Yankee Stadium —Minnesota came to New York City and conquered it. The biggest memento was the Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl Trophy to bring back to Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Gophers’ running back Mohamed Ibrahim ran for 71 yards on 16 carries with a touchdown and became Minnesota’s all-time rushing leader, he led them to a 28-20 win over Syracuse in the Big Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on Thursday in front of a crowd of 31,131.
Ibrahim, who missed damn near all of last year with an Achilles injury, closed out the season with a bang. Ibrahim got hurt in the 2021 season opener against Ohio State, he returned for a sixth season and finished his career with 4,668 yards and 53 rushing touchdowns in 40 games since joining the Golden Gophers as a two-star recruit from Baltimore.
“He’s the ultimate overachiever, period,” Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said. “There’s nothing you can tell him that he can’t do and that goes back to his recruiting process. I bet you there’s a lot of people that would like Mohamed Ibrahim on their team. There could be a lot of NFL teams that would like him on their team.”
Syracuse squad was a little shorthanded and you could tell in certain areas. With the loss, the Orangemen falls to 7-6 and snaps its four game bowl winning streak.
Athan Kaliakmanis started at the QB position for the Golden Gophers and completed 7 of 9 passes for 80 yards before getting injured. Tanner Morgan made his first appearance since Nov. 5 and completed 4 of 7 passes for 58 yards.
The Orange started well on defense, forcing punts on Minnesota’s first two possessions. But on the offensive side of the ball they could not get anything going, on the other hand, the Gophers scored touchdowns on consecutive 62-yard drives to take a 14-0 advantage.
The Golden Gophers (9-4) controlled most of the first half with its rushing attack and their hard nose defense, but Syracuse struck back just before halftime to snag some momentum. Garrett Shrader would run it in from one yard out to cap an 86 yard, 47 second drive to trim the lead to seven entering intermission.
The Orangemen had the momentum after the break, marching down the field to kick a field goal and then forcing a three and out. Things quickly went the other way for the Orange. On second and two at Minnesota’s 32-yard line driving to potentially go ahead, Shrader locked in on wide-receiver Oronde Gadsden, threw the ball behind him and it was picked off by Coleman Bryson. Bryson returned it 70 yards for a touchdown to put Minnesota back up by 11 points.
After a field goal on Syracuse’s next possession, the Golden Gophers returned the ensuing kickoff 72 yards deep into Cuse’s territory to set up another score that put the game out of reach.
Shrader finished the contest 32-51 for 330 yards with one pick. He had 38 rushing yards with two scores. LeQuint Allen had a great game with 95 rushing yards on 14 carries to go along with 60 receiving yards on 11 catches. Gadsden had seven catches for 78 yards. Devaughn Cooper led the team with seven catches for 114 yards.
Ibrahim broke the school record held by Darrell Thompson (4,654 yards from 1986-89) on a 10-yard burst up the middle with a little more than two minutes left in the first half. Before breaking the record, Ibrahim scored a gritty 4-yard run with 13:39 remaining in the half before sitting out the final periods. The TD gave him 20 and moved him past Gary Russell (19 in 2005) for the most single-season TDs in school history.
“It’s not something that I circled,” Ibrahim said of the records. “I just took it week by week, just doing my job, executing the game plan and one game lead up to another and it just adds up.”
Syracuse actually out-gained Minnesota by more than double. The Orange had 477 yards of total offense while the Gophers had just 213.