Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.
Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.
Tubby Smith would have known what to do, Jerry Kill said Sunday.
The Gophers' football team faced a basketball problem -- hostile environment, energized and deafening crowd, and a game that was starting to slip away -- Saturday at Iowa. And if he had it to do over, Kill said, he would have tried a solution that Smith employs during hoops season.
"If I look back at it now, I'd have (used) a timeout in the first quarter and called (his players) all together -- you know, like basketball does. Stop the bleeding," Kill said. "We couldn't get it stopped. But we did at halftime, we regrouped. If you watch the second half on the film, you go, 'Dang, all we had to do was play like this. Because we really dominated the second half."
Well, except for the three turnovers, mistakes that rendered the Gophers' second-half improvement irrelevant. But it sounded like Kill was upset with himself for not being "uncommon" -- his team's slogan for the 2012 season -- by taking a timeout just to change the dynamic and try to halt the momentum that was overwhelming his team. It's just not done in football, the coach said, because it's risky not to preserve timeouts for when time is short.
"I should have done it, just let them catch their breath and get themselves squared away," Kill said. "Football changes week to week, it's a game of momentum. They fed off the momentum, just like we fed off our crowd against Syracuse (a week earlier)."
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