Minnesota opens with 38-0 win over Kill, New Mexico State
By DAVE CAMPBELL AP Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Mo Ibrahim rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns as Minnesota opened the season by overwhelming New Mexico State 38-0. The victory spoiled a homecoming of sorts for head coach Jerry Kill. Minnesota's P.J. Fleck and Kill shook hands before and after the game. Kill was critical of Fleck in the past. He coached the Gophers from 2011-15 and is in his first year at New Mexico State. Ibrahim returned from a season-ending Achilles tear in the 2021 opener. Tanner Morgan had 174 yards on 13-for-19 passing and rushed for two touchdowns.
- STRANGE SYMMETRY
Kill's first home game with Minnesota on Sept. 10, 2011, was against none other than New Mexico State. The Aggies held on to beat the Gophers 28-21 in a finish marred by a frightening seizure Kill suffered on the sideline on a steamy afternoon with a kickoff temperature of 88 degrees.
Minnesota won a rematch on the road in 2013 and beat New Mexico State again in 2018. That game and this one were scheduled in 2009 as a two-game contract that guaranteed a total of $1.05 million to the Aggies.
- THE TAKEAWAY
New Mexico State: Unhappy about hitting the road for a Big Ten foe just five days after the first game, Kill told Moccia he only wants one payout game per season in the future. The Aggies also play at Wisconsin and Missouri this year. They ran only 33 plays, a single-game program record for the fewest against a Minnesota defense.
Minnesota: The run-pass balance the Gophers are striving for behind the direction of offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca, who returned after two seasons away, will have to wait another week. They ran the ball 57 times, including on 12 of 13 plays during a touchdown drive that took 12:58 off the clock into the second quarter.
- New Mexico State plays at UTEP on Sept. 10.
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