LINCOLN, Neb. — Mohamed Ibrahim rushed for 128 yards and two second-half touchdowns, and backup quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis brought Minnesota back from a 10-point halftime deficit in the Gophers' 20-13 victory over Nebraska on Saturday.
The Gophers (6-3, 3-3 Big Ten) beat the Cornhuskers for a fourth straight year and became bowl-eligible for the fourth time in coach P.J. Fleck's six seasons. Nebraska (3-6, 2-4) lost its third straight game.
Kaliakmanis, who took over at the start of the third quarter after Tanner Morgan was injured on the final play of the first half, led the Gophers to scores on four of his first five possessions.
Ibrahim's 3-yard run finished an 86-yard drive that tied it 10-10 and Matthew Trickett's 49-yard field goal gave the Gophers the lead. Ibrahim ran in from 3 yards after Terell Smith intercepted a Chubba Purdy pass to set up Minnesota at the Nebraska 33.
The Huskers turned over the ball on downs near midfield on their final possession, and the Gophers ran out the clock.
Ibrahim, held to 18 yards on eight carries in the first half, went over 100 yards for a Bowl Subdivision-best 17th straight game. He finished with 32 carries, his third straight game with at least 30.
Purdy made his first start in place of Casey Thompson, who was held out after injuring a nerve in his right (throwing) elbow against Illinois last week. The Huskers scored on their first two possessions, with Purdy running in from 2 yards and Timmy Bleekrode kicking a 24-yard field goal.
The Huskers' next four possessions netted 25 yards and Purdy began alternating with Logan Smothers early in the third quarter.
Minnesota could get nothing going in the first half against the worst defense in the Big Ten. The Huskers held the Gophers to their fewest rushing yards (minus-7 yards) and total yards (31) in a half under Fleck. They also recorded three sacks against a Minnesota offense that had given up a Big Ten-low seven through eight games.
Morgan, injured when sacked by Ty Robinson, was knocked out of the Oct. 15 game at Illinois in the fourth quarter with a concussion and he missed the next game against Penn State before starting last week against Rutgers.
Minnesota: The Gophers overcame a horrid offensive start to win for the first time in three conference road games. This ended a stretch of three of four games on the road. They appear to have found their quarterback of the future in Kaliakmanis.
Nebraska: A promising start turned into another downer of an afternoon. Anthony Grant ran for 115 yards on 21 carries, but the Huskers struggle to sustain rhythm on offense with Thompson out.
Minnesota: hosts Northwestern on Saturday.
Nebraska: visits No. 4 Michigan on Saturday.
Watch more of Minnesota sports:
Watch the latest sports videos - from high school hockey to the Minnesota Vikings and everything in between - in our YouTube playlist: