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The Minnesota backfield took a huge hit in last Thursday’s defeat to Ohio State when Mohamed Ibrahim suffered a lower left leg injury, ending his 2021 campaign.
The redshirt senior is one of the best backs in college football, rushing for 1,076 yards on 7.0 yards per carry and 15 touchdowns in just seven games last season. Ibrahim ran for 163 yards on 30 carries and two scores against the Buckeyes before the injury. Ibrahim was named to the AP 2021 Preseason All-America Second Team.
The Golden Gophers will have to reload, something that head coach P.J. Fleck said will be a “next man up” mentality.
“Every back is going to be able to get a look…every one of those backs can play football and whoever the best ones that complement each other really well from this point forward are going to play,” Fleck said.
Among the options for Minnesota will be redshirt sophomore Treyson Potts. Potts only has 36 career carries, but was the lead man against Ohio State once Ibrahim went down. Potts gained 34 yards on just 10 touches.
Fleck indicated that Potts would be first up, but he will not command the backfield alone.
“Everybody knows what Trey can do, but he has gotten a lot better,” Fleck said. “Trey is going to be able to take a lot of that load upon himself, but not all of it.”
Beyond Potts, Fleck’s options consist of redshirt sophomore Cam Wiley, redshirt junior Bryce Williams, redshirt freshman Ky Thomas and freshman Mar’Keise “Bucky” Irving.
Williams is the most experienced of the bunch, with 541 career rushing yards on 140 carries.
“Bryce Williams has played a ton of football for us,” Fleck said. “in 2018 at Miami (OH) he rushed for 150 yards.”
Williams might have a chance to give an encore to that performance, as Minnesota plays host to that same Miami (OH) team today.