Leidner Runs Gophers Past San Jose State
September 21, 2013

In the battle of legs versus arm, Mitch Leidner, quarterbacking in place of injured Philip Nelson, outdid the slinging of San Jose State’s heralded David Fales as the Gophers completed their nonconference schedule with a 43-24 win over the Spartans.

Leidner ran for 151 yards and four touchdowns, tying Curt Wilson’s school record for touchdowns in a game by a quarterback. David Cobb added 128 years on the ground, and the Gophers had 353 net yards rushing in the game.

Leidner completed 5 of 12 passes for 71 yards, far less that his San Jose counterpart, who completed 22 of 35 for 439 yards and three touchdowns, all to Chandler Jones, who overall caught 7 passes for 197 yards. However, San Jose State covered only 47 yards rushing. The Spartans, despite losing by 19 points, had more yards from scrimmage than the Gophers (486 to 424).

Leidner capped an 83-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, and he another on a one-yard sneak in the second quarter for a 13-3 lead.

Fales then showed his touch, dropping a pass into the hands of Jones, who had Derrick Wells beaten by a step at midfield. Jones took it the rest of the way for a 76-yard touchdown.

Minnesota’s next drive featured Leidner’s best pass of the day, covering 37 yards to K. J. Maye with another 15 yards added on for a face-mask penalty on Bené Benwikere. David Cobb later ran the ball in from the one.

A Chris Hawthorne field goal put the Gophers up 20-10, but Fales cut the lead to 3 when he threaded a 32-yard scoring pass to Jones between Antonio Johnson and Martez Shabazz.

Fales had 294 yards passing and Jones 146 yards catching in the first half, but the quarterback was more erratic and the offense out of sync in the second half as Minnesota pulled away.

“Are you giving your best?” Kill asked his team at halftime and credited the defense with putting more pressure on Fales. “At the end we just wore them down.”

Leidner ran for two more touchdowns and Cobb one in the second half, and the defense got two interceptions on deflections, making a runaway out of a game that had been close for the first 30 minutes.

“Possession time, no turnovers, and third-down defense,” were the keys to the win, according to Kill

Minnesota now prepares for its first conference game, against Iowa at TCF Bank Stadium.

Gopher Holes: Linebacker Keith Smith had 21 tackles for San Jose State. Spartans kicker Harrison Waid was ejected after retaliating after being hit by Wells on an on-side kick in the fourth quarter.

Back to Main Page