For the second year in a row in the Texas Bowl, the Minnesota Golden Gophers gave up a fourth quarter lead in the Texas Bowl and fall to the Syracuse Orange 21-17 after leading 17-14 with less than 1:30 remaining.
After Syracuse missed a game-tying 45-yard field goal with 3:31 left in the fourth quarter that would have made it 17-17 and given Orange kicker, Ryan Norton a new career-long Minnesota was forced to punt which was the difference in the game.
Orange returner Brisly Estime’s 70-yard punt return to the Minnesota 14 set the stage for Syracuse to bypass a game-tying field goal and go for the win. Three plays later, quarterback Terrel Hunt ran in on third down from 12 yards out to put the Orange on top.
Leidner, seeing his most extensive action since the Oct. 5 game against the Michigan Wolverines looked sharp in relief of Philip Nelson who was 2/7 passing for 18 yards and only saw one series in the second half.
Leidner, a 6-4, 233-pound freshman led Minnesota back from a 14-3 deficit to start the fourth quarter and was two minutes away from the comeback victory. Minnesota lost the game but Jerry Kill looks like he found his quarterback of the future. He finished 11/22 passing for 206 yards and two touchdowns.
However, the game ball for the 2013 Texas Bowl goes to his counterpart on the other sideline as Hunt passed for 188 yards on 19/29 passing and added 74 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns, including the game winner with 1:14 remaining.
Syracuse finishes the season with a 7-6 mark and Minnesota falls to 8-5.