It was late in the game and Minnesota was up by 14, but Rodney Smith decided that the Gophers weren’t done. The redshirt sophomore running back broke through Maryland’s defensive line and dodged a defensive back to walk into the end zone for a 70-yard touchdown, his second of the day. The score put the Gophers up 24-3 in the fourth quarter, and they held that lead for a 31-10 win at Maryland, despite injured starting quarterback Mitch Leidner being out for the game. “It’s tough to win on the road, especially when you go with a backup quarterback,” head coach Tracy Claeys told reporters.
The Gophers (3-2, 0-2 Big Ten) travel to Maryland (4-1, 1-1) for one of their hardest matchups in their young season.
It’s been over two years since someone not named Mitch Leidner has started at quarterback for the Gophers, but that will likely change Saturday. Redshirt junior Conor Rhoda will make his first career start at Maryland, as Leidner suffered a concussion during Saturday’s game against Iowa. He is currently going through concussion protocol.
Quarterback Mitch Leidner is listed as out for Minnesota’s game at Maryland on Saturday, head coach Tracy Claeys said on Tuesday. The redshirt senior is going through concussion protocol.
Somehow, the game came down to a 4th-and-15 situation. A poor offensive performance by the Gophers was about to be erased as quarterback Mitch Leidner was marching his team down the field, now at Iowa’s 18-yard line. Iowa was up seven with under 50 seconds left, and Leidner was looking to redeem himself from what was going to be his worst game of the season.
Iowa visits Minnesota in what should be a very close game for two teams coming off conference losses.
Every Monday, Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner would call Dick Johnson, his former coach in high school and Gophers offensive coordinator Jay Johnson’s father. Dick Johnson would give Leidner advice, tell him things to work on and wish his family well. “[This Monday] was a little bit different,” Leidner said.
Redshirt senior quarterback Mitch Leidner and right tackle Jonah Pirsig both have the same memory of their favorite Iowa-Minnesota game before they started playing for the Gophers. The two were in high school and were separately attending a game between the Gophers and the Hawkeyes in 2011.
Penn State finished Minnesota off with a 25-yard touchdown run in overtime by sophomore running back Saquon Barkley, but the Nittany Lions were also victors through the air Saturday night in University Park, Pennsylvania. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Trace McSorely had his best career game Saturday against the Gophers.
The new University of Minnesota athletics director Mark Coyle sat down with the Minnesota Daily on Friday for the first iteration of a monthly Q&A. Coyle discussed his first few months on the job, the J Robinson termination and his future plans, among other topics.. Editor’s Note: “MD” signifies Minnesota Daily; “MC,” Mark Coyle. MD: How has it been for you and your family getting acclimated to the state of Minnesota? MC: It’s been great being back here.