Gophers beat Western Illinois 29-12

first_imgGophers beat Western Illinois 29-12Jerry Kill left the game after a seizure and Philip Nelson was sidelined with a leg injury.Ichigo TakikawaMinnesota running back Williams Rodrick Jr. runs and scores a touchdown against Western Illinois on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium. Jack SatzingerSeptember 14, 2013Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintThe Gophers trotted into the locker room with a 7-6 lead Saturday afternoon against Western Illinois, but head coach Jerry Kill stayed behind, suffering a seizure on the sideline as halftime started.And just minutes before the seizure, starting quarterback Philip Nelson left the game with a leg injury.With Kill and Nelson gone, redshirt freshman quarterback Mitch Leidner and defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys stepped into leadership roles and paced Minnesota to a 29-12 win over WIU.“What a performance [Leidner] made,” Claeys said after the game. “[We] were struggling and he took over the game and made the plays he had to make.”Leidner finished with 64 yards rushing and 105 passing yards. He was efficient through the air, converting on seven of eight pass attempts.Redshirt freshman tight end Maxx Williams had a team-high 52 receiving yards, including a 33-yard reception. The pass came from Leidner after a play action fake and was capped off by a Williams stiff arm, throwing a WIU defender to the ground.“We prepared for that play a lot this week,” Leidner said. “We went through the progression there and it was wide open like we thought it would be.”Leidner said that having two veteran running backs at his side helped take some pressure off of him in his first long stretch of game action.David Cobb finished with 82 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Rodrick Williams Jr. accounted for 56 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.Before Leidner took the field, the Gophers offense wasn’t impressive.The team only tallied one touchdown in the first half, but strong defensive play allowed Minnesota to stay in the game.“I’m very pleased defensively,” Claeys said. “With the way we were struggling [on offense] it gives us a chance to win.”Nelson hurtAfter sustaining a leg injury while on the run, Nelson was examined by team doctors on a training table on the Gophers’ sideline.From there, he started pedaling on a bike. As Leidner took to the field for the next offensive series, Nelson jogged up and down the sideline gingerly.Claeys said that he thought Nelson sustained a hamstring injury.Kill regroupingAfter the game, the Gophers football team tweeted that Kill had returned home and is healthy. Claeys said it was frustrating to see Kill sustain another seizure during a game, because he’s taken precautions to avoid it.“I can tell you he’s done everything he’s been asked to do,” Claeys said. “He’s been in great shape physically, so he’s going to be pissed…his recovery time now is so much better than what it’s ever been because of all this [work] he’s done.”last_img

Published by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *