Oct 5, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive back Blake Countess (18) scores a touchdown on a seventy two yard interception return as Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner (7) tries to catch him in the fourth quarter at Michigan Stadium. Michigan won 42-13. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Without the Purdue Boilermakers on the Minnesota football schedule this season, Golden Gopher fans should be prepared to cheer for a team that could very likely go winless in the Big Ten this season.
After a 42-13 loss in the Big House on Saturday against Michigan, the Maroon and Gold continued to show that they’re still a ways away from competing in the Big Ten. Their four non-conference wins look good on paper and that’s the idea, right? Fans want to see their team in a bowl game and right now Minnesota needs all the help they can get.
Just two wins removed from becoming bowl eligible, a bye week is on the horizon and after that, things don’t become easier on the road against Northwestern. The next win for Minnesota will likely come on Aug. 28, 2014 versus Eastern Illinois.
Coupled with the loss off Jerry Kill from yet another game due to his epilepsy, the state of the football program in Dinkytown may be pretty bleak this winter. The talent that the team possesses is visually better than in years past, but wins in their conference are hard to come by.
Sticking with redshirt freshman Mitch Leidner at quarterback is a step in the right direction. Kill and the coaching staff made that decision early in the week but did not tell Leidner until the morning of the Wolverines game according to the Star Tribune.
With Leidner at the helm, the Gophers’ offense moves better and could make some of the remaining games at least competitive. Without his impact, Minnesota plays like it did against Iowa, where they mustered only 30 yards rushing.
Right now, there’s no evidence that Kill and the Gophers are in any position to put up big time offensive numbers against any Big Ten competition. The Minnesota defense and special teams will need to be the driving force for this team on the scoreboard but that cannot be relied on week in and week out.