Ibrahim, Minnesota stifle Northwestern in 31-3 drubbing

Updated Nov. 12, 2022 7:07 p.m. ET

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Mohamed Ibrahim rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns and Minnesota’s defense continued its dominance on Saturday as the Golden Gophers defeated Northwestern 31-3.

Ibrahim, who carried the ball 36 times, extended his streak of consecutive 100-yard rushing games to 18, the longest in FBS since 2000. He also became the seventh player in Big Ten history with 50 career rushing touchdowns.

The Gophers didn’t ask freshman quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis, making his first home start in place of the injured Tanner Morgan, to do much. He was 7-for-13 passing for 64 yards and rushed four times for 28 yards.

Kaliakmanis relieved Morgan at halftime of Minnesota’s game at Nebraska on Nov. 5, rallying the Gophers from a 10-0 deficit to a 20-13 win.


The Gophers (7-3, 4-3 Big Ten) entered the game with the No. 4-scoring defense in the country, allowing just 14.2 points per game. That average dipped further after they kept the Wildcats (1-9, 1-6) out of the end zone for the first time all season.

On the second play of the second half, Gophers defensive back Tyler Nubin intercepted a pass from backup quarterback Ryan Hilinski. Minnesota turned that into a 41-yard field goal by Matthew Trickett and a 17-3 lead.

Ibrahim’s 1-yard plunge on the first play of the fourth quarter made it 24-3. It was Ibrahim’s 18th rushing touchdown of the season, tying the school record set by Gary Russell in 2005.

The Wildcats crossed the 50-yard line just twice in the first half. Midway through the first, they advanced to the Gophers 16 before Jordan Howden and Terrell Smith teamed to stuff Evan Hull on fourth and 1.

Later, the Gophers appeared poised to head into the locker room with a 14-0 halftime lead, as a punt pinned Northwestern at its own 7-yard line with 2:08 to play. But two passes later, the Wildcats were in field goal position.

First, starter Brendan Sullivan hit Malik Washington for 27 yards. Sullivan was injured on the play, but Hilinski followed with a 49-yard hookup with Washington to give Northwestern the ball at the Minnesota 17.

The Gophers defense then forced three straight incompletions, leading to Adam Stage’s 35-yard field goal to get Northwestern on the board.

Northwestern turned it over on downs again midway through the third quarter, as Hilinski threw a swing pass just out of Hull’s reach on fourth and 1 at Minnesota’s 41.


Northwestern: One week after giving No. 2 Ohio State all it could handle in a 21-7 loss; the Wildcats couldn’t generate enough offense to make it a game.

Minnesota: The Gophers’ path to the Big Ten West title got a boost with Illinois’ loss to Purdue. If Minnesota wins its last two games – vs. Iowa and at Wisconsin – one more loss by the Illini would put the Gophers in the Big Ten Championship Game.


Northwestern: Visits Purdue on Nov. 19.

Minnesota: Hosts Iowa on Nov. 19 in its final home game of the season.


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