ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Gophers throttle Colorado 49-7 to improve to 3-0

Gophers have outscored their opponents 149-17 through 3 games

NCAA Football: Colorado at Minnesota
Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Bryce Williams runs the ball for a touchdown against the Colorado Buffaloes during the fourth quarter at Huntington Bank Stadium on Sept. 17, 2022.
Matt Krohn / USA Today Sports
We are part of The Trust Project.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Gophers football team completed the preseason — ahem, nonconference — portion of its schedule on Saturday.

Minnesota cruised to a 49-7 win over Colorado at Huntington Bank Stadium to move to 3-0 going into the Big Ten slate. With a 38-0 win over New Mexico State and a 62-10 victory over Western Illinois, Minnesota outscored those three by a combined 149-17.

Those 149 points register as the fourth-highest total through a season’s opening three games in program history, and two of those were in the early 1900s, when the U was demolishing a few poor Minnesota high schools. The third was in 1916 versus three colleges in the Dakotas.

Colorado was, in theory, supposed to be a stiffer test given their status as a member of the PAC-12 Conference. It didn’t matter; Saturday’s game was about as one-sided as possible.

After calling the first two wins “workmanlike,” Fleck described Saturday as “surgical.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The biggest downside Saturday was clear: top receiver Chris Autman-Bell left the game in the second quarter with an apparent right leg injury. He looked distraught as he needed help getting into the locker room at the half and didn’t return. Head coach P.J. Fleck did not have a definitive update on Autman-Bell postgame.

Former Gophers and current Buffaloes offensive coordinator Mike Sanford Jr., who was not being retained last November, couldn’t get anything going against his former employer. U defensive coordinator Joe Rossi did not let him get comfortable with an aggressive play call out of the gate.

Rossi dialed up a cornerback blitz on their first play. Terell Smith came off the edge for a blindside strip sack of J.T. Shrout, and it was recovered from Jalen Logan-Redding.

MORE MINNESOTA GOPHERS COVERAGE:
Minnesota seeks 1st back-to-back wins over Badgers in nearly 30 years
Minnesota has now lost 7 straight against its border rival
Fleck in search of 1st victory over the Hawkeyes
Minnesota has lost 7 straight to Iowa and 17 of the last 21
The redshirt freshman has been on the field for 220 plays this season
Minnesota looking for its third-straight victory over the Wildcats
Gophers coach said he loves it at Minnesota and wants to continue building the program
Minnesota's win over Nebraska guaranteed the team a chance at bowl game
Freshman guard Mara Braun scored nine first-half points and finished with 18 points, six rebounds and four steals. Sophomore guard Katie Borowicz made 6 of 9 3-point attempts to finish with 16 points.
Minnesota scored 20 unanswered points in the second half

“We knew we were going to come out and attack; that was part of our game-plan,” linebacker Mariano Sori-Marin said. “We talked all week about how we needed to get more takeaways. For the first two things to go our way that quickly just shows how prepared we were for this football game.”

After scoring on the opening drive, Minnesota’s offense took the turnover and quickly added another touchdown for a 14-0 lead. It was the start of a long day for the Buffaloes.

Sanford’s offense, which was 125th in the country in total yards through two games, didn’t break the shutout Saturday until Gophers backups were in the game in the fourth quarter.

Colorado’s rushing defense was even worse. They entered Week 3 at 131st in the nation, dead last, with 355 rushing yards allowed per game. They gave up 334 on Saturday.

Mo Ibrahim had 202 yards on 23 carries for a nearly nine yard average and three touchdowns, which were all scored in the first half. With seven TDs in the first three games, he moves into a tie with Darrell Thompson career record of 40 rushing scores.

ADVERTISEMENT

“He’s a big part of Minnesota history,” Ibrahim said of Thompson, a star in the late 1980s. “Just to be tied up with him is just amazing. It says a lot about my team, getting me in the end zone.”

Ibrahim didn’t know postgame exactly how many times had scored, turning to quarterback Morgan at the podium. “What did I have two?”

Given how lopsided the entire game was Saturday, Ibrahaim could be forgiven for losing count.

NCAA Football: Colorado at Minnesota
Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Brendon Lewis carries the ball pursued by Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive lineman Logan Richter in the third quarter at Huntington Bank Stadium on Sept. 17, 2022.
Matt Blewett / USA Today Sports

______________________________________________________

This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
What to read next
Bryce Duffy’s tale is not a sob story. As he tackles physical therapy and works back to normalcy after a harrowing spinal cord injury, he’s inspired the Beavers to unprecedented success on the field as they support him at every step along the way.