NEW YORK — After another nine win season was completed on Thursday, Minnesota had coach P.J. Fleck, true to his underdog mentality, expressed how his Golden Gophers teams play with a crack on its collective shoulder instead of a chip, going on to say that playing with a crack is to prove “to yourself you’re exactly who you say you are.”
Whether it be a crack, a chip or any other type of blemish, Minnesota football has continued to prove that true beauty can indeed be found in the imperfections.
Record-setting running back Mo Ibrahim ran in the game’s first touchdown while Coleman Bryson broke open the game with an interception return for a touchdown late in the third quarter as the Golden Gophers defeated Syracuse 28-20 in the Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl inside Yankee Stadium on Thursday afternoon.
The win extends Minnesota’s current bowl winning streak to six, second only to Alabama’s seven for the active lead in consecutive bowl victories, and the Golden Gophers are a perfect 4-0 in bowl games under Fleck, the sixth-year head coach who has led Minnesota to nine-win seasons in each of the past three non-COVID-interrupted seasons.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better week,” Fleck said. “One of the greatest bowl experiences I’ve ever had in my entire life, and I’m sure that the players would agree…Just really glad it came out the way it did for us. Couldn’t be more proud of our players. Couldn’t be — especially for our senior class. This senior class has, basically, three full seasons in a row won 11 games, 9 games, 9 games. That hasn’t happened since 1900 through 1905.”
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Thursday afternoon’s game, with all photos taken by ALOST photo editor Robert Cole. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 45 pictures in total.