Aug. 31, 2012
Minnesota Head Coach Jerry Kill:
Opening Statement: “Certainly, any time that you get the opportunity to win a game, you feel good about it. No matter how it gets done. The biggest thing is that I’m very, very happy that we have got a great strength staff and conditioning staff because coming out and playing as long as we played and the way we fought, I think had a lot to do with the training in the offseason and certainly, throughout camp. Like I told our players, you better shake the hands of that strength and conditioning staff.”
Kill on the offense:
“Working better” in the overtime sessions: “Until I watch film, I can’t evaluate. It was certainly a struggle. We’re going to get better. I can promise you that. I’m happy with the win, but I know we’ve got to get better with the executing. There were a lot of young kids that played, but there’s no excuse for that. I think we’re better than that and I think we will improve. No question about that. The bottom line is that we found a way to win. Sometimes you have to do that certainly on the road and in the first game. I’ve been at other schools where we’ve struggled first game, first couple of games and then we got buried good and sometimes you got to go through it. Fortunately, we won and it will create a better atmosphere of learning than not winning.”
On passes to Tight End #81 John Rabe in overtime:
“Believe me, we weren’t saving those. We were just trying to win. We missed a couple shots earlier to John down the pike when we had him open. You know it’s the first game. We don’t get those preseason games, so we didn’t execute very well on the offensive side of the ball. You know, our defense kept us in it. I thought we did a better job with field positioni n the second half. Like I say, football is a lot like life. Jordan Wettstein (kicker #39) misses a field goal, comes back, doesn’t feel sorry for himself. That’s not easy to do what he just did. Comes out and sticks it between the goal posts. Like I told the kids, that’s fighting back. Didn’t go your way, fought back and good things happen to you. I complement UNLV. I’ve known Coach Hauck a long time. He’s down the right path. His football team is better than it was a year ago, and they played their guts out. So, we’re just happy to get out of here and get a win.”
Quarterback #5 MarQueis Gray
On his play:
“I didn’t come out like I wanted to; the first half of this game. Everyone else played good, but I just got to get better, week in and week out, and that’s what I plan on doing. Fortunately, we came out with the win, so that’s positive.”
On the team’s flow:
“Just too anxious. We couldn’t get that rhythm. Every time we had a rhythm going we had a penalty or I was getting too anxious with the ball. That’s something that I’m going to have to pick up week in and week out starting this week with New Hampshire preparation. Like I said, we got the win, and we’re happy about that.”
On finding Tight End #81 John Rabe in overtime:
“I told him I owed him. So, I had to get it back to him. Those two big touchdowns that we needed and we got the ‘W’.”
On scoring a touchdown after UNLV’s in the first overtime session:
“It felt great to just get in the red zone and get that touchdown. We’ve been in there a few times today. Unfortunately, we didn’t put touchdowns on the board. We put field goals. To get that touchdown was just a sigh of relief. We just kept going in there, the guys believing in each other, the defense played a great game and we came out with the win.”
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Minnesota opens Big Ten play at Penn State on Saturday, Oct. 1. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network and can be heard on KFAN.
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