Coach Brewster 10/5 Presser Recap - Q&A

Coach Tim Brewster responds to questions about the health of MarQueis Gray and Mike Rallis as well as what it would mean for the team to win Paul Bunyan's Axe and his first rivalry trophy at Minnesota.

On the substations throughout the game on defense and if that is something going forward…

It's Important to keep guys fresh…In a very physical football game you need to keep fresh guys on the field…need to keep the defense off the field with the offense.

Young guys played well against Northwestern and that was good to see. The really improved as the game progressed defensively… "I've said how close we are and every game has been a dog fight."


On where Ryan Collado fits into the defensive backfield…

Ryan Collado is backing up Kyle Theret at strong safety and he will also play cornerback in certain situations. He is a very versatile athlete to have back there…

James Manuel is getting the start at strong safety because is a big physical safety who will help against the power-running game of Wisconsin.


On how close the team is to finally getting over the hump…

Very close… There is a fine line that determines winners and losers. Team needs the confidence to go make those plays that win the game. They need to make those plays during the crucial moments of the game.

On the progress of Kim Royston and just how big of a weekend this will be for him...

Huge weekend for him…He will be a huge part of this game even if he doesn't play from emotional standpoint and a leadership standpoint. He will give it a go this week in practice but Brewster didn't seem optimistic about him playing in the game.

On the poor 3rd down efficiency against Northwestern…

Short yardage running game was better against Northwestern and they converted on some of those short yardage runs...Third down conversions is obviously a pivotal part of the game and they need to execute better in those situations…

On if the penalties hurt the Gophers last game…

Minnesota was ranked 9th in the country in fewest penalties… That was a part of the game they really emphasized this off season and they have improved immensely. It's huge this weekend against Wisconsin that they don't self inflict any wounds on themselves…They can't afford to help the Badgers.

On the MarQueis Gray injury…

MarQueis Gray is doing much better… The pain has decreased in his foot. He met with the training staff yesterday and was cleared to practice without any limitations. He is ready to practice today and should be ready to play full speed this weekend but obviously they need to see how he holds up in practice.

On if playing Wisconsin and getting the axe is the most important game this season…

No game matters more this week than this game…Every game is important but the Wisconsin game stands out. The coaches are putting in a great deal of effort in preparation to make a team that expects to win. Would be a very positive thing for players and coaches to get the axe because everyone is working extremely hard and winning is the reward.

Team totally understands what the game means…They understand the important and the implications so it doesn't take much to motive the players.

On the play of the tight ends…

Really pleased with tight end play so far… Lair is really developing into great receiving threat. The unsung player from the group is Curtis Hughes. He is one for the better blocking tight ends in the Big Ten. He does a great job blocking the line of scrimmage. That's his role and he accepts his role and does it well.

On a different mindset playing away from TCF Bank Stadium…

Have to have a "road mentality"…us against the world. Going into someone else's back yard you need to have the confidence to play well and win…To have that confidence the team needs to go over there extremely well prepared. Minnesota vs Wisconsin is what college football is all about…these rivalry games. Players need to embrace the atmosphere and play well.

On what it would mean to get his first trophy win…

All I can think about is how meaningful it will be to the players…to see them succeed and to get their just reward. It would be more meaningful than anything in the world to win for those players. "I would like to just sit back and watch the team celebrate."

On if he noticed any confusion during the final drive against Northwestern…

No confusion in the last game on final drive… They knew where they needed to get to kick a field and just came up short. Execution on final drive was not what they wanted but there was no confusion...

On Mike Rallis' injury...

Mike Rallis is still trying to work through pain in abdomen. He is a strong question mark at best at this point on whether he will play Saturday… Ryan Grant and Aaron Hill will play if Rallis cant. Grant did some great things against Northwestern. He plays angles well. He is not the best when he has to line up outside the "box" but he will be in the "box" much more this week against the Badgers. He's a very tough minded guy that plays the run really well.

On if Donnell Kirkwood is dealing with an injury…

Donnell has a bit of a hamstring and calf injury.

On the play of Adam Weber

Adam is doing great…He's done a great job at leading the team and played much smarter this season. He's been very accurate and is comfortable in the pocket. Pleased with production of Weber…What he wants to do more than anything is win a trophy game.


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