Gophers deserve national respect with blowout road win at Michigan State

The 27-point win over the Spartans was Minnesota's closest game this season.

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Michigan State
Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne gets sacked by Minnesota defensive back Ryan Stapp (22) in the first quarter Saturday, Sept. 23, 2022, in East Lansing, Michigan.
Dale Young / USA Today Sports
We are part of The Trust Project.

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Voters in the Associated Press top 25 poll had been warming up to the Gophers as the season has progressed, but they still appeared to be taking a wait-and-see approach after three runaway victories over winless nonconference foes.

Minnesota’s continued domination in a 34-7 win over previously ranked Michigan State on Saturday at Spartan Stadium should now garner more national respect. The next AP poll comes out Sunday afternoon.

In the preseason ranking, Minnesota had received 31 votes, but that dipped to 22 after the 38-0 win over New Mexico State on Sept. 1. It climbed to 37 votes after the 62-10 win over Western Illinois on Set. 10 and was up again to 48 after the 49-7 win over Colorado last week.

Michigan State had received 91 votes, nearly double Minnesota’s tally, in this week’s AP poll. The Spartans had been ranked 11th in the AP poll before a 39-28 loss at Washington last week. MSU kept a spot in the coaches’ poll, checking in at No. 21.

Gophers football coach had his contract extended through 2029
Minnesota (4-5, 0-2 Big Ten) has lost four straight games.
Minnesota finishes with a 22-9 record.
Back home again after six consecutive road games, the Minnesota Gophers are playing penalty-free hockey as they face a Wisconsin Badgers team that started the season slowly but has won five of six.
Katie Borowicz finished with 16 points, five assists and five steals, and Mallory Heyer and Rose Micheaux each scored 17 points for the Gophers.
The junior shot 47% from the field and 50% from deep in Sunday’s 89-70 loss at Purdue.
Morgan partners with Minnesota hat company to provide stocking and baseball hats to raise money to fight cancer.
Fleck has an overall record of 42-27 in six seasons at Minnesota.
Fleck has had more sustained success than Babers, and Minnesota is a touchdown favorite for this month’s bowl game in New York City.
The win puts the Gophers on a collision course with Ohio State on Thursday in Austin, Texas.

The 25th ranked team in this week’s poll, Miami (Fla.), received 123 votes. The Hurricanes lost to unranked Middle Tennessee State 45-31on Saturday.


Minnesota hasn’t been ranked by the AP since Oct. 18, 2020; they promptly fell out after a 49-24 loss to No. 18 Michigan in the first week of the pandemic-delayed season.

Hooray for Mo

More than 10 outbursts were heard coming out of the Gophers’ locker room postgame Saturday, and one was extra special. The team celebrated tailback Mo Ibrahim passing Darrell Thompson with his 41st career rushing touchdown in the first quarter.

“That’s pretty special,” quarterback Tanner Morgan said. “Knowing Mo, it wasn’t an individual thing. He shared that with us. You could see everyone was excited for him. He’s going to downplay it, but that’s history. DT is an all-time Gopher great.


Gophers Athletics Director Mark Coyle is headed to Chicago after Saturday’s game to meet with fellow Big Ten ADs to determine football schedules for the 2023 season.

Coyle said on the KFXN-FM pregame show that a few of the subjects to be figured out include the future of divisions and whether they keep nine-game conference schedules.

Minnesota’s future schedules previously were available online, but with the changes on the horizon in the conference, the U has taken them off its website.

Southern California and UCLA will join the conference in 2024, which will create more scheduling changes.


Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck improved to 2-4 in Big Ten openers. At Minnesota, he also improved to 1-1 against the Spartans. Fleck, who is now 22-22 in Big Ten play, had his first game as collegiate head coach in East Lansing, when Western Michigan lost 26-13 on Aug. 30, 2013. … Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren attended Saturday’s game. … Fleck chatted with former MSU football coach Mark Dantonio and its current men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo pregame. … The Gophers will host Purdue for homecoming at 11 a.m. next Saturday. The Boilermakers were without starting quarterback Aidan O’Connell against Florida Atlantic on Saturday night. He reportedly has a rib injury.



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.

What to read next
This is Minnesota’s 27th trip to the NCAA tournament and eighth year in a row to advance to the round of 16.
The fifth-ranked Boilermakers went on a 15-0 run to open up a 42-20 lead and cruised to a 89-70 win.
Game will be Thursday, Dec. 29, at 1 p.m. and televised by ESPN
Central Lakes at Western Saturday, Dec. 3