The weather was unseasonably cool and comfortable last Sept. 13 in Fort Worth, Texas, but Mitch Leidner had a miserable day against TCU.
The Gophers quarterback wasn't expected to play because of a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee. He gave the team a lift by starting anyway, but threw three interceptions, lost a fumble and took two sacks.
He completed 12 of 26 passes for 151 yards in the 30-7 loss and limped off the field with a second injury — turf toe.
"It's hard to watch the film," Leidner said Wednesday. "But it's good at the same time to see how far we've come as a team and I've come as a quarterback. So it's definitely encouraging to look at what we're going to do this year against them."
The Gophers get another crack at TCU next Thursday, in the season opener at TCF Bank Stadium.
Coach Jerry Kill said Leidner has played "very, very well," of late in practice. The coaches were encouraged by how the junior overcame a slow start in last Thursday's scrimmage.
"He didn't get frustrated," quarterbacks coach Jim Zebrowski said. "He came back with a touchdown pass to Eric Carter and another touchdown pass."
Backup quarterback mystery
The Gophers say Chris Streveler still is getting reps at quarterback, as well as tight end, H-back, fullback and slot receiver. Zebrowski declined to identify the No. 2 quarterback, but he said the success of Jacques Perra and Demry Croft has made it easier to experiment with Streveler.
"All three of those kids give you confidence that if something ever does happen to [Leidner], you feel good about the other three kids, however it works out," Zebrowski said.
October's OK, too
The news Tuesday that the Board of Regents won't vote on the school's athletics facilities project until at least October didn't surprise Kill, he said.
Kill said two reasons for the delay are 1) to make sure his team and others get what they want the first time, and 2) to make sure the university finds a new location for the track.
"But as far as financially, those things, we can go," Kill said. "It's just got to get approved by the board. I signed a contract, and I know what I was told, so it'll be started in October, if everybody's word's good. And I know we're not telling recruits some blind dream."
Lindahls give another million
Kill said John and Nancy Lindahl gave the football program an additional $1 million as soon as he signed his contract extension this month, and that money was immediately put toward the new facility. So the Lindahls have now given $18 million to the university, including $13 million toward the project, this year alone.
"There are people who want it built," Kill said. "So I think we're moving pretty good right now. I feel good about it."
Kill not buying it
TCU coach Gary Patterson wasn't pleased with his team's scrimmage Saturday.
"We're talented, but right now, this team's about a .500 football team," Patterson told reporters. "Because of the injuries, there are guys that possibly won't play. And guys that have got to grow up. We're just awful young. In the next two weeks, we've got to pay a lot of attention to detail."
When told about that comment, Kill sounded skeptical of his good friend, Patterson.
"He knows he's got a good football team," Kill said. "I mean he's ranked No. 2 in the country. … It can't be too bad."