was investigated and cleared of wrongdoing by the NWSL and its players union after she […]
2 days ago
Australia's players celebrate their 1-0 victory at the end of the World Cup group D soccer match be...
Associated Press

World Cup Viewer’s Guide: Americans face the Netherlands

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Christian Pulisic became an American star with the winning goal — and the injury he got while scoring it — that lifted the United States into the round of 16 at the World Cup. He injured his pelvic bone, Pulisic insisted, when he collided with Iran’s goalkeeper on the goal that […]
2 days ago
Brazil supporters put up a banner featuring Brazil team legends including Pele prior to the World C...
Associated Press

Brazil fans at World Cup show support for soccer great Pelé

LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — Brazilian fans showed their support for soccer great Pelé ahead of the national team’s match against Cameroon at the World Cup on Friday. The 82-year-old Pelé, who had a colon tumor removed last year, was hospitalized Tuesday in Sao Paulo to regulate his medication. Doctors said Friday he had a respiratory […]
2 days ago
Ibrahim, Minnesota blank Rutgers 31-0 to stop 3-game skid