Kill deserves to get a chance from skeptical U fan base

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 6, 2010 - 1:01 AM

Jerry Kill is not the glamorous coach many Gophers fans had hoped for, but he's been very good over his career.

Before taking over the football program at Northern Illinois in 2008, Jerry Kill posted a record of 55-32 in seven years at Southern Illinois. During his three years at NIU, he is 23-16 and 18-6 in what has been a real good football conference.

Photo: Scott Walstrom, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Dennis Franchione, the former football coach at Texas Christian, Alabama and Texas A&M, told the Chicago Tribune's David Haugh in a column published Dec. 3 that the Gophers should take a look at hiring Northern Illinois' Jerry Kill.

"Any AD like Minnesota or Colorado would be foolish not to look at the body of work Jerry's put together,'' said Franchione, who coached Kill when he was a linebacker at Southwestern College in Kansas.

Well, Gophers athletic director Joel Maturi must have agreed, because Kill is the new coach at Minnesota.

Northern Illinois is 10-3 after losing to Miami (Ohio) 26-21 when the RedHawks scored with 33 seconds left to take the Mid-American Conference title game in Detroit. The Huskies are set to play Fresno State in the Humanitarian Bowl.

Before taking over at Northern Illinois in 2008, Kill posted a record of 55-32 in seven years at Southern Illinois. During his three years at NIU, he is 23-16 and 18-6 in what has been a real good football conference. He was 6-7 in 2008, 7-6 in 2009 and 10-3 in 2010, including a 34-23 victory over the Gophers on Sept. 25. The Huskies went 8-0 in the MAC.

Kill was 2-3 against Big Ten opponents in his three years at Northern Illinois; all the games were on the road, and all were close. He lost to the Gophers 31-27 in 2008; lost to Wisconsin 28-20 but won at Purdue 28-21 in 2009; and lost to Illinois 28-22 this season in addition to the victory at TCF Bank Stadium.

No doubt Kill is walking into a real tough position. True Gophers fans should give him a chance to succeed. But I am sure the vast majority of fans expected a more glamorous coach from a bigger and more successful program.

Like I had previously reported, Maturi and Dave Mona, who assisted in the Gophers' search, had a very tough time locating candidates interested in the job. Some coaches told me off the record they had turned the job down because they thought better jobs were available. Nothing against Kill, but I don't believe they had a great field to pick from.

Minnesota has a new president in Eric Kaler, replacing outgoing Robert Bruininks. Maturi's contract runs out in 2012. A new coach would be dealing with possibly a couple of unknowns as his bosses.

To be honest, I thought that Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst would have been a perfect selection for this program. But after hiring Tim Brewster, Maturi wanted Brewster's successor to have head coaching experience, which Chryst doesn't have.

One thing in favor of Kill is that the MAC has advanced a lot of coaches to the Big Ten who have been very successful, including Bo Schembechler, Woody Hayes and Ara Parseghian.

The Gophers open the 2011 season at Southern California and have to play Nebraska next year among some other tough Big Ten foes.

Unless Kill is a miracle man, the going will be tough for a couple of years, and fans are going to have to be patient and give the man a chance to build the program. It will be interesting to see how the ticket-buyers react to the Kill appointment.

Makeshift lineup

Sure, Buffalo was a 2-9 team entering Sunday, but in its previous six games, the Bills suffered four three-point losses to playoff-contending teams.

And three of their losses came in overtime, including a 19-16 loss to the Steelers last week only because receiver Stevie Johnson dropped a sure touchdown pass in the end zone.

So when the Vikings game-day roster was released and didn't include players such as Chris Cook, Ray Edwards, Fred Evans, Percy Harvin, Steve Hutchinson and Greg Lewis, you might have concluded the team would be in trouble with so many key players out because of injuries.

Few people expected this crippled Vikings team to take a 31-7 lead the first half on its way to a 38-14 victory. The replacements on offense and defense completely dominated the Bills.

The starting Vikings offensive line included right guard Ryan Cook, starting for the second time in a row in place of Anthony Herrera, who was lost for the season because of a knee injury suffered Nov. 21. It also included left guard Chris DeGeare, a rookie who played in place of Hutchinson, an All-Pro, and with center John Sullivan still not 100 percent healthy.

This inexperienced line gave up only one sack while helping the team rush for 210 yards. It provided great protection for Tarvaris Jackson, who after replacing injured Brett Favre in the first quarter completed 15 of 22 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns to Sidney Rice.

The Vikings had three healthy receivers who played the entire game: Rice, Greg Camarillo and Bernard Berrian. Joe Webb also played some in his first NFL action but left because of a hamstring injury.

The defense, with Jared Allen on fire and Brian Robison filling in nicely for Edwards, had perhaps its best performance of the year, as it limited the Bills to 41 net yards in the first half. The Bills finished 158 yards passing and 84 yards rushing, most of it coming after the game was decided.

Frazier impressed

The offensive line practiced all week with DeGeare at Hutchinson's left guard spot.

"You have to take your hat off to Chris DeGeare, stepping up in Steve Hutchinson's place, you know, just that 'next man up' mentality of our offensive line. They did a great job of dominating the line of scrimmage," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said.

"I wasn't concerned because I saw how our guys practiced. I knew they practiced well, I knew they believe in one another, and we talked all week long about supporting each other as a group. ... I just felt like the guys that were going to play were going to play well."

As for the performance of the defense, Frazier said: "I told our team afterwards, 'Now that's the defensive front that we're used to seeing when we come to Mall of America Field,' and just a great job by our defense coming up with the turnovers, rushing the quarterback. That's the defense that we've been accustomed to seeing."

Frazier sang the praises of Jared Allen, saying: "That's the Jared Allen we'd like to see every week. ... You probably saw how they began to chip him, bringing a tight end into the game to block him, because they couldn't single-block him. I mean, he's a great pass rusher. And when our fans get into it like they were into it in this ballgame, nobody can block Jared Allen, because the timing of the offense is off. Our fans did a great job."

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

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago 17 FINAL
Detroit 34
Philadelphia 33 FINAL
Dallas 10
Seattle 19 4th Qtr 5:55
San Francisco 3
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 0 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 1
ULM 54 FINAL
Robert Morris 71
Santa Clara 57 FINAL
Tennessee 64
Oklahoma 59 FINAL
Butler 46
Austin Peay 79 FINAL
Brown 58
Princeton 56 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 62
Coastal Carolina 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 78
Kansas 76 FINAL
Rhode Island 60
Wisconsin 68 FINAL
Georgetown 65
FIU 53 FINAL
USC Upstate 68
Long Island 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 73
San Diego 71 FINAL
Xavier 82
Illinois 88 FINAL
Indiana State 62
Cal State Fullerton 67 FINAL
Wright State 62
Western Ky 62 FINAL
Saint Josephs 59
Michigan State 77 FINAL
Rider 45
UCLA 56 FINAL
North Carolina 78
Long Beach State 73 FINAL
Western Mich 55
Marquette 72 FINAL
Georgia Tech 70
Stephen F Austin 73 FINAL
Prairie View 61
UAB 47 2nd Half 3:59
Florida 45
Rice 49 2nd Half 6:14
Mercer 53
San Jose St 0 1st Half 15:24
Washington 8
Washington St 10:59 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Baylor 10:59 PM
Memphis
LSU 23 FINAL
Texas A&M 17
(6) TCU 48 FINAL
Texas 10
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
East Carolina
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Hartford 43 FINAL
Furman 53
Clemson 77 FINAL
Ohio State 86
Idaho State 53 FINAL
San Diego State 68
East Carolina 58 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 69
Santa Clara 0 Cancelled
Texas-El Paso 0
Florida State 68 FINAL
Washington 80
Wichita State 39 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 56
Wisconsin 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 67
Kansas State 0 Cancelled
LSU 0
BYU 73 FINAL
BYU-Hawaii 52
Charlotte 58 FINAL
Montana 67
Illinois 77 FINAL
(9) Kentucky 71
Central Michigan 61 FINAL
Richmond 56
Oklahoma 68 FINAL
South Florida 83
Princeton 72 FINAL
Wake Forest 55
(19) Oregon State 85 FINAL
Butler 53
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pm

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will the Gophers bring home The Axe?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close