Chip Scoggins is a Star Tribune sports columnist. He previously covered the Minnesota Vikings for four years, starting in 2008. In addition, he covered college football for five years. Chip has been with the Star Tribune since January 2000. He can be followed on twitter at @chipscoggins.Find Chip on Facebook.
I wasn't sure what to expect from Gophers coach Jerry Kill at his weekly press conference Tuesday. It was the first time I had seen Kill in person since he suffered a seizure in the final seconds of the New Mexico State game.
Kill made it perfectly clear that he isn't slowing down despite suffering more seizures while he was hospitalized. Our Gophers writer Phil Miller has some of Kill's spirited reaction on his blog right here.
I asked Kill about Saturday's opponent -- North Dakota State -- and how a number of players on the Bison roster are from the Twin Cities and wanted to play for the Gophers but were not recruited by Tim Brewster.
Kill didn't need any reminders about how motivated those players will be Saturday night.
"Well, I've heard about it since I took the job," he said. "Shoot, I was told I wasn't good enough for the job. So I'm one of those guys. You don't think I don't compete or I don't think about that from a day-to-day basis? So you bet your tail end they are going to come in here and be ready to play, and they are going to play with a chip on their shoulder.
"You don't have to convince me and tell me how hard those son-of-a-bucks are going to play. That's a subject that doesn't need to be discussed. I know they are going to play their best game, and I know they are going to play hard. I've got to make sure I our kids understand that. And, you know, if they don't understand it, they are not very educated, because it is what it is. They got beat in 2007 here and they had to block a field goal (to win in 2006).
"I lived with that I-AA and Division II label and all that, and I'm the same guy that ... we were I-AA and we went to Indiana and kicked their butt. Those things you can throw out the door. That's why college football is such a great sport. You don't know who is going to win from week to week. That's why you play. It don't matter what [darn] level it is, you'd better hook it up. They have some good players now, I'm telling you.
"So you're not going to hear me say anything because I know. I've lived it. Now, some of these people may not have lived it, and we have got some kids in the program that should have lived it still. [Duane] Bennett ought to remember it. So hopefully he'll get the message across."