Gophers coach Jerry Kill told KFAN (100.3-FM) on Thursday that Mitch Leidner is still the starting quarterback, with freshman Demry Croft as the No. 2 QB.

Kill had declined to answer that question since replacing Leidner with Croft in the fourth quarter of last week's 27-0 loss at Northwestern.

"If everybody wants to know, [Leidner's] going to be our starting quarterback," Kill said on his weekly radio show. "Right now, he can read the checks, he can make the reads. We need to protect him. We need to be able to run the ball better. We need to do a lot of things as a whole team."

Kill declined to say how he's going to use Croft, moving forward.

"Demry's got to continue to be ready," Kill said. "They've both gotten the same amount of work [in practice], and [Croft] needs to get better because we’re going to need him."

Eight starters out

The Gophers will have eight starters out because of injuries against Purdue with another player questionable, Kill said.

Kill said two offensive linemen won't play this week. He didn't want to go into specifics, so as not to help Purdue with its game plan.

The would-be starters who are known publicly to be injured are tight end Lincoln Plsek (back), left tackle Ben Lauer (broken hand), safety Damarius Travis (hamstring), cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun (knee), and punt returner/cornerback Craig James (broken leg).

Left guard Jon Christenson (knee surgery) was hoping to return this week. Also injured is tight end Duke Anyanwu (knee). It sounds like there are some new ones. The team's depth chart and injury report gets released on Thursday evening, though it doesn't sound as if the full injury list will be known until Saturday.