Five Questions: Minnesota

TCU hosts Minnesota this weekend in a battle of undefeated teams. What should Frog fans look for from the Gophers? We visited with GopherDigest.com publisher Brice Marich to get the latest.

1. Has there been a determination whether or not starting quarterback Mitch Leidner will be able to play? If not, what kind of quarterback is Chris Streveler; what are his strengths and weaknesses?

All week it was a question if Gopher quarterback, Mitch Leidner would play? Coach Kill addressed it being announcing his star signal caller would be on the field Saturday and mentioned how tough he really is. Leidner injured his left knee in the fourth quarter of last week’s 35-24 win against Middle Tennessee. His backup in Chris Streveler is also expecting him to play as well. However, he did say he will be ready if Leidner can’t go. Streveler is a little different quarterback to Leidner. He doesn’t have the strongest arm and might not have the experience, but does have more speed than Leidner considerably. If he has to play, I expect the passing game to lack and not be as efficient, but he has the capability to get the job done with some of the practice performances he recently has had. He just have to prove it when the lights are on him now if he ends up playing.

Cobb rushed for 220 yards last week

2. TCU coach Gary Patterson has given high praise to Gopher running back David Cobb, what has been the biggest reason for his early season success.

The reason, I think Cobb has had good success is his confidence. Last year, he wasn’t the starter at the beginning of the year, but worked hard and pushed the other backs. He won over the job mid-season and never let go of the reins since then. He is a balanced tailback that has good vision and break tackles.

3. What is Minnesota's biggest strength on defense?

I would say their strength on defense is their backend. The Gopher secondary has good speed, size and talent. They only allowed 215.1 receiving yards per game to rank 35th nationally and recorded 10 interceptions along with just giving up 16 passing touchdowns in 13 games. Senior safety Cedric Thompson has became one of the leaders on this team and is a player for their defense. Another key piece is Eric Murray, who started every game last season and has been a key contributor to slowing down offenses. The other safety in Antonio Johnson is proving to be a solid player as well.

4. What's the general feeling for Minnesota and their fans heading into the game against TCU?

This will be a good test to see where the Minnesota program is at with this TCU game. It will show where they stand against a quality opponent, but the belief is that the Gophers will put together a good showing and can come out with the win. Not only is this big for Minnesota, but they are also repping the Big Ten and will look to be a positive after a pathetic showing last weekend around the conference.

5. What are your keys that Minnesota has to accomplish to get the win on the road?

There a few keys for Minnesota in order to get the win in my opinion. First, they have to run the ball and be productive. Senior tailback David Cobb and that Gopher offensive line hasn’t faced the greatest competition to date, but this still be their toughest defense yet and it happens to be on the road. With running the ball, Minnesota will want to control the clock and keep that high powered TCU offense off the field. Time of possession is something that the Gophers would love to win and by a big margin. The major thing teams need to do especially on the road is to win the turnover battle. This defense will have to come up with a turnover or two to disrupt the flow of the Horned Frogs’ offense. If these three keys happen, the Gophers have a good chance in going into the Lone Star State and leaving 3-0.

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