Coaches tell Gophers they're better than they think

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 21, 2013 - 10:14 AM

Coaches Claeys and Kill insisted to the Gophers that Saturday’s success can continue.

The Gophers football team posted video of Saturday’s postgame celebration on YouTube, showing the emotion inside the locker room as acting head coach Tracy Claeys and a special visitor named Jerry Kill addressed the players.

“You’re better than you think you are,” Claeys said, following the 20-17 victory at Northwestern. “If you show up, and you play hard, and you believe in yourselves, there’s not a game left we can’t win.”

Kill followed by saying, “You need to understand that what Coach [Claeys] has told you is right.”

Starting right tackle Josh Campion told Kill how much the players love him, then pulled everyone together for a quick cheer: “One, two, three … Coach Kill!”

It was one of the proudest days the Gophers have had in Kill’s three seasons as head coach. Minnesota was a 12½-point underdog but took advantage of a Northwestern team playing without two of its offensive standouts, Kain Colter and Venric Mark.

And the Gophers did it with Kill watching from the coaching booth. He surprised them by having his wife, Rebecca, drive him from their Minneapolis home that morning.

Kill remained on leave Sunday, but Claeys said that if all goes well with the epilepsy treatments, Kill likely would watch Saturday’s home game against Nebraska from the coaching booth.

Claeys said it’s also possible Kill would stop by practice this week, just to be around the team. Those would be considered steps in his progression toward returning full-time.

“In my opinion, I don’t anticipate it’ll be all of a sudden, wham, he’s back going full speed,” Claeys said. “There’ll be a buildup to it, and when the time’s right, he’ll be ready to go.”

Like last week, Claeys said he plans to name a starting quarterback on Tuesday. That got muddled again against Northwestern, when Philip Nelson relieved Mitch Leidner and had far more success moving the offense.

Leidner ran five series, and the Gophers quickly had to punt each time. Nelson ran eight series, and the Gophers had to punt just twice.

Claeys said no matter who starts against Nebraska, the non-starter will see time in the first half, just as the plan went against Northwestern.

“The one thing I can tell you we’re not going to do, we’re not going to get into alternating series,” Claeys said. “I just don’t believe in that. I think you play the guy who gives you the best opportunity to win.”

At 5-2, the Gophers are one win from becoming bowl-eligible. Claeys said they came out of the Northwestern game relatively healthy with the only new injuries of note being to return man Marcus Jones (ankle) and left tackle Ben Lauer (shoulder).

Rodrick Williams played on special teams but not at tailback. That wasn’t injury-related.

“Rodrick has got to grow up a little bit off the field,” Claeys said. “He’s a good football player, and we need him, but the principles are in place that we’ve set since we’ve been here.

“He had a little bit of a rough week off the field on things he was asked to do. So as soon as he takes care of those issues we’ll make sure we get him back in there.”

David Cobb led the Gophers with 20 carries for 103 yards, and Donnell Kirkwood continued working his way back from an ankle injury. Claeys said he told the players the story last week of Wally Pipp, who famously took a day off with the Yankees in 1925, only to get replaced by Lou Gehrig, who played the next 2,130 games.

  • related content

  • Gophers video: Jerry Kill talks to his team

    Monday October 21, 2013

    After the Gophers beat Northwestern on Saturday, coach Jerry Kill talked to the team about the victory.

  • Coach Kill's return to be gradual; starting QB to be named Tuesday

    Sunday October 20, 2013

    Gophers acting head coach Tracy Claeys said Jerry Kill isn't ready to return from his leave of absence, but said Kill might stop by to watch practice this week and...

  • Gophers replay: Minnesota 20, Northwestern 17

    Sunday October 20, 2013

    Gophers 20, Northwestern 17The recap: The score was 7-7 late in the third quarter, until Gophers linebacker James Manuel returned...

  • Minnesota Gophers vs. Northwestern Wildcats football. Minnesota won 20-17. Minnesota linebacker James Manuel (9) headed for the end zone and a touchdown after intercepting a Northwestern pass in 2nd half action putting the Gophers ahead to stay 14-7. . (MARLIN LEVISON/STARTRIBUNE(mlevison@startribune.com)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Minnesota 16 FINAL
Buffalo 17
Atlanta 7 FINAL
Baltimore 29
Tennessee 17 FINAL
Washington 19
Seattle 26 FINAL
St. Louis 28
Cleveland 6 FINAL
Jacksonville 24
Cincinnati 0 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Miami 27 FINAL
Chicago 14
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Detroit 24
Carolina 17 FINAL
Green Bay 38
Kansas City 23 FINAL
San Diego 20
Arizona 24 FINAL
Oakland 13
NY Giants 21 FINAL
Dallas 31
San Francisco 17 FINAL
Denver 42
Houston 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Boston 95 FINAL
Brooklyn 90
Minnesota 112 FINAL
Oklahoma City 94
Golden State 83 FINAL
Houston 90
Charlotte 96 FINAL
Chicago 101
Utah 91 FINAL
LA Lakers 98
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
San Jose 0 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Calgary 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 1
St. Louis 0 FINAL
Anaheim 3
TX-San Antonio 20 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 27
Syracuse 30 FINAL
Wake Forest 7
Purdue 38 FINAL
Minnesota 39
Western Ky 38 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 45
(12) Baylor 27 FINAL
(22) West Virginia 41
(11) Kansas State 31 FINAL
(17) Oklahoma 30
Iowa 31 FINAL
Maryland 38
So Florida 38 FINAL
Tulsa 30
Tulane 13 FINAL
UCF 20
Virginia 13 FINAL
Duke 20
Akron 20 FINAL
Ohio U 23
Western Mich 26 FINAL
Bowling Green 14
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
Massachusetts 36
Appalachian St 53 FINAL
Troy 14
(25) UCLA 36 FINAL
California 34
Texas A&M 0 FINAL
(4) Alabama 59
Army 17 FINAL
Kent State 39
Kansas 21 FINAL
Texas Tech 34
UAB 22 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 34
Rutgers 17 FINAL
(13) Ohio State 56
(8) Michigan State 56 FINAL
Indiana 17
New Mexico 31 FINAL
Air Force 35
NC State 18 FINAL
Louisville 30
(21) Clemson 17 FINAL
Boston College 13
Ball State 32 FINAL
Central Mich 29
Cincinnati 41 FINAL
SMU 3
(9) Georgia 45 FINAL
Arkansas 32
Oklahoma State 9 FINAL
(10) TCU 42
San Jose St 27 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Miami-Ohio 41 FINAL
Northern Ill 51
New Mexico St 17 FINAL
Idaho 29
Colorado 28 FINAL
(20) USC 56
(23) Marshall 45 FINAL
FIU 13
Southern Miss 30 FINAL
North Texas 20
Georgia Tech 43 FINAL
North Carolina 48
Tennessee 3 FINAL
(3) Ole Miss 34
Utah State 13 FINAL
Colorado State 16
Missouri 42 FINAL
Florida 13
Kentucky 3 FINAL
(24) LSU 41
(16) Nebraska 38 FINAL
Northwestern 17
Georgia State 27 FINAL
South Alabama 30
Washington 20 FINAL
(6) Oregon 45
Iowa State 45 FINAL
Texas 48
(7) Notre Dame 27 FINAL
(2) Florida State 31
Nevada 42 FINAL
BYU 35
Stanford 10 FINAL
(14) Arizona State 26
Hawaii 10 FINAL
San Diego St 20
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
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
Columbus 3 FINAL
Red Bull New York 1
Seattle 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
Ottawa 6 FINAL
Hamilton 16
Montreal 20 FINAL
Toronto 12
Calgary 33 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Edmonton 24 FINAL
Saskatchewan 19
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