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Continued: Hartman: Blown lead further dims Vikings' season

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 25, 2013 - 6:05 AM

Kill talked about the Gophers not executing against a good team.

“But the effort and the preparation was good. [The Badgers] just made some plays and we didn’t make some plays, and had opportunities to make some plays. And turnovers killed us.”

Kill praised the Gophers’ defensive performance. “I think if you talked to the defensive coaches, I think the only thing they would say is that there were times that we didn’t tackle [well],” he said.

Kill added: “We played well enough on defense to win the game. And offensively, we played very well in the first quarter moving the football, but we just, in the second quarter, we had critical turnovers on the other side of the 50. And if we don’t get those turnovers, those are scoring opportunities.

“We had our chances. We dropped a few balls, we missed one down the pipe there late. But when you get in games like that, the team that makes the most plays wins. They made more plays than we did.”

Now the Gophers face another great team in unbeaten Michigan State at East Lansing on Saturday. The Spartans manhandled Northwestern 30-6 this past weekend.

Praises Kill

Former Wisconsin football coach Barry Alvarez, now the Badgers’ athletic director, praised Kill’s work with the football program while here for the game Saturday.

“[Kill] is well on his way,” Alvarez said. “That’s a good football team. I judge coaches by how their teams improve as they go along, and you can see a great deal of improvement from Year 1 to Year 2, and from Year 2 to Year 3. So now it’s important that you continue to recruit well and build on what they’ve accomplished. But that’s a nice football team.”

Alvarez said he believes Kill is the ideal coach for the Gophers.

“It’s important to have a right fit,” Alvarez said. “You have to know who you are, what type of kids you can consistently recruit, and [with] both of my hires [Bret Bielema and Gary Andersen], I found guys that understood the culture at Wisconsin, understood how we win here, the type of players that we can get, the fact that we’re a developmental program, we use the walk-on kids. So if you make mistakes with the scholarship guys, you have a handful of guys that can come up and help you.”

 

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



 

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