Last week here in the Golden Gopher Football Blog, I talked about head coach Jerry Kill's plan to videotape the sidelines during last week's game vs. USC at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. He was asked this week if he, indeed, taped the action on the sideline as well as on the field.
He did. And he didn't like everything he saw.
"We did a little extra running," Kill said during his Tuesday press conference. "I thought there was a group that did a great job, and we had a group that could have done better. And film don't lie. So it's a great thing. Film never lies. You can always try to work it to make it lie, but good players are good players and the ones that don't do what they're supposed to, they always seem to show up. You learn a lot about your team filming that sideline."
So, who and what exactly was being taped while they were on the sideline?
"The whole thing," Kill said. "I want to see how we're operating. You can tell when players come off frustrated. It doesn't mean you get on them, those kind of things, but if you got a kid that's frustrated, sometimes you don't see that as a coach. So then you can talk to him on Sunday or even after the game, say, hey, we understand you're a competitor, but you gotta play with great composure and so forth."
So, even the coaches are subject to being graded on how they handled themselves on the sideline?
"You can also see how coaches react, see how I react," Kill said. "I look at myself, too. I did an okay job for a while and there was a few times I didn't do so good either, didn't hold my composure. So we all need to be evaluated sometimes, held accountable."
Accountability from the team was gained through extra running. But what about Coach Kill? The Star-Tribune's Phil Miller asked him if he doled out some extra conditioning to himself for not always keeping his composure. The head coach never actually said if he ran or not. We're guessing he didn't. But his response was funny and good-natured.
"I need to do some extra running," Kill said. "Are you saying I'm fat, Phil? Or what? We're getting personal now. That's all right."
It's cliché in football that the biggest improvement a team makes is often made between week one and week two. For the Gophers, a huge improvement was made between half one and half two of the season-opener. It would be a great sign if they can continue to build on that improvement in this week's game.
"I think the biggest thing was we saw each other grow and come together as a team and we were able to do some things on offense and defense that showed up in the 2nd half," senior running back Duane Bennett said. "Now it's taking those things and capitalizing on them. (The second half of the USC game) was very encouraging."
Kill said he felt the team improve throughout last week's game. Now, he's looking forward to seeing that improvement continue.
"The positive thing is from the first quarter to the second quarter to the third quarter, the fourth quarter we got better as we played," Kill said. "I said we gotta get better every day, and I think we got better every quarter. We'll approach the next game just like we did this one and hopefully we'll play better and improve from the first game."