Trey Potts shines in new role with Gophers football

Redshirt-sophomore running back Trey Potts came up big against Miami in his first career start.

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Brad Rempel- Gopher Athletics

Redshirt sophomore Tey Potts carries the ball during a game against the University of Miami-Ohio on Staurday, Sept. 11, 2021, at Huntington Bank Staduim in Minneapolis, Minn.

Tony Liebert

When Gophers star running back Mohamed Ibrahim underwent season-ending surgery, many questioned how the team would replace him. Trey Potts took advantage of the momentous opportunity totaling 34 carries for 178 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the team’s first game without Ibrahim.

“[Ibrahim] was right there the whole game with me, helping manage the game and giving me pointers,” Potts said. “You know I have always been on his hip, he did a great job and I appreciate him helping me with the game.”

The Gophers relied heavily on Potts as their No. 1 running back against Miami. He was on the field for 53 of the team’s 65 offensive snaps (82%)., Bryce Williams ranked second on the team with only 10 snaps (15%) and Cam Wiley was third with four snaps (6%). Potts was also given 34 of the team’s 46 rushing attempts in the contest.

“The time came and they believed in me, so if it took 34, it took 34. The O-line played great, I just took my opportunity and made a game of it,” Potts said. “When your number is called, I gotta go out there and make a play. If that’s what it took, that’s what it took.”

He certainly took his opportunity and made a game out of it. With only 36 career carries and 212 career rushing yards prior to week two, the Williamsport, Pa. native nearly topped his career totals in just one game.

Potts showed up when the Gophers’ needed him most. In the fourth quarter, he had long runs of 11, 17, and 21, the latter of which went for the team’s final touchdown of the game. His crucial runs at the late stages of the game played a large role in Minnesota holding off Miami-Ohio’s late-game comeback.

“Gutsy. That’s Trey Potts. You don’t know how somebody is going to react when it’s that type of situation and that type of game. Now Trey has shown what he can do,” Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck said.

Potts has taken a stranglehold of the top running back position with the Gophers offense, giving him a major role within their offense for the rest of this season. The only question now is, how large will that role be?

“We’re going to throw more guys into the mix, this is how you’re able to find some guys as you keep going forward,” Fleck said. “I thought Trey did a really good job in the game, but we need some more guys to step in and play well to take some of those carries off of him and rotate some guys, which we will as we keep going forward.”

Going forward, it will be Colorado next on the schedule for the Gophers. A week three matchup in Boulder, Colo., against the 2-0 Buffaloes is next on the agenda.

The Minnesota rushing attack will have a tough task going up against a Colorado defense that has allowed the 13th fewest rushing yards this season (117), but there is no doubt that you can expect a heavy dose of Trey Potts again in week three.