Hartman: Gophers football makes progress despite weather

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 11, 2013 - 12:10 AM

The football team hasn’t been able to practice outside, but good competition for spots has kept intensity high.

The Gophers were scheduled to scrimmage Wednesday night in TCF Bank Stadium as part of the eighth day of spring football practice, but they cancelled it because of snow in the forecast and replaced it with a practice Thursday.

However, coach Jerry Kill said bad weather this month hasn’t prevented the team from showing a lot of improvement even though they haven’t practiced outside.

“[The weather] hasn’t been real cooperative but it hasn’t deterred what we’re trying to get done, we’ve just stayed indoors,” Kill said. “We’ve been able to get everything we needed to get done. I think the weather is pretty much like that everywhere.

“We had Butch Jones in from the University of Tennessee at our state high school clinic, and they’ve only gotten out a couple of times this spring. So I don’t think we’re the only ones dealing with a weather situation.

“I think the whole group has improved themselves. They’re working better together. We still have a lot of work to do, but I see a lot of good things out of the young people.”

Kill makes sure the players are fully prepared for practice before they leave the locker room.

“When we meet as a team before we go out to practice, I tell them what we expect,” he said. “I show them the pace, show them how we’re going to practice . We call it ‘The Daily News’; we show them clips of the practice before, the good things they did and the things they need to improve.”

Competition important

Many starting positions are up for grabs, which Kill believes can be a positive thing.

“I think competition is always good, and from the secondary to the offensive line, it’s not only competition for us as coaches, it’s building depth. We need as much depth as you can have, because the bottom line is the good teams in the Big Ten [are] going to have some depth. And you have to grow older.

“We were talking about it yesterday. It’s hard to play offensive linemen in the Big Ten until you’re a junior or senior, because of the physicality. You look at Wisconsin and most of their kids that are playing are juniors and seniors most of the time. Our kids, somebody asked me, ‘What do you need to do, coach?’ We just need to get older. We need to mature and get stronger and just get older.”

The other day, a bunch of kids were attending practice that Kill had coached before and had attended practices at other colleges Kill had been. Kill said they were impressed what they saw from the Gophers in spring practice.

“They said, ‘Man, Coach, it looks like to me the kids are on track, practicing with good intensity, gamelike intensity,’ ” Kill said. “I think the intensity of the workouts has certainly been good. I think we continue as a coaching staff to learn, you always do, a better way to teach. At the end of the day, we have to get our players to respond and play to the best of their ability. I think we’ve become better teachers through some work of our own.”

There’s no doubt the coaches, on the basis of the showing of the players in spring practice, expect a much improved football team this fall.

Jottings

• University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler’s moratorium on all gifts to the school, including a potential one to the Gophers athletic department by alum T. Denny Sanford of Sanford Medical, is a blow to fundraising. The athletic department was working on Sanford for a large gift. … New Gophers men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino will spend his first day in his office Thursday at the Bierman Building after arriving here late Wednesday.

• Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio has entered the NBA’s statistical leaders, after reaching the per-game totals needed for steals and assists. Going into Wednesday’s games, Rubio was second in the league in steals at 2.4 per game, trailing only Clippers star Chris Paul at 2.43, and he was tied for sixth in assists at 7.5 per game. Rubio is one of only four NBA players to rank in the top 10 in those two categories. The other three players make for some esteemed company — Paul, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook.

• Former Cretin-Derham Hall lineman Ryan Harris has re-signed with the Houston Texans on a one-year contract. He shared the right tackle spot with Derek Newton last season, but Harris will get plenty of work during organized team activities while Newton recovers from knee surgery.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Detroit - M. Scherzer 4:37 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Kansas City - J. Vargas 8:07 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
Minnesota 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Philadelphia 6:00 PM
Washington
Tampa Bay 6:30 PM
Florida
Minnesota 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Vancouver 8:00 PM
Edmonton
Winnipeg 8:00 PM
Calgary
Los Angeles 8:00 PM
Colorado
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Chicago 7:00 PM
Philadelphia
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Hamilton 10/10/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Ottawa 10/11/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
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 pm30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 am
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Gophers do against Michigan?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close