Kill, Gophers Preview Syracuse Game

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Jerry Kill and the Gophers met the media today to preview this weekend's game against Syracuse. You can read a transcript of Kill's entire press conference here. If you want the cliff notes version, then check out the video above or read the highlights below. Also be sure to check out some audio clips from Mike Rallis, Drew Goodger and Derrick Engel.

About Syracuse...

"They're explosive.  They're very explosive.  They've got a receiving corps, athletic skill set.  They're different than a lot of people we'll play even the rest of the year.  They've got very good skill sets and are very gifted at wide receiver and quarterback, and they can go vertical with the football."

About playing a night game...

"As far as the kids and the fans and those kind of things, I think a lot of people like going to a Saturday night game.

Again, from a standpoint, when you have 12 opportunities, the time you play them, when you play them, you don't worry about, you just play good when you play them."

About MarQueis Gray...

"I talked to him yesterday, and I said your goal is to try to be a backup on Saturday and be prepared to play.

Now, that's a pretty drastic goal, but you've got to have something to shoot for, so we'll see how it works out.

He was very sore yesterday, and I think Ed is going to try to move him around a little bit today.  I don't know.  So I'll be very honest, I'll get to see Ed at practice and certainly ask him, and if he's moving around I'll let you know."

About Max Shortell...

"I can't control injuries or what happens tomorrow or the next day.  I can control what we have today.  If we're playing tomorrow, Max Shortell is our guy that we're playing, and Philip has to be the backup, and Mitch Leidner has got to be ready to play. 

"I think Max has been through some of those trials and errors as a freshman last year, and his preparation, he came in with the mindset, hey, I'm going to try to be a starter, and he's kept that mindset.

We have kind of a motto here, the next man up.  We talked about depth, the way we practice is a little bit different than most people, and right now it's paying off because the next man up has done a pretty good job.  Max stepped in, did a pretty good job, and now we expect him to go in and play well and be ready to go against Syracuse.

I think you always play to somebody's strengths and weakness.  I think everybody quarterback has his strengths and weaknesses, even the best ones do, and we'll play to his strengths a little bit, but we don't have to start something all over again.

I've been blessed with coaching good quarterbacks.  That's why I have the opportunity to be in the room today and coach.  I mean, everywhere I've been, we've had good quarterbacks, and they've all made pretty good decisions or I wouldn't be in the room."

About A.J. Barker...

"He's got good speed, he's a good athlete, he's been able to catch the ball, but again, I've never really seen him full speed because of all the hamstring trouble.  Once he's gotten healthy, gained some confidence, caught some balls, and he's doing a great job for us, and we need people to step up in that area, and so far that area has played pretty good."

About having a quarterback plan...

"Yeah, we'll have a plan.  That's probably why I'm dressed up like this and haven't shaved yet, but we'll have a plan."

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