While playing Purdue on Saturday for Homecoming, the Gophers were without a key player. In the 20-10 loss against the Boilermakers at Huntington Bank Stadium, star running back Mo Ibrahim was in uniform and took part in portions of the pregame warmups but did not see game action.
P.J. Fleck, the team’s head coach, informed at halftime that Ibrahim had to leave due to a lower-leg injury. After the game, Fleck explained to KFXN-FM that the U got out just before kickoff and that Ibrahim would not be able to play due to injury.
Mo was in striking distance. “If we had a couple more days, he would have been able to go,” Fleck stated in his postgame press conference. “It seemed inevitable that he would leave. He attended practice on Tuesday, as well as on Friday, Thursday, and Wednesday. But, once again, we will ensure the safety of our players.
fuck, this mo ibrahim injury looks bad — you can literally see the pop in his calf pic.twitter.com/V5DAAOUshJ
— Austin Gayle (@austingayle_) September 3, 2021
Minnesota’s first loss of 2022 was a rout on the ground, as the team failed to run the ball without their top tailback and the offensive line was pummelling up front. On Saturday, the Gophers rushed for 47 yards (56 yards when taking into account sacks). Backups Trey Potts had nine carries for 10 yards, and Bryce Williams had 11 for 35, but the Boilermaker’s defense consistently stopped the Minnesota ground game.
When asked about the impact of losing Ibrahim, Fleck admitted, “If I say missing him doesn’t hurt, I would be lying to you.” Although it’s clear that he’s a talented player, we need to step up our game significantly. Trey and Bryce are two additional extremely talented running backs we have, and we didn’t do a good job of blocking them.
Updated post: #Gophers running back Mo Ibrahim was out with a lower-leg injury, and the U didn't know he wasn't going to play until just before kickoff of the 20-10 loss to Purdue on Saturday, head coach PJ Fleck told TV/radio outlets. https://t.co/jiXXA4HpVa
— Andy Greder (@andygreder) October 1, 2022
In the 34-7 win over Michigan State last week, Ibrahim seemed to sprain his left ankle, but he continued playing with it taped up. This season, Ibrahim started four games and finished with 89 carries for 567 yards and eight touchdowns.
QB Tanner Morgan has said of him, “He’s a tremendous leader of our squad and a huge component of what we do.” Whoever is inside has our full confidence. There is always an attitude of “next guy up.” That group has earned our confidence.
They’ve both racked up a tonne of experience and accomplished a lot of great things in their careers. With a bye week ahead of the Gophers, Ibrahim will have some more time to heal up before the team’s Oct. 15 road game against the Illini.