Gophers notes: Leidner finishes after Nelson suffers possible concussion

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 30, 2013 - 8:18 PM

Gophers QB Philip Nelson, who was forced from the game because of a possible concussion, paid the price when he took on Michigan State’s Marcus Rush (44) and Darqueze Dennard in the open field.


CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson suffered a possible concussion in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 14-3 loss at Michigan State.

After releasing an incomplete pass to Isaac Fruechte, Nelson took a hard hit from Spartans defensive end Marcus Rush, who was flagged for roughing the passer.

Mitch Leidner finished the game at quarterback for the Gophers. Nelson went through a concussion test on the sideline and handed over his helmet.

“I’m not going to give any updates on [Nelson’s injury],” Gophers coach Jerry Kill said. “I got in the locker room, I said, ‘How you doing?’ [Nelson] said, ‘OK, Coach.’ But I don’t know.”

With the regular season finished, the Gophers have at least four weeks to heal up before the bowl game.

“We have three or four guys banged up, but that’s part of football and hopefully we’ll get them all healed up,” Kill said. “I haven’t talked to the trainer or anything like that.”

Quarterback shuffle

Leidner hadn’t played since the Nov. 2 win at Indiana, but the Gophers gave him a series in the first half against Michigan State before re-inserting Nelson.

Kill said they did that to “give [Nelson] a little break. We knew we were going to be in a physical game, and he was taking some shots … We brought Mitch back [when Nelson got injured], and he did some good things.”

Nelson completed six of 18 passes for 77 yards and his first two interceptions since Sept. 28. Leidner completed three of seven passes for 48 yards. Nelson took one sack and Leidner took three.

“Give credit to them; they did a good job getting pressure on us, but at the same time, the offensive line played great all day,” Leidner said. “On some of those, both Phil and I have to avoid [sacks] and make throws.”

Vereen injures shoulder

Gophers cornerback Brock Vereen injured his left shoulder in the first quarter and didn’t return.

Derrick Wells, who has battled a shoulder injury of his own this season, wound up replacing Vereen and making an interception to keep Michigan State from scoring right before halftime.

It was Wells’ first interception of the season, and he might have returned it for a touchdown if Spartans receiver Tony Lippett hadn’t made the tackle.

“It boosted my confidence just to be back out there making plays,” said Wells, who also made three tackles.

Wells said his shoulder injury is “around 90 or 95” percent healed. He said both he and Vereen should be back to full strength for the bowl game.

Injury doesn’t limit Cobb

David Cobb suffered a deep cut on his right knee in the second quarter but quickly returned to the game and still managed to finish with 101 yards on 27 carries.

“We controlled the line of scrimmage,” Cobb said, lamenting the team’s inability to turn three red zone opportunities into more points.

It was the sixth time this year Cobb has passed the 100-yard mark, and he now has 1,111 rushing yards for the season, the most for a Minnesota player since Amir Pinnix rushed for 1,272 in 2006.


• Defensive end Theiren Cockran sacked Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook, forcing a fumble that Ra’Shede Hageman recovered. Cockran leads the Gophers with 7½ sacks and four forced fumbles, but he limped off the field after suffering an apparent leg injury on Michigan State’s final drive.

• Tight end Drew Goodger limped off the field with a leg injury during the second half.

• Vereen’s injury also led the Gophers to use true freshman Jalen Myric at cornerback. He has played mostly on special teams this season.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Oakland - LP: D. Otero 8 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Frasor 9
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
NY Islanders 5 FINAL
Boston 3
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Ottawa 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Tampa Bay 5 FINAL
Dallas 1
Colorado 0 FINAL
Calgary 2
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
San Jose 1
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters


Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pm30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 am
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA




question of the day

Poll: How will the Gophers do against Michigan?

Weekly Question