Gophers notes: Both quarterbacks contribute again

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 27, 2013 - 12:15 AM

The Gophers coaching staff has been anything but predictable in picking a starting quarterback each week this season.

Mitch Leidner got a surprising start Saturday against Nebraska after Philip Nelson had performed better in the previous week’s victory at Northwestern.

Leidner led three drives against Nebraska, resulting in a punt, a touchdown and another punt. On the fourth possession, the Gophers turned to Nelson, and the team responded with another touchdown drive, capped by a 33-yard touchdown pass from Nelson to Derrick Engel on fourth-and-10.

That gave the Gophers the lead, and they stuck with Nelson for the rest of the game.

“At this point, it’s just kind of a feel thing, and I think different opponents will dictate who that guy is, and who the starter’s going to be,” Gophers offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover said.

Leidner rushed four times for 2 yards, including one sack, and completed one of two passes for 7 yards. Nelson rushed eight times for 55 yards and completed seven of 15 passes for 152 yards.

“Coach [Jerry] Kill talked with both the quarterbacks, and he said, ‘The thing you can’t worry about is, we’re not going to have a starter each and every week, and it’s not going to be one guy that’s head and shoulders above the other. You’re both going to play. You’re both going to have to approach it that way,’ ” Limegrover said.

“The greatest thing about those two kids is there’s no ego there. Neither one of them is like, ‘I have to be the starter.’ At the end of the day, both collectively say, ‘Whatever it takes to win a football game, I’m in.’ ”

Offense opens up

Limegrover said the Gophers wanted to have some fun with their play-calling against Nebraska, using various misdirection plays and versions of the jet sweep, with receivers going in motion, taking the handoff and sprinting around the end.

“A lot of the jet sweep action stuff we had in the offense, we just didn’t put it into a concentrated effort,” Limegrover said.

Asked how he knew misdirection plays would work against Nebraska, Limegrover said, “I hate to pick open old wounds, but we watched [last season’s] Big Ten championship game a lot.”

That was a reference to Nebraska’s 70-31 loss to Wisconsin. The Gophers racked up 430 yards, compared to 328 for Nebraska.

“I think our success is going to put some confidence in the coaches to not be timid with the play calls,” Nelson said. “I think we can really start to build off some of the stuff we’re doing now because we’re really starting to become a dangerous offense.”

Coach making progress

Kill remains on leave to treat his epilepsy, but he spoke to the team before the game, at halftime and after the game. Acting head coach Tracy Claeys said Kill still has some steps to take before he’ll be ready to return to coaching full-time.

After the game, Kill recorded a message that the Gophers released on Twitter.

“I just want to tell all the fans out there how much we appreciate you,” Kill said. “Today, you were a difference. … Thank you, it’s a lot of fun and let’s keep moving forward.”

Etc.

• The 31 carries and 138 yards for David Cobb were both career highs. He has three 100-yard rushing games this season, including two in a row, and leads the team with 615 yards.

• Senior Ed Olson got the start at left tackle, but redshirt freshman Ben Lauer played some left tackle, too.

• Junior safety Cedric Thompson came off the bench and led the Gophers with six tackles.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Team Irvin 7:15 PM
Team Carter
Miami 12:00 PM
Chicago
Oklahoma City 2:30 PM
Cleveland
Dallas 5:00 PM
New Orleans
Indiana 5:00 PM
Orlando
LA Clippers 5:00 PM
Phoenix
Minnesota 5:00 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 6:00 PM
Toronto
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Boston 7:00 PM
Golden State
Washington 7:00 PM
Denver
Houston 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Team Toews 4:00 PM
Team Foligno
South Florida 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 12:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Virginia 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Indiana 12:30 PM
Ohio State
Stony Brook 1:00 PM
Binghamton
Cincinnati 1:00 PM
UCF
Maine 1:00 PM
Hartford
Monmouth 1:00 PM
Manhattan
Fairfield 1:00 PM
Marist
Rowan 1:00 PM
Princeton
St Bonaventure 1:00 PM
Rhode Island
Duke 1:00 PM
St Johns
Saint Peters 1:00 PM
Siena
Drake 1:00 PM
Wichita State
Vermont 1:00 PM
UMass Lowell
Seton Hall 2:00 PM
Butler
NJIT 2:05 PM
South Alabama
Northern Iowa 3:00 PM
Illinois State
Louisville 3:00 PM
Pittsburgh
UMBC 3:30 PM
Albany
Niagara 3:30 PM
Iona
Notre Dame 5:30 PM
NC State
Belmont 5:30 PM
Tennessee St
Creighton 6:00 PM
Villanova
Northwestern 6:30 PM
Maryland
Washington 7:30 PM
Utah
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 11:00 AM
Georgetown
St Johns 11:00 AM
Villanova
Arkansas 11:00 AM
Florida
Maine 12:00 PM
UMBC
Vanderbilt 12:00 PM
Alabama
Lafayette 12:00 PM
Lehigh
UCF 1:00 PM
SMU
Utah 1:00 PM
Washington
James Madison 1:00 PM
Coll of Charleston
Delaware 1:00 PM
Drexel
Hofstra 1:00 PM
William & Mary
Hartford 1:00 PM
Albany
Binghamton 1:00 PM
Stony Brook
Towson 1:00 PM
UNC-Wilmington
Wake Forest 1:00 PM
(17) Florida State
Georgia Tech 1:00 PM
Virginia
(22) Georgia 1:00 PM
(5) Tennessee
Drake 1:00 PM
Evansville
Iona 1:00 PM
Canisius
Fairfield 1:00 PM
Monmouth
Northwestern 1:00 PM
Penn State
Wisconsin 1:00 PM
Michigan State
Ohio State 1:00 PM
Purdue
Northern Iowa 1:05 PM
Indiana State
Butler 1:30 PM
Xavier
Creighton 2:00 PM
Marquette
Providence 2:00 PM
DePaul
Northeastern 2:00 PM
Elon
(2) Connecticut 2:00 PM
Cincinnati
Oregon 2:00 PM
Arizona
Bradley 2:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago
NC State 2:00 PM
(23) Syracuse
(7) Maryland 2:00 PM
Indiana
Illinois State 2:05 PM
Missouri State
Colorado 3:00 PM
Washington St
Tulane 3:00 PM
South Florida
(14) Kentucky 3:00 PM
Missouri
(9) Oregon State 3:00 PM
(13) Arizona State
Vermont 3:30 PM
UMass Lowell
Iowa State 3:30 PM
(8) Texas
Southern Ill 3:45 PM
Wichita State
(15) Duke 4:00 PM
(12) North Carolina
Miami-Florida 4:00 PM
(4) Louisville
(21) Minnesota 4:15 PM
(25) Rutgers
California 5:00 PM
UCLA
(11) Stanford 7:00 PM
USC
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Do you favor the plan for expanded athletic facilities at the U of M?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close