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Minnesota rushes for 302 yards, smothers Northwestern

Nov 12, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA;Minnesota Golden Gophers linebacker Cody Lindenberg (45) tackles Northwestern Wildcats quarterback Brendan Sullivan (10) during the first quarter at Huntington Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Mohamed Ibrahim rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries to lead Minnesota to a 31-3 home win over Northwestern in a Big Ten West contest on Saturday.

Minnesota (7-3, 4-3 Big Ten), which has won three straight, started backup quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis instead of usual starter Tanner Morgan, who suffered an upper-body injury last week against Nebraska.

Kaliakmanis only attempted 13 passes, completing seven of them for 64 yards.

The Golden Gophers moved into a four-way tie for first place in the Big Ten West.

Malik Washington caught six passes for 97 yards and quarterback Brendan Sullivan went 9-of-11 passing for 94 yards in defeat for Northwestern (1-9, 1-6), which has lost nine straight since a season-opening win over Nebraska in Dublin.

Minnesota took a 7-0 lead with 3:04 remaining in the first quarter on a 6-yard touchdown run by Ibrahim, a scoring play that finished off a 9-play, 82-yard drive.

The Golden Gophers took a 14-0 lead with 7:57 left in the second quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by Ibrahim.

Northwestern got on the board with 1:27 remaining until halftime, cutting Minnesota’s lead to 14-3 after a 35-yard field goal by Adam Stage.

On its first drive of the second half, Minnesota took a 17-3 lead after a 41-yard field goal by Matthew Trickett with 12:16 left in the third quarter. The field goal came after the Golden Gophers got the ball at the 25-yard line of Northwestern following an interception.

Ibrahim then scored on another 1-yard touchdown run with 14:57 remaining to give Minnesota a 24-3 lead.

With 4:24 remaining, Minnesota took a 31-3 lead on a 6-yard touchdown run by Zach Evans.

Minnesota outrushed Northwestern, 302-72, and held the ball for 40:22.

Trey Potts flanked Ibrahim by rushing for 63 yards on 10 carries for Minnesota.

–Field Level Media