Horton Press Conference - Q&A

MINNEAPOLIS -- GoldenSports.net's Tuesday press conference coverage includes quotes and audio from interim head coach Jeff Horton. Horton responds to questions from members of the media.

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Does Kim Royston have any chance to play?
"None. No. And it's unfortunate. He'll be honored there obviously with the seniors, but he's just you know, unless it's a miracle this week, but I don't anticipate it."

If you had the opportunity in some capacity to back, would you like to?
"Well, I love living in Minnesota, University of Minnesota. If the new coach wants it keep me, I would being excited about that. Again, you know, Vegas guy, not good odds, but you never know. If he did, I would certainly want to be a part of it.

"As I mentioned, it's not going to happen overnight. If we can get behind it and get that good foundation, I think it's not that far away."

Do you get the sense that your team is looking forward to a cold weather home game?
"I think so. It's gonna be a fun week. It was fun last week with the win and just the attitudes, and we'll have fun today going outside. I told them those periods, depending on how cold I get, we might start shortening those periods down a little bit.

"But I really think the atmosphere on Saturday is going to be a great experience. I think people will be out there and it's gonna be loud, noisy. It's kind of the way you picture a midwest game."


Do you sense the excitement is still from the Illinois game, or are guys excited about playing Iowa now?
"I think a little bit of both. I think obviously the excitement of winning the game is huge, and then I think going into your bye week we gave the kids the weekend off, Friday, Saturday, Sunday off. Nobody's had that off since back August 2nd, whenever we started camp. So that was good.

"And coming back, being the last game, playing Iowa, I they still got the good mojo going. I think we'll have fun out there practicing today; it'll be a good week. Thursday we're going to start meetings in the morning at 9:00 on Thanksgiving day and then practice and we'll be done around 11:30.

"We have a great Thanksgiving dinner planned here at the complex. I said whatever the budget was, double it. Let's bring in extra pumpkin pies, extra apple pies. Whatever we have for that meal, let's make it like the last supper.

"Because they're we're over the holidays. We want them to feel good. I'm challenging the Minnesota kids to take the out of town guys home at night and have dinner with their families, too. It's tough over a holiday. We all sit around, I got my wife, you got your families. But those kids are on their own, and a lot from a long way away.

"So we want to have a great practice Thursday morning, have a great meal for them after practice and make it feel just like home with Thanksgiving. All the sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, no processed turkey. We want a real turkey and stuff, and make it good for them."


In the Illinois game, do you think to showed the next coach quite a bit of what he's inheriting?
"I think so. Like I mentioned here, I think there's some good young players here. We have some depth issues. I've mentioned the receiver, O-line, and defensive back are areas where you need immediate help in where you might have to look at some junior college guys.

"I think there's a good young nucleus. You five O linemen you redshirted. There are some good things here. Couple spots need to be added in, especially like if 'Queis moves to quarterback. If to fits the new coach's system, then you really only got Da'Jon out there.

"You got him, Eric Lair at tight end. I think if we had won more games he would be a candidate for a lot more kind of awards, because he's had an outstanding season. I think the competition at running back next year is gonna be off the charts. You got DeLeon and Duane back.

"Then you got Donnell who played earlier before he got hurt, and then you got the two guys, you know, redshirt. I mean, there are some good players there that are going to be good."

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