Will Gophers bench Leidner in favor of freshman Croft?


Golden Gopher football fans might not want to hold their breath waiting for the Gophers to bench quarterback Mitch Leidner in favor of true freshman Demry Croft.

Croft played in the fourth quarter of Minnesota's 27-0 loss to Northwestern Saturday after Leidner once again struggled to consistently move the Gophers (3-2, 0-1) down the field. Leidner's last play of the game was a fumble that the Wildcats scooped and scored on.

"There’s no controversy or any of that stuff, it’s just, we didn’t play very good," Gophers head coach Jerry Kill said, via the Star Tribune.

Kill added: "it’s not as big a deal as everybody will make out of it."

Leidner was 10 of 21 passing for 71 yards with an interception and a fumble. Croft was 5 for 11 for 27 yards; he was sacked three times and nearly intercepted twice.

On Sunday, Kill said Croft will get playing time in the games ahead, but he's not sure how exactly that will happen.

"There are several things that we can do," Kill said, via the Pioneer Press. "I don't want to get into it right now, but we did some things with Jordan Lynch ... to give him a little experience in certain situations. But I'm not that far yet."

Jordan Lynch was Kill's quarterback at Northern Illinois after Chandler Harnish, who went on to play in the NFL as a backup.

Marcus Fuller reports that Kill should discuss the quarterback situation in more depth when he meets with the media Tuesday. The Gophers play at Purdue (1-4) on Saturday.

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