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Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner: We should be ranked

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The Gophers are back at work preparing for the Big Ten opener this week in Evanston, Illinois against No. 16 Northwestern.

Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner said Saturday's game between the Wildcats (4-0) and the Gophers (3-1) should be a battle of two ranked teams.

"No doubt, we should be (ranked)," Leidner told reporters Tuesday. "Given the schedule we play in nonconference, we feel like we should have that opportunity as well."

Minnesota received five votes in Sunday's Associated Press poll, but it was well short of what they needed to crack the 25th spot for the first time this season.

According to the Pioneer Press, critics of the Gophers would quickly point out the narrow margins of Gophers victories against teams outside of the Power Five conferences.

Minnesota needed a fourth-quarter rally to pull out a 23-20 overtime victory against Colorado State. While the following week their offense sputtered against Kent State resulting in a 10-7 win, before another two-minute comeback drive was needed to beat Ohio Saturday.

Those three victories followed Minnesota's season opening 23-17 loss to No. 4 Texas Christian.

There's at least one match up that doesn't bode well for the Gophers. Minnesota comes into the game as the Big Ten's lowest scoring offense, averaging just 19.2 points per game. Northwestern's defense on the other had is the toughest to score on in the conference. They give up just 8.8 points per contest.

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