Kill Previews Saturday's Game Against Michigan State

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Coach Kill met with the media today to preview this weekend's game against Michigan State. You can read a few of the highlights from his press conference below.

About playing Michigan State...
We gotta make sure that our guys are feeling good, and we're going to have to be ready for a physical football game. That's who they are. They're physical on defense. They're physical on offense. A lot of people say -- this is an important game because it gets them bowl eligible. But they haven't slipped any. They've just been in a heck of a lot of close games and played a lot of good people. They're still Michigan State.

About Michigan State's defense...
You just gotta do a good job up front. You gotta get a body on a body and you gotta make good reads at quarterback and you gotta be able to make some plays. Look back on the game on Saturday, we had chances to make plays. We had guys open. We had shots. We just didn't make plays, and I think against Michigan State is the same scenario.

There's no room for error. I said that all year, and through some of the injuries we've had there's really no room for error. We've gotta fight our tail end off. But our kids have done that. They have done that. They really have. I have no complaints. I think they've played hard all year. I think we're getting everything we can get out of them.

About his team this week...

As a head coach I always take responsibilities for wins and losses, and I think our team was fatigued going into Lincoln a little bit through the long stretch we've had. So we've gotta make sure they've got their legs and their feet and psychologically, so we'll look at practice and make it a little bit shorter, more crisp, be careful on the physicality and the contact of what we do and make sure they feel good on Saturday.

About Roland Johnson...
Roland has got a leg injury and he's out. He's got an ACL injury. Going to get an MRI and he got hurt in the walk through. So that tells you how tough a situation you have. You get hurt in walk through, tear a knee up in walk through it's not a good day, not a good week. 

About Brendan Beal and his potential knee injury...
I talked with him after the game. I sat down and we sat there, and I put my arm around him, and we talked when people left the locker room, we just sat in there and visited. And I shared, I said Jiminy Christmas, I feel bad for you. I said, I wish I could give you my knee, but mine aren't any good either. We just talked and visited and tried to, I don't know, comfort each other or whatever you want to say.  

About John Gagliardi retiring...
He's a funny man. I got a chance, I was at the national convention, I don't know how long ago it was 10 or 11 years ago. And I was fortunate enough to get an honor and he got an honor also. He got up and spoke and they asked him about retirement at that time. He goes, 'I don't know what I'd do if I retired and I don't think I'll ever retire.' He says, 'There's only two things I don't like about the game. I don't get to control injuries and officials.' And everybody started laughing. And that was the end of his speech.

About the team this week amid potential distractions...
All those seniors, they want to concentrate on playing and playing football and concentrate on the guys that are here. And it's a great group of kids. And they've been great to me. And I think that's where we -- again, players leave programs. And things happen.  And I said publicly, I feel bad about it. I really do.
   
But I'm responsible for 115 kids and I gotta put the focus on those kids that are here. I owe it to those kids that want to be here and gone through it. There's a lot of them that have gone through a whole lot, so that's where my focus is going to be.

On why some players stick with football even though they do not play much...
I think people like to be a part of something. And a lot of people don't get to. It's like people get a chance to join fraternities. People get a chance to join the choir. They get a chance to be in drama and so forth. Some kids just want the opportunity to be a part of a football program. I would tell you this, from my standpoint, if I'd had the opportunity to be able to put a uniform on at Minnesota, where I came from, it would have been a big deal. Even if I played one play, or two. It would have been a big opportunity and a big deal to me, because I love the game and love being around the game.  

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