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Minnesota dominates Michigan State in Big Ten opener

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Tanner Morgan threw for 268 yards and three touchdowns and Mohamed Ibrahim rushed for 103 yards and a score to lead Minnesota to a 34-7 rout over struggling Michigan State in the Big Ten opener for both schools.

The Gophers (4-0) are off to their best start since they began the 2019 season 9-0. Minnesota dominated Michigan State (2-2) on both sides of the ball, outgaining the Spartans on offense 508-240 while also grabbing two interceptions and a fumble.

Michigan State appeared ready to rally from a 17-point deficit at the start of the second half by driving to the Minnesota 5-yard line but Thomas Rush punched the ball free from quarterback Payton Thorne and Justin Walley made the recovery.

The Spartans avoided the shutout when backup quarterback Noah Kim tossed a 27-yard touchdown pass to Germie Bernard with 17 seconds left.

The Gophers scored on their first three possessions to go up 17-0.

Ibrahim, who extended his streak of 100-plus rushing yards to 13 games, broke Minnesota’s all-time rushing touchdown record with a 2-yard run off the opening drive. It was his 41st rushing score, breaking a tie with former Gophers running back Darrell Thompson.

Morgan, who completed 23 of 26 passes for 268 yards, capped off the next drive when he hit Daniel Jackson with a 23-yard touchdown pass. Matthew Trickett followed with a 26-yard field goal.

Morgan added a 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Nick Kallerup in the third quarter and a 4-yard scoring pass to Jackson early in the fourth quarter. Trickett closed the Gophers’ scoring with a 22-yard field goal.

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