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Gophers continue to roll in dominating 34-7 win over Michigan State

Victory marked first time Minnesota won in East Lansing since 2009

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Michigan State
Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim pushes away tackler Michigan State linebacker Ben VanSumeren (13) in the second quarter Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, in East Lansing, Michigan.
Dale Young / USA Today Sports
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EAST LANSING, Mich. — When Michigan State’s offense finally earned a first down on its third drive Saturday, the more than 70,000 fans at Spartan Stadium gave their team a mocking cheer.

By that point, the Gophers’ offense had been humming along with 14 first downs and a 17-0 lead.

The Spartans finally started to click to begin the third quarter, but their 70-yard drive deep into Minnesota territory was dashed when Thomas Rush forced a fumble and Justin Walley recovered it.

Minnesota then put together a 90-yard touchdown drive to deflate any hope for a Spartans comeback in a 34-7 victory.

The Big Ten opener was supposed to be a stiff test after Minnesota had manhandled three inferior nonconference opponents. But it was more of the same.

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Minnesota (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) was a three-point favorite and made that look outrageously conservative against Michigan State (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten).

Minnesota had lost five straight to Michigan State since 2009, and the Gophers hadn’t traveled to East Lansing since 2013, when they lost 14-3. The Gophers had prepared for a hostile environment Saturday, but their play made it docile.

Before the Spartans earned a first down, their fans had more genuine applause for a frisbee-catching dog who entertained during a timeout break.

MORE MINNESOTA GOPHERS COVERAGE:
With about 15 minutes of playing time each game, Minnesota’s freshmen are getting a crash course in big-time college basketball
P.J. Fleck’s program hasn’t yet won the Big Ten West, but it’s building a track record unseen since the 1960s
Mara Braun, who had a career-high 34 points and a buzzer-beater in a 101-99 victory over Lehigh, scored a game-high 27 points.
Six-year senior was named to all-Big Ten first team, but also lost conference award to Michigan's Blake Corum.
The award comes after a comeback season that saw the outside hitter lead the conference in kills per set (4.43) and points per set (449).
In September, Whalen was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
Virginia Tech (7-1) was a 12-point favorite over Minnesota (4-3) and rolled to an easy victory.
Minnesota had aspirations to reach the Big Ten title game. But the Gophers lost crucial intra-division games to Purdue, Illinois and Iowa, and it cost them a Big Ten West championship.
The Gophers will be back in action on Wednesday, where they’ll take on Wake Forest in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at 7 p.m. at The Barn.
Minnesota is the No. 2 seed in its region and will play Friday at Maturi Pavilion.

The Gophers lost top receiver Chris Autman-Bell to a season-ending knee injury last week, but 10 others caught passes Saturday.

Tanner Morgan completed 23 of 26 yards for 268 yards with three touchdowns, two to Daniel Jackson and one to Nick Kallerup.

The Gophers led 17-0 at the half, and they started very fast.

Minnesota generated some big passing plays on its opening drive, with Morgan completions to Michael Brown Stephens (11 yards), Dylan Wright (15) and Brevyn Spann-Ford (18). It was just the start.

After Mo Ibrahim had his own big gain of 21 yards on one rush, he capped the long drive with a 2-yard touchdown run. It was his 41st career touchdown, which broke a tie with Darrell Thompson for most in program history.

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The Spartans punted on their opening two drives, and Minnesota kicker Matthew Trickett tacked on a 26-yard field goal to make it 17-0.

It was still early, but it was way more than enough.

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Related Topics: MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
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