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Kill declines to name starting QB; Christenson could return

Gophers coach Jerry Kill on Tuesday declined to name a starting quarterback for Saturday’s game at Purdue, saying he didn’t want to tip off the opponent.

Mitch Leidner met with the media, as he’s done each Tuesday this season, and said he hasn’t lost any confidence. Offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover said the QB decision is Kill’s to make.

Kill pulled a potential redshirt from freshman Demry Croft in the fourth quarter of last week’s 27-0 loss at Northwestern. It’s uncertain how much he’ll play moving forward.


Kill said left guard Jon Christenson (knee surgery) will try to practice today and could be ready for the Purdue game.

Defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys indicated safety Damarius Travis (hamstring) and cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun (knee) aren’t yet ready to return.

Kill hints Leidner will remain Gophers starting quarterback

Gophers coach Jerry Kill on Sunday said he's not sure exactly how he's going to dole out playing time at quarterback at Purdue next week. But he gave hints that Leidner will remain the starter, with freshman Demry Croft getting sprinkled in gradually.

"Mitch is not the reason we’re struggling so much," Kill said, one day after his team's 27-0 loss at Northwestern. "... There’s no controversy or any of that stuff, it’s just, we didn’t play very good.

"Everybody’s going to make a big deal out of [Croft replacing Leidner in the fourth quarter Saturday], but it’s not as big a deal as everybody will make out of it."

Kill said the reason Croft played is "we've got to have a backup quarterback ready to play. And we moved [Chris] Streveler to receiver, and that's where he's going to play."

The Gophers (3-2, 0-1 Big Ten) play at Purdue (1-4, 0-1) next Saturday.

"There’s several things we can do," Kill said. "I don’t want to get into right now, but we did some things with Jordan Lynch and things of that nature to get him a little experience in certain situations. But I haven’t even gotten that far yet. I can’t tell you what I’m going to do."

James has broken leg

Gophers cornerback and punt returner Craig James broke a bone in his leg, Kill said. He did not know the extent of the injury, but said James was on crutches.



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