After squeaking by Kent State, Minnesota hosts Ohio

And because the assumption was that Leidner’s play could make or break the 2015 season – that he was the wild card on an otherwise exceptional team – that question no longer seems relevant. But like they did against Colorado State and Kent State, the Gophers ultimately found a way to preserve a win. Minnesota entered the period ahead, 17-14, but Ohio scored not a half minute into the fourth to take a 21-17 lead.


The true freshman rushed 10 times for 82 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner. On the other hand, with 8 Wins and 5 losses, Minnesota Golden Gophers gained 395.3 total yards on an average including 205.0 passing yards (with 23.7 passing attempts having completion percentage of 50.7) and 190.3 rushing yards per game.

“It feels good”, said Leidner, who completed 22 of 32 passes. “I’ve been a competitive kid my entire life and at no point was I going to back down from any type of competition”. “To be in a situation like I was this week, angry after the Kent State game, to bounce back, for both myself and offensively as a unit is huge for us”. That came right before the Gophers’ final drive.

Vick’s 39-yard touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Papi White gave Ohio a 7-0 lead after one quarter.

He had six tackles, including a sack, as the team overcame injuries to leading tacklers Antonio Johnson and Cody Poock. This isn’t the typical Minnesota team.

A Craig James fumble on a punt return and Minnesota penalty rendered TCF Bank Stadium relatively silent when A.J.

– Vick hit Smith with a back-shoulder throw for a 15-yard catch and then two plays later, on a third and five from the Ohio 45, Vick again connected with Smith for a 31-yard gain to put the ball at the Minnesota 24.

Minnesota responded with Ryan Santoso’s second field goal of the game cut it to 21-20, but after their late touchdown, Ohio’s Daz’mond Patterson returned the ensuing kickoff 56 yards to give the Bobcats one more shot.

Josiah Yazdani lined up to try a 53-yard field goal in the closing moments. “That’s why I am so proud of this team”, Kill said. No play went more than 15 yards, but it resulted just how Coach Kill, staff and all of the Twin Cities wanted it to go: in a touchdown.


With Northwestern on the docket next week to start the Big Ten season in Evanston, Ill., it’s hard to predict how the battered and bruised Gophers will hold up through the conference schedule. What can be said is that the next eight games could be a wild up-and-down ride for the Gophers.

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