Date/Time: Nov. 12, 2022 / 2:40 p.m. CT
Stadium: Huntington Bank Stadium
Series Overall: Minnesota Leads 55-36-5
Streak: Minnesota Won 2
Series in Minnesota: Minnesota Leads 30-15-3
Streak: Minnesota Lost 1
Last Meeting: Minnesota won 41-14 in Evanston (10/30/21)
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
1. Minnesota (6-3, 3-3 B1G) begins its final quarter of the regular season Saturday as it hosts Northwestern (1-8, 1-5) at Huntington Bank Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2:40 p.m.
2. Mohamed Ibrahim has rushed 202 times in eight games this season for 1,083 yards (5.4 average) and 15 touchdowns. He’s posted those numbers despite missing the Purdue contest and not playing beyond the opening drive of the second half in any of the first three contests this season. In the process, he’s extended his streak of 100-yard rushing games to 17 straight dating back to the 2020 Outback Bowl. According to ESPN, Ibrahim’s streak is the longest by any FBS player since 2000. During the current stretch, Ibrahim has rushed 453 times for 2,462 yards and 33 touchdowns. He’s averaging 5.43 yards per rush and 144.8 yards per game over that span and has added 14 catches for 99 yards. He’s had three games of more than 200 yards during his streak, 11 games with at least two rushing touchdowns, five games with three or more scores and a pair of four-TD games that tied Minnesota’s single-game record. More info on Ibrahim can be found on Page 5 of Minnesota’s game notes.
3. Minnesota boasts one of the best and most well-rounded defenses in the nation under defensive coordinator Joe Rossi. The Golden Gophers rank seventh in the country by allowing 273.6 total yards per contest. They also have the No. 4 defense in terms of scoring (14.2 ppg) and passing yards allowed (162.9) and the No. 19 rush defense (110.7). Minnesota joins Boise State, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan and Ohio State as the only teams in the nation that rank in the top 25 of each of those categories.
4. Matthew Trickett was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week after his performance in Minnesota’s 20-13 road win at Nebraska. The fifth-year senior made his two longest field goals of the season, first from 47 yards on the opening drive of the third quarter to cut Nebraska’s lead to 10-3 and later from 49 yards in the fourth quarter to give Minnesota its first lead in the game at 13-10. He also went 2-of-2 on point-after attempts, scoring eight of Minnesota’s 20 points in the game. The 49-yard field goal was tied for the second longest of his career and one yard shy of tying his career mark of 50 yards. Trickett is the first Gopher to earn Special Teams honors from the Big Ten since Mark Crawford did it last year and the first kicker to do so since Emmit Carpenter in 2018. More info on Trickett can be found on Page 9 of Minnesota’s game notes.
5. The 2022 campaign is the sixth for head coach P.J. Fleck at Minnesota, where he holds a record of 41-26. He is already fifth in program history for wins and sixth in Big Ten wins (24) and games coached (67). Fleck’s .612 win percentage is third best among the 11 Minnesota coaches with at least 45 games under their helm behind only Henry L. Williams (.786, 1900-21) and Bernie Bierman (.716, 1932-41, ’45-50). In his 10th season overall as a college head coach, Fleck is 71-48 (.597).
Gopher senior LB Josh Aune spoke with MNN sports director Mike Grimm:
(info and photos courtesy of Gopher Sports)