Quick Hitters: Minnesota vs. TCU

Grant Donald

Recap: The Gophers started their first road game of the season slow and never caught up as they lost to TCU 30-7. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Mitch Leidner started for the Gophers after battling an injury throughout the week. Leidner couldn’t get it going, though, as he went 12-for-26 with 151 yards and three costly interceptions. Leidner also fumbled.

Minnesota’s rushing attack that produced 284 yards last week was only able to muster 99 yards against a stout TCU defense.

Senior running back David Cobb only amassed 41 rushing yards and also fumbled. Cobb was hindered by an ankle injury the week leading up to the game, which limited his effectiveness on Saturday.

Redshirt freshman Chris Streveler replaced Leidner in the fourth quarter and found Maxx Williams for Minnesota’s only score of the day.

After a quiet first two games, the Gophers made an effort to get
Williams involved. He was targeted 11 times, but was often swarmed by TCU defenders and only had three receptions.

Junior receiver KJ Maye also had a solid outing, finishing with two catches for 65 yards, but the Gophers offense couldn’t get much else going.

It was over when: Leidner fumbled the ball on the Gophers’ first possession of the second half. After forcing TCU to punt to start the half, all possibilities of a comeback were lost with the turnover.

Key play: TCU wide receiver Josh Doctson made a one-handed catch for his second touchdown of the day early in the second quarter. Doctson had a solid day, catching six balls for 64 yards and two touchdowns.

Five Observations:

1. The Gophers are very much a one-dimensional team. Leidner never looked comfortable and consistently missed open targets. If a team takes away the run, like TCU did Saturday, it will be hard to win moving forward.

2. Maxx Williams finally got involved. The redshirt sophomore is one of the Gophers’ best receiving threats, but he had only four targets heading into Saturday’s game. Against TCU, Williams had three catches for 26 yards and a touchdown, but he also had the ball thrown his way numerous times. The Gophers need to continue this trend in order to be successful moving forward.

3. Briean Boddy-Calhoun was a bright spot. On a day when the Gophers were overmatched, the redshirt junior recorded eight tackles and an interception.

4. Speed kills. TCU seemed to be working in a different gear that the Gophers simply didn’t have.

5. It is time to move on. The game is over and the Gophers played poorly, but they can’t dwell on this defeat.

Quote of the game: “It’s one game. … You look at the Big Ten right now, I don’t think anybody is dominating.” – Gophers head coach Jerry Kill

Tweet of the game: “I still think the Minnesota offense has plenty of play-makers. They just need someone to deliver the football. âĪ#Gophers” – Gophers fan @B1Gfootballdude

Up next: Minnesota returns home to host San Jose State on Saturday at 3 p.m. The Spartans had a bye last week and are 1-1 on the season.

The Gophers beat San Jose State 43-24 last season, and the Spartans are without star quarterback David Fales, who is now in the NFL.

Leidner broke out last year against the Spartans, running for 151 yards and four touchdowns that game. But Leidner may not play this week after being hobbled by nagging injuries.