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Jerry Kill Previews Saturday's Game Against Purdue

10/23/2012, 3:15pm CDT
By U of M Athletic Communications

Jerry Kill hopes the Gophers 0-3 start in Big Ten play turns around on Saturday when the U hosts Purdue.

Coach Kill met with the media today to preview this weekend's game against Purdue. You can read a few of the highlights from his press conference below.

On Purdue...

"Coach said at the beginning of the year this is going to be a very, very good football team, his best football team. I don't think he's telling anybody not the truth, that's for sure.
   
I think everybody that watched the game at Ohio State, you just kind of go, I mean, they had that game, toe to toe to Notre Dame. They're a very good football team.

"I think up front, their front four is tremendous. Their two defensive tackles are guys that are going to be drafted. I think they're very, very good up front in the defensive line. They're very athletic in the secondary. They're very skillful. We found that out a year ago. We played them two years ago at Northern Illinois. All those kids were young then, and now they've all grown up.

We're both in similar situations. We both need a win."

On if Philip Nelson will continue to play quarterback...
"We wouldn't pull a redshirt off a youngster if we weren't going to play him."

On the process of pulling the redshirt off Nelson...

"You don't want to have to be with the situation (like we had with) Max coming out of the game at Northwestern (with an injury), and you don't want to have to play KJ Maye for five games. That's not fair to the senior kids that want to win right now and try to get the bowl game, all those things." 

On the play of Nelson last Saturday...
"He got himself out of some very difficult plays on Saturday and made some plays with his feet and his arm. I think, again, we're going to continue to move our program forward. I think him having the opportunity to play will help us be a better football team a year from now."

On his defense against the Wisconsin running game...
"I went back and watched film, no matter what anybody wants to say about the University of Wisconsin, Montee Ball is the real deal. Third down and long, third down and 11, it wasn't anything but Montee Ball knocked three people back and we didn't tackle him.

"Sometimes it wasn't the perfect execution. It was Montee Ball and the other young man, they're just pretty good football players, they really are. They made some cuts and some creases that make you look pretty bad, they really did. So I got to give them some credit, too."

On the state of his team...
"I think we've tried to educate our kids as much as we can, where we're at, what we need to do. It's just like anything else. When things don't go perfect, those kind of things, we're 4-3 right now, we have a huge game against Purdue, we still have some goals that we can reach.
   
"We got some seniors that have been tremendous through this process that have been through a tremendous amount of coaching change, different philosophies, different things. I'm proud of the way they've handled themselves.

"Our goal is to try to get them to a bowl game. That's what we need to do. Our young people know that."

On Minnesota's running game...
"We certainly want to run the ball. My background in coaching is I like running the ball. But right now there's some things that physically we're still struggling with a little bit.  Doesn't mean we can't, but we got to take a look at how."
 
On redshirting other players...
"I think we feel good about where we're at. The kids, we're redshirting over 20 players. This is our first true recruiting class. I think we're redshirting over 20 players and we're playing about eight or nine freshmen and they're all playing quite a bit in different roles."

On injuries...

"The biggest thing that kills you in football is that you have to be able to stay healthy to be successful.  It don't matter if it's in the NFL or college football.  With our deal, yeah, we came out 4 0, but we came out of that thing beat up, then we went right into the Big Ten and have struggled since."

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