Rapid Reaction: Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota defense send Rutgers to shutout loss in Week 9
Final Score: Minnesota 31, Rutgers 0
Brief Recap: Coming into Week 9, Minnesota was riding a 3-game losing streak throughout the month of October. The toughest stretch of the schedule was always going to create some problems for the Gophers, but losing all 3 tough games was a bit of a surprise.
Nevertheless, Minnesota hit the field Saturday intent on ending that skid against Rutgers. The Gophers did just that and eliminated any doubt of the final outcome early on in the game.
In the second quarter, Minnesota scored two touchdown drives that were long, sustained possessions to wear down the Scarlet Knight defense. Those two drives covered 19 and 13 plays, respectively, with each drive covering at least 85 yards. The first touchdown drive covered 99 yards and took 10 minutes off the clock.
Defensively, the Gophers never gave Rutgers or new starting quarterback Gavin Wimsatt a chance to breathe. While Wimsatt still looks like the future for the Scarlet Knights under center, he completed less than 50% of his passes and had a pair of turnovers in the loss.
Key Player: While it was great for Minnesota to get QB Tanner Morgan back into the starting lineup, it is unsurprising that the theme of the day was once again Mohamed Ibrahim. He carried the ball an impressive 36 times for 159 yards and 3 touchdowns in the win.
Ibrahim continues his streak of 100-yard rushing performances and now holds the program record for total touchdowns after breaking the record early in the first half. Ibrahim finished the game accounting for 159 of the team’s 375 total yard of offense.
Key Stat: 0 points allowed by the Gophers. Sometimes the final score tells the full story, and that shutout is particularly significant. The shutout of Rutgers marked the first time Minnesota has shutout a B1G opponent since 2004.
What it means moving forward: Now at 5-3 overall, the Gophers enter November just one win shy of bowl eligibility. The Gophers have been impressive getting to bowls under Fleck and would love another shot at the postseason in 2022.
As for Rutgers, the team falls back to .500 at 4-4 overall and looking at a brutal schedule in November. The chances of Rutgers circling the wagons and getting to a bowl game this season appear remarkably slim.