Being 3-2 overall and 0-1 in Big Ten play is painful enough for Jerry Kill and the Minnesota Golden Gophers, but not quite as painful as the 20 or so players who missed practice Wednesday with injuries.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in my 32 years of coaching,” Kill said, according to the Star Tribune. “Just one of those years. What do you do? Like I tell our guys, ‘You can’t get down. You just coach them.’ We’re going to play with some young players probably, and that’s part of it. They’ll have to grow up, and we’ll be better down the road for it.”
It's so bad that Kill, without naming names, believes eight or nine starters will be out this week.
“Right now it looks like for sure eight starters, and then another one is questionable," Kill said Thursday in an interview with KFAN.
Kill opted not to give specifics, but did say quarterback Mitch Leidner isn't 100 percent healthy and it's showing up in his rushing stats. Leidner is averaging a career low 2.7 yards per carry. Leidner will start this week.
Minnesota's secondary will likely remain down a couple of starters. According to the Pioneer Press, the chances of safety Demarius Travis and All-Big Ten cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun playing are "slim and none."