A sprained medial collateral ligament won't keep Golden Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner off the Fort Worth, Texas field this weekend.
University of Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill said Wednesday Leidner will play Saturday at TCU, the Pioneer Press reports.
“He’s a tough kid," Kill said, according to the paper. "He’s practiced and practiced hard today, ran around good. We didn’t limit anything today. ... He went every rep we needed him to, except the live situations when we went against the defense.”
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Leidner, a redshirt sophomore from Lakeville, has thrown for 211 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the Gophers' two games this season (both wins).
He suffered the MCL injury last weekend against Middle Tennessee State, when a Blue Raiders player hit him in the knee with 14 minutes remaining in the game. Leidner limped off the field and didn’t return.
His availability for Saturday's TCU game was in doubt, but the quarterback practiced Tuesday and Wednesday this week and appears ready to roll.
Freshman Chris Streveler, who finished Saturday’s game, was tabbed to start if Leidner couldn't play.
"Mitch is gonna go. I have no doubt in my mind,” tight end Maxx Williams told WCCO. “Mitch is one of the toughest guys I know by far.”
They'll need Leidner to be at his best, too.
According to the Daily Gopher, the TCU game is the first non-conference BCS opponent Minnesota has faced since 2011, when Kill opened up his Gophers career at USC.
CBS Sports has TCU listed as a 14-point favorite.
"Texas Christian University is a good team in a good conference," the Daily Gopher says. "Whatever we think we learned about [the Gophers] in the first two weeks is back up for judgement in week 3."
Kickoff is at 3 p.m.