Coaches tell Gophers they're better than they think

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 21, 2013 - 10:14 AM

Coaches Claeys and Kill insisted to the Gophers that Saturday’s success can continue.

The Gophers football team posted video of Saturday’s postgame celebration on YouTube, showing the emotion inside the locker room as acting head coach Tracy Claeys and a special visitor named Jerry Kill addressed the players.

“You’re better than you think you are,” Claeys said, following the 20-17 victory at Northwestern. “If you show up, and you play hard, and you believe in yourselves, there’s not a game left we can’t win.”

Kill followed by saying, “You need to understand that what Coach [Claeys] has told you is right.”

Starting right tackle Josh Campion told Kill how much the players love him, then pulled everyone together for a quick cheer: “One, two, three … Coach Kill!”

It was one of the proudest days the Gophers have had in Kill’s three seasons as head coach. Minnesota was a 12½-point underdog but took advantage of a Northwestern team playing without two of its offensive standouts, Kain Colter and Venric Mark.

And the Gophers did it with Kill watching from the coaching booth. He surprised them by having his wife, Rebecca, drive him from their Minneapolis home that morning.

Kill remained on leave Sunday, but Claeys said that if all goes well with the epilepsy treatments, Kill likely would watch Saturday’s home game against Nebraska from the coaching booth.

Claeys said it’s also possible Kill would stop by practice this week, just to be around the team. Those would be considered steps in his progression toward returning full-time.

“In my opinion, I don’t anticipate it’ll be all of a sudden, wham, he’s back going full speed,” Claeys said. “There’ll be a buildup to it, and when the time’s right, he’ll be ready to go.”

Like last week, Claeys said he plans to name a starting quarterback on Tuesday. That got muddled again against Northwestern, when Philip Nelson relieved Mitch Leidner and had far more success moving the offense.

Leidner ran five series, and the Gophers quickly had to punt each time. Nelson ran eight series, and the Gophers had to punt just twice.

Claeys said no matter who starts against Nebraska, the non-starter will see time in the first half, just as the plan went against Northwestern.

“The one thing I can tell you we’re not going to do, we’re not going to get into alternating series,” Claeys said. “I just don’t believe in that. I think you play the guy who gives you the best opportunity to win.”

At 5-2, the Gophers are one win from becoming bowl-eligible. Claeys said they came out of the Northwestern game relatively healthy with the only new injuries of note being to return man Marcus Jones (ankle) and left tackle Ben Lauer (shoulder).

Rodrick Williams played on special teams but not at tailback. That wasn’t injury-related.

“Rodrick has got to grow up a little bit off the field,” Claeys said. “He’s a good football player, and we need him, but the principles are in place that we’ve set since we’ve been here.

“He had a little bit of a rough week off the field on things he was asked to do. So as soon as he takes care of those issues we’ll make sure we get him back in there.”

David Cobb led the Gophers with 20 carries for 103 yards, and Donnell Kirkwood continued working his way back from an ankle injury. Claeys said he told the players the story last week of Wally Pipp, who famously took a day off with the Yankees in 1925, only to get replaced by Lou Gehrig, who played the next 2,130 games.

  • related content

  • Gophers video: Jerry Kill talks to his team

    Monday October 21, 2013

    After the Gophers beat Northwestern on Saturday, coach Jerry Kill talked to the team about the victory.

  • Coach Kill's return to be gradual; starting QB to be named Tuesday

    Sunday October 20, 2013

    Gophers acting head coach Tracy Claeys said Jerry Kill isn't ready to return from his leave of absence, but said Kill might stop by to watch practice this week and...

  • Gophers replay: Minnesota 20, Northwestern 17

    Sunday October 20, 2013

    Gophers 20, Northwestern 17The recap: The score was 7-7 late in the third quarter, until Gophers linebacker James Manuel returned...

  • Minnesota Gophers vs. Northwestern Wildcats football. Minnesota won 20-17. Minnesota linebacker James Manuel (9) headed for the end zone and a touchdown after intercepting a Northwestern pass in 2nd half action putting the Gophers ahead to stay 14-7. . (MARLIN LEVISON/STARTRIBUNE(mlevison@startribune.com)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Texas - WP: N. Martinez 7 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 2
Boston - LP: B. Workman 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: G. Cole 3
Toronto - LP: A. Sanchez 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson 3
Washington - WP: G. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Hand 2
Los Angeles - WP: P. Rodriguez 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: N. Ramirez 4
Cleveland - WP: K. Crockett 2 FINAL
Houston - LP: S. Deduno 1
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: S. Freeman 3
Arizona - LP: A. Reed 6 FINAL
Colorado - WP: L. Hawkins 7
Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick 3 FINAL
San Diego - WP: R. Erlin 7
Seattle - WP: T. Wilhelmsen 3 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: K. Jepsen 1
Tampa Bay 14 FINAL
Atlanta 56
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Toronto 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Countdown to great deals

Bid Sept. 21-29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will Adrian Peterson ever play for the Vikings again?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close