Drew Wolitarsky has replaced KJ Maye as Mitch Leidner’s go-to receiving target this season, with a team-high 17 receptions.
But the trend that has coach Tracy Claeys most pleased has been the high number of receiving targets each game. Leidner completed passes to eight different receivers against Colorado State and nine the previous week against Indiana State.
Last year, Leidner had games where he found just five different receivers (Iowa and Illinois). He found seven receivers against Ohio State, Wisconsin and Central Michigan. There were plays when everyone in the stadium knew Leidner was looking for Maye, and it often worked, as Maye finished with 73 receptions, the second highest total in Gophers history.
“Everybody is worried, ‘Who is going to replace KJ? Who's going to replace KJ?’ Sometimes that hurts you, always going to the same guy. I think last week eight different people caught the ball. Tells me Mitch is going through progressions, not trying to force balls He's taking who is open.
“I know as a defensive coach, you can't look at one or two guys and take them away and make them go their third option and beat you. I think that helps you on offense.”