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Minnesota holds off Syracuse in Pinstripe Bowl 28-20

Dec 29, 2022; Bronx, NY, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Mohamed Ibrahim (24) runs for a touchdown against the Syracuse Orange during the second quarter of the 2022 Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Mohamed Ibrahim became the all-time rushing leader in school history and scored a touchdown early in the second quarter before sitting out the second half Thursday as Minnesota beat Syracuse 28-20 in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.

Ibrahim capped his comeback season from missing virtually all of last season with a ruptured Achilles. After getting hurt in the 2021 season opener against Penn State, Ibrahim returned for a sixth season and finished his career with 4,668 yards and 53 rushing touchdowns.

Ibrahim broke the school record held by Darrell Thompson (1986-1989) on a 10-yard gain with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the first half.

Before breaking Thompson’s record, Ibrahim scored a 4-yard TD with 13:39 remaining in the first quarter, giving the Gophers a 7-0 lead. He finished with 71 yards on 16 carries before junior Trey Potts replaced him in the backfield.

Daniel Jackson hauled in a pair of TDs with a 20-yard reception in the second and a key 25-yard grab in the final minute of the third that expanded Minnesota’s lead to 28-13.

Coleman Bryson had a 70-yard interception return in the third quarter for the Gophers, who were ultimately outgained by Syracuse, 484-215.

Minnesota’s Athan Kaliakmanis completed 7 of 9 passes for 80 yards before the freshman sustained a leg injury in the second quarter. Senior Tanner Morgan made his first appearance since Nov. 5 and completed 4 of 7 for 58 yards as the Golden Gophers (9-4) won their sixth straight bowl game.

Syracuse’s offense struggled early without star running back Sean Tucker, who sat out after declaring for the NFL draft Dec. 17. The Orange lost six of their final seven games after getting off to a 6-0 start.

LeQuint Allen replaced Tucker and finished with 103 yards on 16 carries as the But Orange got untracked late in the first half.

Garret Shrader completed 32 of 51 passes for 329 yards for Syracuse and scored Syracuse’s two touchdowns on runs on runs of one and eight yards.

Ibrahim opened the scoring early in the second quarter and Jackson scored on a leaping catch in the right corner of the end zone for a 14-0 Minnesota lead before Shrader scored with eight seconds before halftime.

Andre Szmyt’s 40-yarsd field goal made it 14-10 about 4 1/2 minutes after halftime but Bryson’s pick six opened a 21-10 lead for the Gophers with 7:22 midway through the third quarter.

After another Szmyt field goal brought the Orange to within one score at 21-13, Quentin Redding returned the ensuing kickoff 72 yards setting up Jackson’s second TD reception from Morgan in the final seconds of the third quarter.

Shrader scrambled from eight yards out with 2 1/2 minutes remaining on a 4th-and-8, but Minnesota ran out the final 2:30 of the clock.

–Field Level Media