Kill optimistic on new Football facilities

Gophers head coach Jerry Kill talked about how he's very optimistic on the new football practice facilities, the challenges of opening with TCU, his tough non-conference schedule and his defense earlier this morning in Chicago.

"No, not at all. I'm a part of that operation, and I think right now as we just got out of meetings here oh, three or four days ago, that we'll be starting at the latest probably late September, early October," Kill said when asked if he was concerned at all about the facilities project. "We've already got a finish date where it needs to be finished and the holdup there was probably football a little bit because we wanted to make sure everything we had in there in what we wanted was right before you take it any farther."

Coach Kill was very adamant that he and the administration at Minnesota, wanted to get it right with the facilities and that takes time.

"We want it to be the state-of-the-art," Kill explained about the new facilities. "We don't want to do something and do it over again. It will be started and hopefully, part of it will be finished at a year and a half, maybe even quicker."

The Gophers face a very tough challenge by starting off their season with TCU.

"There's no question," Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill on if it's a challenge to play TCU. "We're one of the schools going to be playing No. 1 in the country and No. 2. So we'll find out who we are early, and that's not all bad. I think it's really made our off-season more productive, more intensity because we're starting off with a great football team. But we look forward to the challenge. We know their program well. Didn't play very well a year ago and our kids know that. And so I think that's a great game for us to open up and see where we're at."

Minnesota has one of the tougher non-conference schedules in the Big Ten this year and Kill thinks it'll make the Gophers a better football team.

"I think with scheduling as a coach, that I've always taken upon that that it is what it is and you line up against whoever they put you in front of and you do your job and do the best you can"

"Last year we had one of the tougher schedules in the Big Ten and it made us a better football team. And if you beat those people, it's going to put you in a pretty good position. Certainly as our schedule this year, we're stepping it up a notch. And if we do well through that schedule, then good things are going to happen because I think people are going to go, hey, these guys play as tough a schedule as anybody."

Kill things the depth of this year's Gopher secondary sets them apart from ones he's coaches previously.

" I think our guys back there we have some depth. Of course, when you play spread offenses, you've got to have five or six of them. They all have experience. They're all very intelligent, very athletic. I feel like we have as good a secondary as anybody and they're just great kids, a lot of camaraderie. But the biggest thing is they can compete."

Minnesota tries to model their secondary after another Big Ten team.

"You look at what Michigan State's secondary has been over the last few seasons with Coach Dantonio and you look at that as a team, coach coming in, that's the type of secondary you want," Jerry Kill said about Michigan State. "If you can line up with corners and they can play man-to-man defense, then you can do about anything you want on defense. So that's a pretty good model when we came in and looked at, and we feel like we've done a good job in that area."

As recruiting as been improving for the Gophers year after year, Kill thinks the Gophers are very close to getting over the hump.

"Last year we were one game away from playing. And, really, Wisconsin has been the one that's kept us out of there. I feel like we had a lot of success last year. We got three trophies. But we haven't had the Axe in a long time. I think that's been the issue. Over the last two years we could've beat Wisconsin. We're where we need to be. How do you get over the hump? Got to recruit better players. Coaches don't win games. Players do. And I think our recruiting has gotten better, and that's how we're going to have to get over the hump. Our new facility is certainly going to help us and the commitment to that. So we're excited about the progress where we're at. And certainly when I got the job when we started, there's a lot of difference than what it was four years ago."

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