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University of Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner runs for a touchdown in the first quarter during a game against Eastern Illinois on Thursday at TCF Bank Stadium. Minnesota defeated Eastern Illinois 42-20. USA Today Sports

Gophers easily handle Eastern Illinois in opener

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MINNEAPOLIS – Gophers coach Jerry Kill had so much respect for the Eastern Illinois Panthers that he compared them to North Dakota State, a lower-level team that has three straight national championships and two wins against his program.


Not even close.

Thursday’s opponent was ranked No. 11 in the Football Championship Subdivision, but Minnesota easily took care of Eastern Illinois 42-20 in the season opener at TCF Bank Stadium.

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