“They were just throwing quick bubble screens, 2- or 3-yard passes off the option,” Kill said. “They ran the read-option and when you close down the run they just threw little pop passes for 3 or 4 yards, and sometimes you can break a tackle and get more than 3 or 4 yards. But they were just little quick passes that were more like runs than throws.”
If there was any doubt that Philip Nelson is going to be the No. 1 quarterback, the Mankato sophomore proved he has a firm grasp on the starting spot with a great performance against New Mexico State. He completed eight of 15 passes for 127 yards while rushing for 122 yards on 15 carries, including a touchdown.
“He played real well,” Kill said. “You take the one interception where they jumped into Cover-2 and he did the right thing. He went down to his check-down and the ball got tapped up and got picked. If he had been a little bit more patient, then it would have cleared up. But I thought he played really well.”
• Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino spoke at length at his news conference for his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame about his desire to play against his son, Richard, and the Gophers in a future ACC/Big Ten Challenge game.
“I think it would be fun,” Rick said. “I played him at FIU [Florida International] and he was totally mismatched, and at least we can play on more equal terms.” About the Gophers, Pitino said: “I think it’s a crown jewel in the Big Ten that just needs to have their facilities upgraded to be every bit as good as any school in the Big Ten, and I think with their new AD [Norwood Teague], I think that’s going to happen. And it is happening.”
• Former Vikings receiver Randy Moss on the team allowing rookie Cordarrelle Patterson to wear his No. 84 jersey: “That’s disrespectful to give a rookie my number,” Moss said on television Sunday. “I don’t really believe in numbers but from a professional standpoint, I did make that number. He hasn’t proven anything yet, but hey, what can I say?”
• While former Vikings receiver Percy Harvin starts the season on the sidelines because of a hip injury for the Seattle Seahawks, another former Viking, Sidney Rice, grabbed two receptions for 35 yards in their Week 1 12-7 victory over Carolina.
• Former Gophers quarterback MarQueis Gray, who is now playing tight end, was inactive for Cleveland in Week 1. Gray was only signed to the Browns’ 53-man roster after being cut by the 49ers last week, so it might take a while for him to get up to speed and be on the active roster.
• A number of former Gophers in the Twins farm system wrapped up their minor league regular seasons: Nate Hanson hit a combined .241 with nine homers and 56 RBI in 121 games split between Class AA New Britain and Class AAA Rochester. … Kyle Knudson hit a combined .287 with two homers and 21 RBI in 57 games split between Class A Fort Myers and New Britain. … Michael Kvasnicka hit .282 with nine homers and 40 RBI in 69 games with Fort Myers. … Adam Pettersen hit .201 with one homer and 15 RBI in 86 games split between Fort Myers and New Britain.
Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. firstname.lastname@example.org