The Minnesota Gophers couldn't get much going on offense but their defense more than made up for it as they defeated Kent State 10-7 at TCF Bank Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The Gophers defense allowed Kent State only 142 yards, and kept them behind the 50-yard-line for nearly the entire game. But Kent State's defense was up to the task as well, intercepting quarterback Mitch Leidner twice and limiting running back Rodney Smith to 73 yards rushing, the Star Tribune reports.
Leidner finished 17-for-27 for 184 yards, with a touchdown to go along with the two interceptions. Leidner connected with KJ Maye near the end of the first half on a 14-yard screen pass for Minnesota's only TD.
Kent State got its only score early in the second half when Gopher receiver Rashad Still caught a pass but was stripped of the ball by cornerback Demetrius Monday, who ran it 85 yards for a touchdown, according to the Associated Press.
Even though the Gophers got the win, the lack of offense is a big concern. Sportswriters called the offense a "big mess" and said head coach Jerry Kill needs to find a way to fix it.
In his post-game news conference, Kill said pretty much the same thing, saying "we got it handed to us" by Kent State's defense.
More specifically, Leidner's performance at quarterback has been uneven over the first three games of the season. Freshman QB Demry Croft took all the snaps in pregame warmups with the second-string, the Star Tribune notes. But he was not brought in to the game.
The Gophers host the Ohio Bobcats next Saturday before opening Big Ten play on the road at Northwestern on Oct. 3.