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

San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 7 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 1
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 85 FINAL
Miami 90
Indiana 89 FINAL
Minnesota 107
Utah 105 FINAL
Oklahoma City 91
Portland 93 FINAL
Denver 75
Phoenix 114 FINAL
LA Lakers 108
LA Clippers 107 FINAL
Golden State 125
San Jose 3 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Rangers 4 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 3
Toronto 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Detroit 1 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 2
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
Carolina 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 3
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Chicago 4
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Dallas 6
Florida 4 FINAL(OT)
Colorado 3
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(OT)
Calgary 1
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
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 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 Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close