Game 4: San Jose State at Minnesota
Five Things You Need To Know
2. The Gophers have scored 16 touchdowns through three games this season. They have rushed for 10 touchdowns (Gophers rushed for 14 TDs in 13 games last year), passed for one and have also socred five non-offensive touchdowns (one kickoff return, one punt return, one fumble return, one interception return and one blocked field goal return) this year. It is the first time that Minnesota has scored five non-offensive touchdowns in one season since 2009. That year, the Gophers scored 33 total touchdowns and five (three fumble returns, one blocked field goal return and one blocked punt return) of them came via special teams or defense
3. Theiren Cockran leads the Big Ten in sacks and is tied for the league lead in tackles-for-loss. The 6-6 redshirt sophomore from Homestead, Fla., has three sacks (all solo) and has five tackles-for-loss (all solo). All of Cockran's damage has come in his last two games. He notched one sack at New Mexico State and two sacks at home last weekend against Western Illinois. In addition, he registered two tackles-for-loss at New Mexico State and three tackles-for-loss against Western Illinois. Cockran has also made 12 tackles and forced one fumble this year, which was returned for a 50-yard touchdown at New Mexico State by senior linebacker Aaron Hill. Cockran, who played with a foot injury most of last season, recorded six tackles and one sack in 13 games as a redshirt freshman last year.
4. Minnesota rushed for four touchdowns in its 29-12 win against Western Illinois last Saturday, as Rodrick Williams and David Cobb both found the end zone twice. It was the first time that Minnesota had rushed for four touchdowns in one game since a 35-20 win against Purdue in 2009 (DeLeon Eskridge 2 TDs, Kevin Whaley 1 TD, Adam Weber 1 TD). The last time Minnesota rushed for four touchdowns in the same game, without having a quarterback rushing for a score, was its 2006 bowl game against Texas Tech (Amir Pinnix 4 TDs, Justine Valentine 1 TD).
5. Last week's win was quarterback Mitch Leidner's most extended action for the Gophers. The redshirt freshman entered early in the second quarter after sophomore Philip Nelson exited with an injury. Leidner had played only late in the fourth quarter during Minnesota's first two games. He led the Gophers' first scoring drive of the day with three rushing first downs in a series that resulted in a touchdown. After not attempting a pass this year, he threw for 105 yards on 7-of-8 passing. Leidner also rushed for 64 yards against Western Illinois, and now has 100 yards (1 TD) this season.
You can read Minnesota's complete game notes here.