Head coach P.J. Fleck said Monday he expects running back Mohamed Ibrahim to play Saturday when the Minnesota Golden Gophers travel to Champaign to face the Illinois Fighting Illini.
Ibrahim suffered an ankle injury in the Gophers’ 34-10 win over Michigan State. He was a game time decision against Purdue and was ultimately held out of the game by the medical staff, as Minnesota was handed their first setback of the season in a 20-10 loss at home.
Through the first four games, Ibrahim averaged 141.7 rushing yards per game. He currently ranks 5th in the Big Ten in rushing yards (567), 4th in average yards per carry (6.4), and is tied for 2nd in rushing touchdowns (8). Without Ibrahim in the backfield against the Boilermakers, the Gophers were limited to a season-low 47 total rushing yards and 1.8 average yards per carry.
Minnesota will need Ibrahim against the Illini, who rank 3rd in the country in rushing defense, allowing only 67.2 rushing yards per game through six games this season.