Here are some storylines from last night. First, the progression of Mitch Leidner. What we saw was a bit uneven when it came to throwing the ball. Some good. Some not so good. He shook the rust off and found his groove later in the game.
Tom Powers: Gophers win behind 'conventional' QB - TwinCities.com
During the Gophers' 42-20 victory over Eastern Illinois on Thursday, we learned that this transition from plough horse to Clydesdale might take a while, but that there are possibilities. For the most part, Leidner resisted the temptation to take off and try to terrorize people. It wasn't easy.
"It's difficult," he said afterwards. "It's a different style of play for me. But it's something I've done in the past in high school. I think it's going to become more like, just let me get in there a little bit more and get some contact."
Souhan: The talent is there; Leidner has to find it | Star Tribune
Gophers vs. EIU Coverage!
Gophers vs. EIU Coverage!
"I think he just settled in," Kill said. "You’ve got to understand, everybody wants it to be right here, and it doesn’t always happen that way. … Through the season, you get better and better and better. That’s how you judge it, on the scoreboard. He saw more blitzes than he’ll see in a lifetime."
Breakdown Sports: Coaching Points: Minnesota vs EIU, 2014
Gophers football: Minnesota rolls past Eastern Illinois in opener - TwinCities.com
Gophers come to life in second half to cruise by Eastern Illinois | Star Tribune
Gophers scheming to use speedy Edwards | Star Tribune
Aside from 20 garbage time points (these were some of the truest garbage time points I've ever seen. Notice how Coach Kill didn't spend much time conversing with Kim Cameron after the game), the defense played pretty well last night. They were certainly opportunistic, and probably could have had three more turnovers if they had held on to some balls. The health of the line is becoming a factor, however...
Gophers defense puts on the hurt in season opener | Star Tribune
Postgame: Aside from defensive injuries, a pretty good night for the Gophers | Gridiron Gold | StarTribune.com
Here's the SID with his thoughts on the evening. Hartman: Gophers have plenty of room to improve | Star Tribune
And lastly, Coach Kill is still not backing away from talking about facilities OR the April break-ground goal. I wonder if my prediction about the silent phase ending this Sunday will come true?
Gophers' Kill: Facilities crucial to program's next step - TwinCities.com
Happy Victory Friday, everyone!