Rodney Smith rushed for 139 yards, Mohamed Ibrahim scored three touchdowns on the ground and the Minnesota Golden Gophers ran past the Nebraska Cornhuskers 34-7 on a wet, snowy evening at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Minnesota (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten), which entered the weekend as one of 16 undefeated teams, won its eighth straight game, the school’s longest winning streak since 1949.
The Golden Gophers dominated on the ground, rushing for 322 yards with 220 yards coming in the first half. Minnesota’s defense held the Nebraska rushing attack to 151 yards.
Nebraska quarterback and UCF transfer Noah Vedral made his first career start in place of the injured Adrian Martinez. He completed 14 of 23 pass attempts for just 135 yards and led the Cornhuskers with 49 yards on the ground.
The Cornhuskers (4-3, 2-2) lost their best offensive player, Wan’Dale Robinson, to an ankle injury midway through the second quarter. Robinson was seen later in the game in a walking boot on the Nebraska sideline.
The Golden Gophers set the tone on their first possession. Smith ripped off a 35-yard run before Tyler Morgan found Chris Autman-Bell on a 15-yard catch-and-run and a 7-0 Minnesota lead.
Two possessions later, Smith gained 10, 15 and seven yards on three carries before Ibrahim scampered 15 yards for a 14-0 lead.
Taking the ball to start the third quarter, it took the Golden Gophers just five plays to go 63 yards to extend their lead to 21-0. Morgan and Tyler Johnson hooked up for a 45-yard gain on the first play of the quarter.
Ibrahim plowed his way into the end zone from five yards out for his second score of the game.
Minnesota put the game out of reach with a nine-play, 45-yard drive. Smith capped the drive, bulldozing into the end zone from one yard out, putting the Golden Gophers up 28-0.
Ibrahim added a one-yard TD to cap the Golden Gophers’ scoring with 1:41 left in the third quarter.
Nebraska finally got on the board and avoided being shut out for the first time since 1996 when Dedrick Mills crashed in from the 2-yard line early in the fourth quarter.
—Field Level Media