Minnesota will look to extend its winning streak to three games when it hosts the Bowling Green Falcons in a nonconference game on Saturday in Minneapolis.
The Golden Gophers produced one of their most dominant performances in school history in a 30-0 win last week over host Colorado. They outgained the Buffaloes 441-63 en route to posting their first shutout of a Power Five team on the road since a 21-0 win at Illinois on Nov. 12, 1977. Colorado had seven yards in the first half.
Trey Potts rushed for three touchdowns and finished with 121 yards on 26 carries and Mar’Keise Irving added 89 yards on 15 carries, with Ky Thomas rushing for 66 yards and a score on seven carries. Quarterback Tanner Morgan went 11-for-17 passing for 164 yards.
The emergence of Potts, who rushed for 178 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Miami of Ohio on Sept. 11, couldn’t have come at a better time for the Gophers (2-1). Their starting running back, Mohamed Ibrahim, suffered a season-ending injury to his left leg in Minnesota’s season-opening loss to then-No. 4 Ohio State on Sept. 2. Ibrahim shredded the Buckeyes for 163 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries.
The Gophers have won 21 straight nonconference games — 17 regular-season games and four bowl contests — which is the longest active streak in the country and dates to a loss to TCU in September 2015.
Bowling Green (1-2) comes to the Twin Cities after posting its first victory of the season with a 27-10 win over Murray State, which plays in the Football Championship Subdivision. The Falcons, who play in the Mid-American Conference, scored 17 second-half points to break open a game that was tied at 10-10 at halftime.
“We tell our team we’ve got a 24-hour rule,” Bowling Green coach Scot Loeffler told the Toledo Blade. “Our team needs to learn how to deal with a little bit of success. We’ve dealt with adversity and we’ve dealt with failure a ton. Now it’s time to learn a little bit of what it takes when we have a little bit of success.”
The Falcons opened the season with a 38-6 loss at Tennessee before losing on a last-second field goal at home against South Alabama on Sept. 11.
Bowling Green will look to senior quarterback Matt McDonald to carry a pass-heavy offense. He’s gone 70-for-98 passing for 716 yards with two touchdowns and an interception this season.
However, the Falcons have struggled running the ball, averaging just 53 yards per game. Freshman Nick Mosley is the team’s leading rusher with 74 yards on 17 carries.
“They can spread people about and do a lot of things with screens to get the ball in the hands of individuals who can make a play with it,” Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck told reporters. “The focus has to be to go 1-0 in the Bowling Green season.”
–Field Level Media