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

NY Mets - LP: J. Familia 6 FINAL
Miami - WP: A. Ramos 9
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 7 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 0
Boston - LP: B. Badenhop 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: G. Balfour 4
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 6 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4
Pittsburgh - LP: G. Cole 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: S. Maness 5
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Turner 4
Detroit - WP: D. Price 12 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 1
Seattle - LP: C. Young 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Hammel 6
San Francisco - WP: J. Affeldt 4 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Friedrich 2
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Ross 3
San Francisco - LP: S. Romo 9 FINAL
Colorado - WP: L. Hawkins 10
Washington - WP: G. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Los Angeles - LP: R. Hernandez 4
Texas - LP: C. Lewis 3 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 4
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
SMU 0 FINAL
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
Louisville 31
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 30 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Toronto 12 FINAL
Hamilton 13
Edmonton 13 FINAL
Calgary 28
Indiana 84 FINAL
Chicago 86
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 pm
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pm
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. TBA
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
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: Grade the Gophers in their season opener

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close