The Minnesota Golden Gophers avoided early season pitfalls, winning convincingly over overmatched New Mexico State and Western Illinois, and now they’ll try not to overlook the struggling Colorado Buffaloes.
A year ago, the Gophers had their way with the Pac-12 team, administering a 30-0 thrashing in Boulder, Colo.
On Saturday, Minnesota (2-0) hosts the Buffaloes (0-2) in Minneapolis, where the Gophers have put up 100 points in their first two games — the seventh most productive offense in the nation.
Colorado was overrun last week by Air Force, 41-10, as the Falcons rushed for 435 yards. Slowing down Minnesota’s outstanding running back Mo Ibrahim is the next challenge for Karl Dorrell’s program.
Ibrahim has rushed for 262 yards in his first two games and has been a catalyst for the Minnesota offense.
“He’s special. We always like to have a player like Mo,” Gophers head coach PJ Fleck said. “That’s the goal in recruiting is continue to bring in players like that — that have unique styles that can break tackles.”
The Buffaloes don’t seem to have that bell cow in the backfield — and have yet to show much offensive punch. Colorado is averaging just 3.7 yards a carry while giving up 7.1 on the ground — scoring one touchdown while allowing nine.
Also, questions at quarterback persist for the Buffaloes. Brendon Lewis, last year’s starter, got the nod in the opener but struggled, and transfer J.T. Shrout started against Air Force but was just 5-for-21 for 51 yards.
Before the Air Force debacle, in which the Falcons bothered to pass only five times for 8 yards, the Buffs played a tough first half against TCU and trailed only 7-6 before giving up 31 consecutive points in the second half.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Dorrell said. “We had that discussion with our team, they understand where we are.
“We’re in a hole, but we can get ourselves out of it. We can, if we play better football. We’ve had good practices. We’ve got to make sure what we’re practicing, we actually play that way.”
–Field Level Media