Backup QB impresses in scrimmage

Nate Gotlieb

The Gophers football team took its spring semester midterm Friday night.

The team scrimmaged at the Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex with fans and recruits dotting the sidelines.

The second-team offense, led by quarterback Mitch Leidner, looked strong, scoring twice against the second-unit defense.

Leidner was 9-for-11 on the night, throwing one touchdown and impressing coaches with his poise. The 6-foot-4-inch, 233-pound redshirt freshman also displayed his mobility as he scrambled for a touchdown.

“He didn’t seem to skip a beat today,” offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover said.

The first-team offense struggled early against the top defensive unit, failing to complete a first down on its first two possessions. It found its rhythm later in the scrimmage, scoring a touchdown while running the no-huddle offense.

Junior Donnell Kirkwood, the Gophers’ top returning running back, did not play Friday, giving the four running backs behind him a chance to impress the coaches. All four backs broke off big runs.

Freshman quarterback Chris Streveler played Friday but struggled, taking two sacks in his only possession. Streveler, who enrolled at the University this semester, has struggled at times as expected while learning the offense.

After nine spring practices, the Gophers have finished installing their playbook and will set their depth chart this week. Five practices remain before the Gophers’ spring game April 27.