MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota coach Jerry Kill says quarterback Mitch Leidner is practicing this week in hopes of playing against TCU on Saturday.

Leidner injured his left knee last weekend against Middle Tennessee State. The Golden Gophers have not specified the nature of his injury and Kill says Leidner plans to test it out to see how it feels.

If Leidner cannot play against the Horned Frogs, the Gophers will go with redshirt freshman Chris Streveler. He came on in relief of Leidner last week, but never threw a pass in the 35-24 victory.

Kill also said that linebacker Nick Rallis will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. The injury further depletes a banged-up defense that already has played seven true freshmen this season.

After tough weekend, Big Ten teams pivot forward

UNDATED (AP) — There are a couple of nonconference tests and rivalry games on the Big Ten schedule this week, but this week is more about recovery.

The brand took a hit with decisive losses by Michigan State, Ohio State and Michigan to high-profile opponents, and the Spartans have this Saturday off. The Buckeyes and Wolverines host teams from the Mid-American Conference.

There were some shaky wins last week, too, with Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois barely getting by lower-tier foes.

But, hey, there are plenty of games left.

The postseason outlook already brightened since that rough weekend. Penn State learned it will be bowl eligible, with the lifting of NCAA sanctions stemming from the child sex-abuse scandal revealed three years ago.

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