Minnesota coach Jerry Kill returned to the sideline one week after suffering a seizure against Western Illinois and his team welcomed him back by rising to the occasion against San Jose State.
Freshman quarterback Mitch Leidner ran for 151 yards and four touchdowns as the cooly efficient Gophers pounded the Spartans, 43-24.
For all the talk about Kill’s health, he’s showing that he — and his team — can handle it. Minnesota piled up 353 rushing yards on offense while its defense held the Spartans to just one of nine on third down conversions. The Gophers didn’t turn the ball over once and held the ball for 41 minutes..
Kill has to be encouraged by the play of Leidner. The 6-foot-4, 233-pounder is a tough, grind-it-out type of runner, in the mold of Collin Klein, whose improvement as a passer should pay huge dividends down the road.
Minnesota is now 4-0 for the second-straight season and looks like a good bet to get back to a bowl. Hopefully Kill can continued to manage his health and be there to see all his hard work pay off.