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Football

Publish Date: 
Thu, 09/04/2014
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Assistant sports editor Jack Satzinger previews the Gophers' weekend football game.
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Mitch Leidner will run less this year, partially to avoid a potential injury.
Publish Date: 
Thu, 09/04/2014
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Mitch Leidner burst onto the scene last year in his first career start against San Jose State, running 24 times for 151 yards and four touchdowns.

Gophers fans likely won’t be seeing that video game-like stat line from the quarterback this year. That’s not because he isn’t capable; it’s because the system won’t allow it.

“We can get the ball in different guys’ hands. [It] doesn’t have to be quarterback centered nearly as much as it was,” offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover said.

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Minnesota will rely on freshmen to step up against Middle Tennessee State.
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Thu, 09/04/2014
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The Gophers coaching staff has remained quiet regarding the extent of Alex Keith and Yoshoub Timms’ leg injuries suffered in Minnesota’s 42-20 win over Eastern Illinois last Thursday.

But redshirt senior defensive lineman Cameron Botticelli has been loud in the locker room, helping true freshmen prepare for Saturday’s game against Middle Tennessee State.

As a senior leader, it’s important to interact with the younger players, he said.

“You should get around those [young] guys. I have; older players have,” Botticelli said.

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Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner could have a tough time getting the ball to everyone.
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Wed, 09/03/2014
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At 6 feet 4 inches, 250 pounds, with agile feet and mitts for hands, Maxx Williams is a mismatch for defenses.

After not being a target for nearly the entire first half in Minnesota’s 42-20 victory over Eastern Illinois on Thursday, the redshirt sophomore tight end hurdled over two defenders and scampered for 25 yards – making SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays in the process.

“I knew my time would come, and when it came, I took my best chance at it,” Williams said Tuesday.

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Junior Scott Ekpe will miss the rest of the season with a leg injury.
Publish Date: 
Wed, 09/03/2014
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The Gophers’ defensive line took a major hit during Thursday’s season opener against Eastern Illinois — three players went down with injury.

Head coach Jerry Kill said junior Scott Ekpe will be out for the season with a leg injury. Kill did not reveal a timetable for the injuries suffered by junior Alex Keith and redshirt sophomore Yoshoub Timms.

“[Keith and Timms] are not lost for the season, and we’ll see how this week progresses with them,” Kill said.

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Tue, 09/02/2014
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In case Minnesota fans needed reminding during Thursday night’s season opener against Eastern Illinois, Maxx Williams is still an athletic freak.

In his first action since the Texas Bowl, the redshirt sophomore caught a Mitch Leidner pass, turned up field, leap-frogged over two diving Panthers and shouldered into a defender on his way to a 25-yard gain.

The only issue is that this play came toward the end of the second quarter, marking the first time Williams had been targeted all game.

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Tue, 09/02/2014
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Recap: Minnesota’s defense came into the first game of the season with high expectations and lived up to them. The Gophers forced three Eastern Illinois turnovers to go along with a blocked punt by defensive back Eric Murray, which Minnesota recovered for a touchdown.

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The redshirt freshman scored two touchdowns in his first college game.
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Tue, 09/02/2014
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Most of the announced crowd of 44,344 started heading toward TCF Bank Stadium’s exits during the fourth quarter of the Gophers’ 42-20 win over Eastern Illinois on Thursday night.

But for fans who stayed, they saw the future, and possibly the present, of Gophers football emerge.

Redshirt freshman running back Berkley Edwards only received four carries, two of which he ran for touchdowns.

“He is lightning in a bottle,” head coach Jerry Kill said. “He can flat-out run.”

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Mitch Leidner and Berkley Edwards each ran for two touchdowns.
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Tue, 09/02/2014
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For Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner, the script flipped Thursday night.

Minnesota opened its season with a midweek home game under the lights for the second consecutive year.

But instead of being the backup quarterback coming into the game during garbage time with little pressure on his shoulders, Leidner was under center from the get-go.

Chris Streveler relieved Leidner in the second half once the Gophers’ 42-20 victory was well in hand, just like Leidner did in last year’s opener.

Minnesota blew the game open in the second half after a slow start.

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Publish Date: 
Thu, 08/28/2014
Description: 
Minnesota gophers took on the Eastern Illinois Panthers, Thursday evening at TCF Bank Stadium.
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Bridget Bennett, Amanda Snyder, Elizabeth Brumley
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