Hartman: Kill feeling better; expect him back coaching Gophers soon

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 25, 2013 - 12:19 PM

The football coach looked healthier when he stopped by his office, but he first needs to keep obeying his doctors.

When Jerry Kill is healthy, the Gophers football coach and I have a conversation almost every day. He also does a weekly radio appearance on WCCO-AM on Sunday, which he typically does 52 weeks a year.

So while I was at the football office Thursday, I asked one of the coaches if Kill was in. He was.

And there sat Kill behind his desk, looking as chipper as ever while talking to Gophers associate athletic director David Benedict.

So how was Kill, one of my real favorite people?

“I have to work my way through this thing,” he said, speaking about his leave of absence to focus on his treatment for epilepsy. “It’s been tough.”

He will watch Saturday’s game against Nebraska at TCF Bank Stadium from the coaching box, just as he did at Northwestern.

I didn’t think it was appropriate to ask many more questions of the recovering head coach, but he looked great and I think he will surprise everyone and be back coaching soon.

Still, Kill is listening to his doctors and is not going to rush his return. It will be one step at a time.

Peterson likes Ponder

Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson says the Vikings feel comfortable with Christian Ponder under center, because unlike Josh Freeman, who only recently joined the team, he knows the offense.

“Any time you have a guy that’s back there that can run the offense 100 percent and knows it in and out and knows the receivers, guys he has been throwing to for years, it kind of puts things together when you’re talking about being on the same page and it takes away those mental errors as well,” Peterson said.

Peterson was asked about the last time the Vikings faced the Packers at home, a game in which Ponder threw for 234 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Why was he so successful in that game?

“He came out and played with confidence and the guys surrounding him offensively we were all focused in and dialed in on getting a ‘W’ and we were able to be a balanced offense,” Peterson said.

Will it be easier as an offense to have Ponder taking snaps?

“Yeah, you can say that, definitely,” Peterson said. “Just taking last week, it’s obvious with a new quarterback coming in like Freeman that he’s not going to be able to know the full playbook. With Christian, we’re going to be able to pull more out more often. That’s going to help us.”

Peterson, who has been nursing a sore hamstring, also said he expects to get more carries this week after combining for only 90 yards on 23 carries over the past two games.

“Any time you have two games where you have 13 carries or less, you definitely want more touches,” he said. “I just haven’t got in the flow of things. Against Cleveland, the game got out of whack so we had to go away from the run game. But one thing we want to do and focus on is establishing getting those guys up front working and sweating and being able to become more balanced.”

Even though Peterson has seemingly struggled this year, he is still ahead of his unbelievable totals from last season. Peterson has 511 yards rushing and five touchdowns through six games. Last season he had 499 yards and two touchdowns through six games.

Martinez returns

The Lincoln Journal Star reported Wednesday that Nebraska senior quarterback Taylor Martinez had returned to the practice field and was likely going to play in Saturday’s game against the Gophers.

Martinez hasn’t played in over a month, and his return would only make things more difficult for a Gophers defense trying to stop the Cornhuskers’ dynamic offense, which is ranked 21st in the nation with 490.2 yards per game.

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini wouldn’t say for sure Martinez would start, telling the paper there were some things he would need to see first from Martinez to make sure he’s ready to play.

“It’s going to be getting back footwork-wise,” Pelini said. “How he feels comfortable doing all the different movements — play-actions, footwork and the things that he has to do throwing the football — and, obviously, feeling comfortable putting his foot in the ground.”

Last year, Martinez completed 21 of 29 passes for 308 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-14 victory over the Gophers. In 2011, he went 13-for-22 for 162 yards and a TD.

Jottings

• Though both are playing at home, the Gophers are 10-point underdogs against Nebraska and the Vikings are nine-point underdogs against a beat-up Packers team.

• Chad Greenway, who will go down as one of the greatest linebackers in Vikings history, needs only nine tackles Sunday night against the Packers to reach the 1,000 mark in his career. Greenway, a former Iowa standout, has piled up these tackles since joining the club in 2006. Linebacker Scott Studwell leads the Vikings in career tackles with 1,928, followed by linebacker Matt Blair with 1,404 from 1974-1985 and linebacker Jeff Siemon with 1,375 from 1972-1982.

• Marcus Sherels, the former Gophers cornerback who signed as an undrafted free agent in 2010, would have been the Vikings’ MVP of the Giants game Monday had he not fumbled a kick near the goal line that eventually resulted in a New York touchdown. But he did set some Vikings records — his four punt returns totaled 119 yards, including an 86-yard return for a touchdown. That was a 29.8 yard average. In addition, he saw service on the punt team, the kickoff team and played some defensive back.

• The Vikings could have sold 100,000 tickets for the Packers game, which is a complete sellout. The scalpers should have a banner day. The games with a few tickets still available are Washington, Detroit and Philadelphia.

• Gophers baseball coach John Anderson has won induction to the Minnesota High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. It’s quite a honor when the high school baseball coaches add a college coach to their hall of fame.

• Murrae Freng, who served as executive director of the Minnesota State High School League for 15 years, was recently honored with a Concordia College Alumni Achievement Award. Nobody did a better job as executive director of the MSHSL than Freng.

 

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Video: SidCast: Vikings, Gophers quarterback situations looking better

    Thursday October 24, 2013

    Christian Ponder returns to the Vikings while the Gophers settle on Nelson/Leidner roation

  • Cobb takes Gophers backfield job and runs with it

    Friday October 25, 2013

    After two subpar years, junior David Cobb has become the Gophers’ reliable top rusher.

  • Jerry Kill, head coach for the University of Minnesota football team, walks off the field after a home game against the Iowa Hawkeyes in Minneapolis, Minn., Sept. 28, 2013. Kill, who had a seizure and missed the Oct. 5 game at Michigan, has stepped away to focus on treating and managing his epilepsy.(Jenn Ackerman/The New York Times)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
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
Chicago 6:00 PM
Cleveland
New Orleans 6:00 PM
Washington
Milwaukee 6:30 PM
New York
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Brooklyn
Charlotte 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Sacramento 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Memphis 7:30 PM
Dallas
Tampa Bay 8:30 PM
Edmonton
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
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