GAMEDAY College Football

Minnesota 34, Michigan State 7

By BOB TRIPI
Associated Press

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Tanner Morgan threw for 268 yards and three touchdowns and Mohamed Ibrahim rushed for 103 yards and a score to lead Minnesota to a 34-7 rout over struggling Michigan State in the Big Ten opener for both schools.

The Gophers (4-0) are off to their best start since they began the 2019 season 9-0. Minnesota dominated Michigan State (2-2) on both sides of the ball, outgaining the Spartans on offense 508-240 while also grabbing two interceptions and a fumble.

"I've got to take my hat off to our players," said Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck. "They just played incredibly hard. I couldn't be more proud of them right now in this moment."

Despite missing star receiver Chris Autman-Bell, who is out for the season following a leg injury last week, the Gophers' offense was dominant. Minnesota did not punt, converted 10 of 12 third-down attempts, had possession of the ball for 42:30 and Morgan hit 10 different receivers.

"I've been saying it for a long time now that we have a lot of guys that can go make plays for us," Morgan said. "We saw that today - a lot of guys that were involved in the game plan and made plays. It makes my job really easy."

Michigan State appeared ready to rally from a 17-point deficit at the start of the second half by driving to the Minnesota 5-yard line but Thomas Rush punched the ball free from quarterback Payton Thorne and Justin Walley made the recovery.

"Every week we emphasize turnovers," Walley said. "Today we had three. That's the amount we should get every week or strive to get every week."

The Spartans avoided the shutout when backup quarterback Noah Kim tossed a 27-yard touchdown pass to Germie Bernard with 17 seconds left.

The Gophers scored on their first three possessions to go up 17-0.

Ibrahim, who extended his streak of 100-plus rushing yards to 13 games, broke Minnesota's all-time rushing touchdown record with a 2-yard run off the opening drive. It was his 41st rushing score, breaking a tie with former Gophers running back Darrell Thompson.

Morgan, who completed 23 of 26 passes for 268 yards, capped off the next drive when he hit Daniel Jackson with a 23-yard touchdown pass. Matthew Trickett followed with a 26-yard field goal.

Morgan added a 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Nick Kallerup in the third quarter and a 4-yard scoring pass to Jackson early in the fourth quarter. Trickett closed the Gophers' scoring with a 22-yard field goal.

"We were operating fantastic today," Morgan said. "We were executing. We were stopping ourselves a lot, though."

It was the second straight game that Michigan State has been dominated. Last week against Washington the Spartans gave up 503 yards of offense.

"I'm really not happy with what I'm seeing," said Michigan State coach Mel Tucker. "I don't accept it."

Tucker said he understands what the issues are with his team.

"I'm probably not gonna talk about them right now," he said. "I don't want to say anything I shouldn't say right after a game like this."

THE TAKEAWAY

Minnesota: The Gophers showed why they are considered the frontrunners to win the West Division. Facing their toughest opponent so far, Minnesota dominated in all phases of the game.

Michigan State: The Spartans' pass defense for the second straight game struggled in coverage. Morgan completed 12 passes in the first half of 10 yards or more.


Scoring Summary
First Quarter MinnMSU
Minn TD 9:50 Mohamed Ibrahim 2 yd run (Matthew Trickett kick) 7 0
Minn TD 2:57 Daniel Jackson 23 yd pass from Tanner Morgan (Matthew Trickett kick) 14 0
Second Quarter MinnMSU
Minn FG 10:14 Matthew Trickett 26 yd FG 17 0
Third Quarter MinnMSU
Minn TD 3:26 Nick Kallerup 6 yd pass from Tanner Morgan (Matthew Trickett kick) 24 0
Fourth Quarter MinnMSU
Minn TD 14:08 Daniel Jackson 4 yd pass from Tanner Morgan (Matthew Trickett kick) 31 0
Minn FG 1:48 Matthew Trickett 22 yd FG 34 0
MSU TD 0:17 Germie Bernard 27 yd pass from Noah Kim (Jack Stone kick) 34 7
Team Stats
  Minnesota Michigan State
First downs 32 14
  Rushing 14 4
  Passing 16 10
  Penalty 2 0
3rd Down Efficiency 10-12, 83% 2-8, 25%
4th down efficiency 0-0, -% 1-2, 50%
Rushes-Yards 48-240 14-38
Passing Yards 268 202
Return Yards 10 0
Completions-Attempts-Int 23-26-0 23-31-2
Sacks-Yards Lost 0-0 1--8
Punts 0 4
Punts-Average 50.8
Fumbles Lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties - Yards 7-65 6-65
Time of Possession 42:29 17:30
Minnesota Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
T. Morgan 23 26 268 3 0
Michigan State Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
P. Thorne 17 24 132 0 2
N. Kim 6 7 70 1 0
Minnesota Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
M. Ibrahim 22 103 4.7 1
T. Potts 13 72 5.5 0
T. Morgan 3 27 9.0 0
B. Williams 6 26 4.3 0
C. Kramer 2 16 8.0 0
Michigan State Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
J. Broussard 6 23 3.8 0
J. Berger 4 13 3.3 0
N. Kim 1 5 5.0 0
P. Thorne 3 -3 -1.0 0
Minnesota Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
M. Brown-Stephens 6 73 12.2 0
D. Wright 3 54 18.0 0
D. Jackson 3 42 14.0 2
B. Spann-Ford 3 40 13.3 0
M. Ibrahim 2 20 10.0 0
L. Brockington 1 19 19.0 0
C. Geary 2 12 6.0 0
N. Kallerup 1 6 6.0 1
B. Williams 1 1 1.0 0
T. Potts 1 1 1.0 0
Michigan State Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
C. McDonald 3 31 10.3 0
T. Mosley 3 28 9.3 0
G. Bernard 1 27 27.0 1
K. Coleman 4 25 6.3 0
J. Reed 4 21 5.3 0
M. Carr 2 21 10.5 0
D. Barker 1 18 18.0 0
J. Berger 3 15 5.0 0
T. Hunt 1 14 14.0 0
E. Collins 1 2 2.0 0
Minnesota Interceptions
Player Int Yards
D. Striggow 1 7
J. Walley 1 0
Michigan State Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Minnesota Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
Michigan State Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
B. Baringer 4 203 50.8
Minnesota Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Q. Redding 1 3 3.0
Michigan State Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Minnesota Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Michigan State Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Minnesota Missed FG
Player Length
Michigan State Missed FG
Player Length




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