Going into the Minnesota Gophers game against the Michigan State Spartans, it was hard to say for sure just how good this Gophers team could be. After their dominant 34-7 road win, it’s clear that the sky is the limit for Minnesota in 2022. Making the victory even sweeter, RB Mo Ibrahim set a new school record for career rushing TDs.
It’s been a long road for Ibrahim to reach this point over the course of his collegiate career. As a freshman in 2018, the Gophers running back burst onto the scene with 1160 rushing yards along with 9 TDs. This could not have timed out better as Minnesota was reeling from the loss of their workhorse back Rodney Smith to injury.
The three-year stretch of 2019-21 worked out in a much more complicated fashion for Ibrahim. In 2019, Smith returned to the backfield, forcing him to take a backseat. Then, 2020’s season got even more complicated when COVID-19 ravaged the globe.
Finally, 2021 somehow became worst of all as Ibrahim tore his Achilles tendon during the season opener. He had racked up 163 yards and a pair of touchdowns when it happened.
As the senior returned for his final year of eligibility, many worried that the injury would hinder his production. To this point, Ibrahim has been as good as ever, if not better than before. Through four games, Ibrahim is on pace to demolish is career-highs in rushing yards (1160) and touchdowns (15).
After recording 202 yards and 3 TDs in Minnesota’s win over Colorado, Ibrahim needed just a single score to break Darrell Thompson’s career touchdown record of 40. The 33-year-old record fell just five minutes into the game with Ibrahim’s 41st career touchdown.
This may not be the final rushing record to fall this season, either. Ibrahim sits 948 yards shy of Thompson’s career rushing record of 4512. Assuming the 4-0 Gophers go on to play in a bowl game this winter, the senior RB will have nine games to do so.
Regardless of whether or not Ibrahim breaks another record this season, a dominant road win like the one we saw on Saturday was impressive. Tanner Morgan looks as if he has returned to his 2019 form as well behind a strong o-line. Minnesota returns home this week to take on Purdue on October 1st as they look to continue their undefeated start to the season.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh can often be found training for a marathon, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his takes, NFL and otherwise, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken