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UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA MEDIA CONFERENCE


November 18, 2014


Jerry Kill


COACH KILL:¬† Well, we get ready to‑‑ you know, kids coming in today and go to work on Nebraska.¬† We had a good team meeting on Sunday, and kind of reevaluated kind of where we were at the beginning of the year, where we wanted to be, what our mission statement was, etcetera.
For our program to where we are at right now, and all that is right in front of us.  Here we're in Novemberin the a situation that the kids had the opportunity and wanted to be in.  Our job is to make sure we get 'em prepared, and go to Lincoln and, you know, play hard and play well.  That's where we're at.

Q.  Jerry, in your experience, does it help or hurt when a team you're going to play comes off a game like they had at Madison?  You talk about kids comparing scores, yet you're in a tough place to play so it might take the edge off a little?
COACH KILL:¬† Yeah, you don't want to do that.¬† You don't want to face Bo after that, I can tell you that.¬† I know what kind of competitor he is and how intense he is so when you play Nebraska you want them it to come off a win, not a loss and their program‑‑ I mean, I just know Bo.¬† I know him, I have a great deal of respect for him, and I think their program goes through a game like that.¬† We certainly did earlier in the year when things just don't go right and they snowball.
Yeah, I mean, he's probably got 'em in meetings right now, so he'll‑‑ they'll be ready to play.

Q.¬† What is‑‑'s best attribute as a runner?
COACH KILL:¬† Patience, he's very, very patient.¬† His patience is what he‑‑ he's very patient to the hole and, you know, he brings people to him, you know, linebackers, they all step up and then he's able to make that slide cut and do what he does, but patience is his best attribute.

Q.  One thing Bo said after you beat them last year was "they outphysicaled us" in terms of what you're trying to do with this program.  Is that one of the best complements that somebody like Bo Kitrell could pay you guys?
COACH KILL:  Yeah, certainly somebody who has been in the game and been in tremendous programs and who he is, yeah, it was a good complement, no question about that.

Q.  When you played down there a couple years ago, did you notice anything particular that kind of stood out as far as wind or crowd noise, condition?
COACH KILL:¬† Tomorrow Osborne running out of the tunnel‑‑ (Laughter) ‑‑¬† I knew we were in trouble.¬† So I would say that was the first thing, and then they‑‑ before the game, I don't know how many thousand but their stands are three‑quarters full when you jog out on the field for warm‑up and they're a tremendously passionate people so those two things.¬† Wind?¬† No, I think it was where you're playing, the crowd, and the tradition.¬† When they marched out, they'll have Senior Day this game, too, they marched out their seniors and they just kept comin', because they got such a strong walk‑on program, I don't know how many, but they kept comin' out of the locker room and you kept going (Laughter.)¬† So that's the storied tradition in Nebraska.¬† There is a lot of tradition when you go into that stadium, like when you go to Ann Arbor and you play there and you walk in Lincoln, those are places that, you know, they're historical and unique and not easy place to play, but nobody in the Big Ten is, but we got to win on the road, that's our job to do and we got at that make sure we prepare our kids to do that.

Q.  Jerry, did you see the video when he was standing there with a letter jacket on?
COACH KILL:¬† I don't remember seeing the video, I just remember seeing him looking out there and running out and fitting for what the guy has done there at Nebraska.¬† All that stuff wasn't good, you know, and we didn't play very good, so it was‑‑ no, we didn't get off‑‑ we lost warm‑up, we lost everything during that particular day, so hopefully they don't call him back, after I said this, Bo is probably on the phone seeing if he'll come out again.

Q.  Is Abdullah as good of a running back as you've seen?
COACH KILL:¬† Yes, yes, we got good running backs in our conference, but he's like Barrett was, on Saturday, you take one or two bad steps who we play these next two games and it's not good.¬† He can get in the crease, he's a patient runner, and once he breaks out of there, you know, you kinda hold your breath a little bit.¬† Like I said, we got great running backs in our conference, and these last‑‑ the last three games, you know, that we're playing right now, Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin, they all have high‑level people that can make you miss and get it over with, so you gotta play lights out, great disciplined defense.

Q.  How did you get that schedule by the way?
COACH KILL:¬† There's a group that‑‑ it's a deal where I mean, things circle around and there's people that make the schedule and with the addition to the two teams coming in from the East, it's a situation where it's done the way it needs to be done and then it all recycles, you know, through the years.¬† When you have two additional teams and things.

Q.  Is it going to get equal down the road?
COACH KILL:  Oh, yeah, you play everybody and it's cycled around.  They've done a good job of getting that all situated.  And the bottom line, you know, we knew going into the season and so forth, and we wanted to be in a position to be where we're at and we are.  Would you like to play those at home?  Yeah, you would, but we don't, and personally I think one thing is we went and won at Michigan, at Ann Arbor and that helps us, for our kids.  I think that helps us, and this time of year, you know, what we have on the line and stake right now, I wouldn't think we have to worry about motivation, I would think we have to worry about preparation.

Q.  You had a very special visitor, Billy, this weekend for epilepsy awareness.  Wayne said that you gave him the best weekend of his life.  What did he do for you?
COACH KILL:¬† I don't know if anybody has seen that "YouTube" video but you need to see it because I guess I'll say this:¬† When you're coaching and you're coaching kids at the college level, and they're young kids, I get‑‑ everybody gets frustrated, "Man, why does this kid do that and that?"¬† Well, Billy came and I said hey you can come watch practice, anything you would like to do, and he came down to practice, and you just have to watch that video.¬† I'm not going to‑‑ you just have to see it because our kids are unbelievable.¬† Anyone can say anything about our kids but they're unbelievable, because they didn't know who he was.¬† When he was standing there giving them high‑fives, every one of our kids, they all went this way and one of them stopped and hugged him.¬† I didn't know before the game he went in and had seen David Cobb and visited with David and then out there Pete Mortell with the punter and none of that was staged.¬† Our kids just did it.
And the youngster, full of energy, I mean, funny.  I will tell you, it put me in a whole different perspective.  I was kind of crabby last night.  I wasn't in a real good mood, had a few things, just like anything every day that you deal with and my wife says, "hey, I want you to see something."
She put that on there, life's pretty good.  Life's pretty good.  He did a lot for me!  He did a lot for me last night, so I'm glad that timed out good.  If y'all haven't seen that, put that on, that's what life's all about and we got good kids in our program.

Q.  Coach can you talk about your kicking game and how it's been extremely efficient?
COACH KILL:¬† We won the kicking game on Saturday.¬† We didn't win in some other areas but we won it on Saturday and special teamswise they're really, really good.¬† So same thing with Nebraska, they got returners that can take it the distance.¬† They'll rush the punter, they're‑‑ you get into these teams they're all really well coached, but that will be a big portion of what we do on Saturday.¬† We gotta keep winning the kicking game and our guys are doing a good job and we gotta continue in these two games.¬† I couldn't be more pleased in what we're doing in the kicking game right now.
We just gotta keep it up.

Q.  Having played at Michigan you talked about how that was important, playing in an environment like that.  Talk about what that will do for you.
COACH KILL:¬† I think (Laughter.)¬† Boy, is that‑‑ I think the thing about that with Mitch is we have to play really good up front, and we gotta make sure we do a great job in protection, and the rest of it will take care of itself.¬† I think when we struggled as we broke down in some areas and pressure puts a lot of‑‑ anytime you get pressure just like we get pressure on quarterbacks or you put pressure on people it's hard to make that quick of a decision and so forth.¬† I think he will be fine.
That part I'm not worried about, I'm worried about everything else that we have to execute around him and he'll be‑‑ he's multi competitive so he will be ready to go.

Q.  How about their pressure?  They've got pretty good front four, too, don't they?
COACH KILL:  Yeah, they do, same kind of thing, two defensive ends that are long and can rush the passer and aggressive, good run players.  Again, a very, you know, very good football team as we go down the stretch from Iowa on up, they're all good football teams.  We'll have to execute very well to be successful.  That's what we need to do.
We have to play like we did against Iowa, and we played hard, I mean hard.¬† If I worry about anything, it's that right there, we gotta get our kids' legs, shoulders, all that back, because they played really hard in two physical football games.¬† We're going to have to play like that and cut the mistakes down we did against Ohio State, the ones that were critical but the biggest concern I got is making sure we get our kids' legs and shoulders back because when you play hard and you play those people back‑to‑back‑to‑back,¬† it takes it's toll on you, so you gotta be careful at practice, you gotta shorten some things up, because most important thing is the kids gotta ‑‑ they gotta feel good to play good and their bodies have gotta feel good. ¬†That's my biggest concern and that's our biggest job to do this week, so we can play fast.¬† You can't afford going down the stretch not to play fast.

Q.  Nebraska had one of the better run defenses statistically.  How surprised were you to see what happened on Saturday?
COACH KILL:¬† Melvin Gordon is on a different planet.¬† I don't know what else to say.¬† If you look all the way back, everybody talks, well, go all the way back to LSU, and you keep rollin' it, when that guy has gotten the ball, good things have happened.¬† No matter who it's against.¬† I mean, he is a good, good back.¬† Look what he did‑‑ he does it every week when he gets the ball.¬† I don't know what else to say.¬† He's on a different planet.

Q.  Can you compare him, Coach, with the great back that say you've seen during your career?
COACH KILL:¬† I'm gettin' old, so I have to go back through the archives, you know.¬† I just know he's really good.¬† I would say the thing that makes him different is his speed.¬† He's big, and he can really run fast, and I don't know, there's so many good ones, I just know he's a good player.¬† He's really playing at a high level but so are all the other backs right now, you know, they're all playing at a high level, including ours.¬† He can get it over with.¬† Right now.¬† Just like J.T. did on Saturday.¬† Our corner can‑‑ Murray can run now, he's a 4.4 guy and we didn't gain‑‑ Eric couldn't gain‑‑ that kid is a 4.4 guy at his size.¬† Special athletes and can't make mistakes and so forth.¬† Same thing against Nebraska.¬† They're explosive, Kenny Bell on the edge, Kenny is a great player, he catches the ball, so‑‑ you've gotta play, gotta play, can't beat yourself, that's the key.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach. 

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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