Coming into their game against Nebraska on Saturday night, the Minnesota Golden Gopher football team was on the verge of cracking the national rankings. Normally, this would be fine, but as the only undefeated team from a "Power Five" conference not in the top 25 of the Associated Press poll, one would understand if they were a little upset.
If their effort against the Cornhuskers had anything to say about it, they most definitely are a top-25 team. For the second straight week, the Gophers ran all over their opponent, racking up 322 yards on the ground in a 34-7 victory at TCF Bank Stadium.
Much like last week, Rodney Smith had a monster game to pace the Gophers. The senior put up another impressive outing, running for 139 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, but he also got some help from Shannon Brooks and Mohamed Ibrahim.
Ibrahim was the unsung hero after making his return from a leg injury that knocked him out of the past two contests. The sophomore visited the end zone three times on the evening, mixing his scores in with 84 yards on the ground.
With Brooks, who continues to impress coming off his second ACL tear in two seasons, racking up 99 yards on 13 carries.
While the ground game set the tone, the defense also did their impression of the vaunted Nebraska "Blackshirts" defense, shutting out the Huskers and building a lead that reached 34-0 before Dedrick Mills' touchdown in the fourth quarter.
With the win, the Gophers are off to their first 6-0 start since 2003 and have won eight straight games dating back to last year's victory over Wisconsin. Minnesota also owns a 3-0 record in the Big Ten, which ties them with the Badgers atop the Big Ten West heading into next week's game at lowly Rutgers.