Hartman: Kill feeling better; expect him back coaching Gophers soon

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 25, 2013 - 12:19 PM

The football coach looked healthier when he stopped by his office, but he first needs to keep obeying his doctors.

When Jerry Kill is healthy, the Gophers football coach and I have a conversation almost every day. He also does a weekly radio appearance on WCCO-AM on Sunday, which he typically does 52 weeks a year.

So while I was at the football office Thursday, I asked one of the coaches if Kill was in. He was.

And there sat Kill behind his desk, looking as chipper as ever while talking to Gophers associate athletic director David Benedict.

So how was Kill, one of my real favorite people?

“I have to work my way through this thing,” he said, speaking about his leave of absence to focus on his treatment for epilepsy. “It’s been tough.”

He will watch Saturday’s game against Nebraska at TCF Bank Stadium from the coaching box, just as he did at Northwestern.

I didn’t think it was appropriate to ask many more questions of the recovering head coach, but he looked great and I think he will surprise everyone and be back coaching soon.

Still, Kill is listening to his doctors and is not going to rush his return. It will be one step at a time.

Peterson likes Ponder

Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson says the Vikings feel comfortable with Christian Ponder under center, because unlike Josh Freeman, who only recently joined the team, he knows the offense.

“Any time you have a guy that’s back there that can run the offense 100 percent and knows it in and out and knows the receivers, guys he has been throwing to for years, it kind of puts things together when you’re talking about being on the same page and it takes away those mental errors as well,” Peterson said.

Peterson was asked about the last time the Vikings faced the Packers at home, a game in which Ponder threw for 234 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Why was he so successful in that game?

“He came out and played with confidence and the guys surrounding him offensively we were all focused in and dialed in on getting a ‘W’ and we were able to be a balanced offense,” Peterson said.

Will it be easier as an offense to have Ponder taking snaps?

“Yeah, you can say that, definitely,” Peterson said. “Just taking last week, it’s obvious with a new quarterback coming in like Freeman that he’s not going to be able to know the full playbook. With Christian, we’re going to be able to pull more out more often. That’s going to help us.”

Peterson, who has been nursing a sore hamstring, also said he expects to get more carries this week after combining for only 90 yards on 23 carries over the past two games.

“Any time you have two games where you have 13 carries or less, you definitely want more touches,” he said. “I just haven’t got in the flow of things. Against Cleveland, the game got out of whack so we had to go away from the run game. But one thing we want to do and focus on is establishing getting those guys up front working and sweating and being able to become more balanced.”

Even though Peterson has seemingly struggled this year, he is still ahead of his unbelievable totals from last season. Peterson has 511 yards rushing and five touchdowns through six games. Last season he had 499 yards and two touchdowns through six games.

Martinez returns

The Lincoln Journal Star reported Wednesday that Nebraska senior quarterback Taylor Martinez had returned to the practice field and was likely going to play in Saturday’s game against the Gophers.

Martinez hasn’t played in over a month, and his return would only make things more difficult for a Gophers defense trying to stop the Cornhuskers’ dynamic offense, which is ranked 21st in the nation with 490.2 yards per game.

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini wouldn’t say for sure Martinez would start, telling the paper there were some things he would need to see first from Martinez to make sure he’s ready to play.

“It’s going to be getting back footwork-wise,” Pelini said. “How he feels comfortable doing all the different movements — play-actions, footwork and the things that he has to do throwing the football — and, obviously, feeling comfortable putting his foot in the ground.”

Last year, Martinez completed 21 of 29 passes for 308 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-14 victory over the Gophers. In 2011, he went 13-for-22 for 162 yards and a TD.

Jottings

• Though both are playing at home, the Gophers are 10-point underdogs against Nebraska and the Vikings are nine-point underdogs against a beat-up Packers team.

• Chad Greenway, who will go down as one of the greatest linebackers in Vikings history, needs only nine tackles Sunday night against the Packers to reach the 1,000 mark in his career. Greenway, a former Iowa standout, has piled up these tackles since joining the club in 2006. Linebacker Scott Studwell leads the Vikings in career tackles with 1,928, followed by linebacker Matt Blair with 1,404 from 1974-1985 and linebacker Jeff Siemon with 1,375 from 1972-1982.

• Marcus Sherels, the former Gophers cornerback who signed as an undrafted free agent in 2010, would have been the Vikings’ MVP of the Giants game Monday had he not fumbled a kick near the goal line that eventually resulted in a New York touchdown. But he did set some Vikings records — his four punt returns totaled 119 yards, including an 86-yard return for a touchdown. That was a 29.8 yard average. In addition, he saw service on the punt team, the kickoff team and played some defensive back.

• The Vikings could have sold 100,000 tickets for the Packers game, which is a complete sellout. The scalpers should have a banner day. The games with a few tickets still available are Washington, Detroit and Philadelphia.

• Gophers baseball coach John Anderson has won induction to the Minnesota High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. It’s quite a honor when the high school baseball coaches add a college coach to their hall of fame.

• Murrae Freng, who served as executive director of the Minnesota State High School League for 15 years, was recently honored with a Concordia College Alumni Achievement Award. Nobody did a better job as executive director of the MSHSL than Freng.

 

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Video: SidCast: Vikings, Gophers quarterback situations looking better

    Thursday October 24, 2013

    Christian Ponder returns to the Vikings while the Gophers settle on Nelson/Leidner roation

  • Cobb takes Gophers backfield job and runs with it

    Friday October 25, 2013

    After two subpar years, junior David Cobb has become the Gophers’ reliable top rusher.

  • Jerry Kill, head coach for the University of Minnesota football team, walks off the field after a home game against the Iowa Hawkeyes in Minneapolis, Minn., Sept. 28, 2013. Kill, who had a seizure and missed the Oct. 5 game at Michigan, has stepped away to focus on treating and managing his epilepsy.(Jenn Ackerman/The New York Times)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - LP: B. Wilson 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Grimm 8
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 2
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 3 FINAL
Oakland - LP: D. Otero 0
Toronto - WP: M. Stroman 6 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: C. Capuano 3
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 1 FINAL
Colorado - WP: E. Butler 5
Boston 2 Bottom 7th Inning
Baltimore 7
Milwaukee 0 Top 7th Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Washington 3 Bottom 7th Inning
Miami 2
NY Mets 4 Bottom 8th Inning
Atlanta 0
Chicago WSox 0 Bottom 7th Inning
Tampa Bay 3
Cleveland 4 Bottom 4th Inning
Minnesota 2
Seattle 1 Top 8th Inning
Houston 10
Cincinnati 4 Bottom 7th Inning
St. Louis 7
San Francisco 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
San Diego 0
Texas 0 Bottom 1st Inning
LA Angels 1
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
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(13) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(11) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(21) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
(18) Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Ball State 0 Delayed 9:30
Toledo 6
Appalachian St 7 3rd Qtr 1:34
Southern Miss 14
Miss State 31 3rd Qtr 8:57
(8) LSU 10
Northern Ill 7 4th Qtr
Arkansas 35
Middle Tennessee 10 3rd Qtr 2:25
Memphis 22
Utah State 14 3rd Qtr 3:43
Arkansas State 7
Miami-Ohio 21 3rd Qtr 9:10
Cincinnati 24
Idaho 17 3rd Qtr 2:34
Ohio U 20
(4) Oklahoma 24 3rd Qtr
West Virginia 24
(14) So Carolina 17 3rd Qtr 11:31
Vanderbilt 14
Ga Southern 14 3rd Qtr 11:07
South Alabama 6
Miami-Florida 14 3rd Qtr
(24) Nebraska 17
UNLV 7 2nd Qtr 2:23
Houston 13
New Mexico 21 2nd Qtr 1:43
New Mexico St 14
(22) Clemson 3 2nd Qtr 9:05
(1) Florida State 3
California 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 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
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Vancouver FC 0 FINAL
Portland 3
Houston 0 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
New England 0 2nd Half 5:00
Columbus 1
San Jose 0 2nd Half 2:00
Montreal 2
Seattle 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 4
D.C. 1 2nd Half
Chicago 2
FC Dallas 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 15 14:51
Hamilton 10
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: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close