Gophers Take Part in Fall Scrimmage
Melvin Holland Jr. hauled in a 56-yard reception during the Gophers scrimmage on Saturday.
Aug. 15, 2015

The Golden Gopher football team took part in an open-practice scrimmage at Sea Form Stadium, hosted by Concordia University on Saturday. The event was the first time Minnesota practiced away from campus this fall.

Mitch Leidner quarterbacked the first-team offense and got the ball moving from the start. Leidner hit sophomore wideout Eric Carter, who made a spectacular play on the ball, to extend the drive on third and long. The first-team defense then buckled down and held the offense without a point on the drive.

The Gopher defense caused its first turnover of the day when linebacker Cody Poock picked off the first pass thrown by backup signal caller Chris Streveler and returned it for a touchdown.

Leidner then came out for his second series and hit redshirt freshman Melvin Holland Jr. across the middle for a 56-yard play in which Holland juked out of a tackle and was brought down by his shoestrings by defensive back Antonio Johnson. The defense was stout yet again as linebacker Everett Williams made a goal-line stand on fourth down to keep the offense off the board.


 

 

The defense continued to impress, especially across the defensive line. Redshirt junior Yoshoub Timms was a force all day as the third-year defender made two tackles behind the line of scrimmage and broke up a multitude of run plays. Sophomore Steven Richardson made his mark on the day with a sack and a pair of tackles.

The first-team secondary showed its strength by blanketing receivers and forcing three throwaways on the day. Junior Jalen Myrick added an interception, while freshmen Ray Buford and KiAnte Hardin showed solid coverage skills for the second-team defense.

After getting off to a slow start, the offense notched its first touchdown of the scrimmage when Leidner scampered for nine yards into the end zone.

Big plays continued to ensue as freshman quarterback Demry Croft hit fellow first-year player Rashad Still who was brought down just short of the goal line. Croft followed Leidner's lead as the Rockford, Ill. native crossed the plane for a rushing touchdown on the next play.

Still showed more flash as the 6-foot-5 rookie caught a ball down the sideline from redshirt sophomore Conor Rhoda for the first passing touchdown of the day.

Fellow freshman Shannon Brooks touted the most carries of the running backs on the day, making a slew of hard-nosed runs and breaking a myriad of tackles.

Kicker Ryan Santoso made his impact on the game by drilling a pair of field goals, both of 40-plus yards, during the scrimmage. Santoso also hit a 38-yard shot as time expired during the 2-minute drill portion on the practice, after Streveler led the offense down the field.

Head coach Jerry Kill and the Gophers have Sunday off for rest before returning to the practice field on Monday.

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