Sept. 21, 2013
Minnesota (4-0) 43, San Jose State (1-2) 24
Sept. 21, 2013
Jerry Kill, Minnesota Head Coach
On trying to slow down David Fales and the SJSU passing attack in the second half…
“I spoke to the team and told them that we had to go back to the fundamentals and tighten things up. We couldn’t let them sit back there and pick us apart. But Coach (Tracy) Claeys knows what to do. Our staff, we have all been there together, so nobody panics. Really as a head coach I went into the locker room and I did not talk to the whole group. I went back up and all I really had to say was, Although I think we are pretty good, are we really giving our best? Is this the best we can rush the pass? And if it is not then we need to pick it up. And then fundamentally I think we did some things coverage wise. But let’s give the kid (Fales) credit. I have coached for 30 years and I have never seen a kid throw the back-shoulder throw better than he does. There was no lie that when people came to the game today they knew there were some kids who were going to play in the NFL on the field today and he was definitely one of them.”
On Mitch Leidner’s first collegiate start and running well all game…
“The thing is, we took what they gave us. We tried play action passes but their safeties were playing about 12 to 14 yards deep in the soft corner. So with that it is hard to play a play action, but we hit them a couple times. If you don’t get that extra guy down there in the run then you better be able to run the ball. And then the quarterback is the extra guy that can run it. Running the action game and mixing up the power game it was a good formula, no question about that. I am proud of the kids. Mitch is a tough kid. He will be a little sore tomorrow. It is good that we have the depth that we have. I appreciate the kid’s efforts.”
On how he thinks Minnesota started the game…
“I am proud of the kids for how we started. And I give the fans credit for that. When you play an 11 a.m. game all of that stuff is out of our control. ESPN was here and that is great, that is a part of it but when you play at 11 you have to teach people that 11 is okay. Our administration did a great job of getting people to the game. We all worked together and had a great atmosphere here. I credit the fans for the extra juice today. Today was a college football atmosphere.”
On making sure next week’s game against Iowa is different than last year’s loss…
“There will be a lot of things that come up. But there will be a lot of motivation. That was last year, and this is this year, and we are playing at home. I know our home fans, for 365 days they wait for this opportunity. I would much rather play at home. There is nothing like playing at home and being able to take care of your home turf. Next week will be critical.”
David Cobb, Minnesota Running Back
On how the running backs helped the quarterback…
“The start of the game was a little tough but the offensive line did a great job pushing. The coaches kept telling us to be patient and make the right decisions so that the big plays can happen. And Mitch [Leidner] did a great job today."
On the fast offensive start…
“For this whole week of practice, the message to the team was to get out the gate and go quickly. The offensive staff did a great job of preaching that message. The offense really wanted to make a statement by making a long drive and keeping the defense off the field."
De'Vondre Campbell, Minnesota Linebacker
On preparing for his first start…
"I tried to prepare the same way that I always do. I studied my opponent and the people I will be facing, but I didn't change my routine this week. I came into the game mentally the same way that I always do and I tried to stay as focused as possible."
On halftime adjustments...
"Coach told us to be more aggressive. If we have an opportunity to get someone, get them and don't sit back and wait. That was the biggest adjustment."
Aaron Hill, Minnesota Linebacker
On the running game today…
"It's always a good thing when the offense can stay on the field. Coach says that the best defense is the one that's sitting on the sideline. The offense took care of business today. I think the offense did a good job of keeping us off the field so all we had to do was go out there and get a lot of three-and-outs. Then we can give the ball back to the offense so they can get into a rhythm."
On his interception…
"I think the play was a turning point for us. The field position between the 10- and 15-yard line motivated us. The coaches made a good adjustment at halftime, telling me to cheat to the outside since that was a high percentage passing zone. I was able to go up and make a play and the offense finished the job, so I think it was definitely a momentum shift for us."
Mitch Leidner, Minnesota Quarterback
On how this game compared to the game last week…
"I thought we had a lot of great preparation for this game. We had good practices this week and the guys were excited to get out and play. We got off to a fast start finally and we were able to keep pounding the ball down the field. Eventually we wore them down and took over the game."
On his comfort level throwing the deep ball…
"I feel really comfortable with the deep ball. I don't hesitate at all because we have good receivers out there so I just have to throw it out there and give them a chance to make a play."
On if he changed his mindset from being a throwing quarterback to a running quarterback…
"Not really. I try to play physically and do whatever the coaches need me to do."
Ron Caragher, San Jose State Head Coach
“I was encouraged by the first half. While it was not flawless football, I thought we were playing well enough as a football team to make that surge. I think we had some momentum at halftime. We were making some big plays, and defensively we were doing just enough. In the second half, we backed ourselves up, turned the ball over, and put the defense in bad spots. We are a football team that is growing up. My big thing is that each week we get better, and I am not so sure we did this week. I will finalize that after I watch the film. In non-conference games you want to sharpen things up for the conference games. The second half was not like our football team or our program.”
On how Minnesota played today…
“(Minnesota) did a good job running the football. They are Midwest, Big Ten football. It is about the power run game for 4 yards and eat up the clock. They mixed in the play-action pass and when the other team makes mistakes you win those games. Give credit to them. They are a solid team. I just wish we would have been more competitive in the second half.”
On the lack of tackling…
“(Minnesota) has big strong backs. (Rodrick Williams Jr.) and (David Cobb) had a nice day. They ran hard. The line did a nice job of opening up holes. I need to review the film to see the bigger picture, but we need to do a better job shutting that down. “
On taking risks early in the game and coming up empty…
“We had the 4th-and-1 early in the game, and I have a tendency to go for it and maybe that hurts us in the bigger picture. We did go for it and they stopped us. I have to review the film to see if we hit the right point, but give them credit. We could have gotten a field goal. It is always nice to come off the field with points, but even with that I thought we turned the momentum as we got closer to halftime.”
Chandler Jones, San Jose State Wide Receiver
On what the offense did well….
“We were able to see a few different matchups and exploit that. We came in trying to see what (Minnesota) wanted to do and game plan off of that. We were able to put in a few twists and wrinkles and get open.”
On playing without wide receiver Noel Grigsby…
“Yeah, it was my first time playing without him on the field. We had some young guys that needed to step up. It was a big loss, but we have been through a lot of adversity, especially the 22 seniors on this team. We just need guys to step in and play big roles.”
On how frustrating it is to lose a good offensive game…
“That is tough. There are a lot of things we need to improve. For instance, we had a couple of times where we had to punt and that is frustrating. There are things we need to fix and do better next time out.”
Register Now For Feb. 1 Signing Day Social
Minnesota will host its 2017 Signing Day Social – the first under head coach P.J. Fleck – on Feb. 1 in the DQ Club Room at TCF Bank Stadium.
Murray Named All-Pro By Pro Football Focus
Eric Murray was recently named to the Pro Football Focus All-Pro team. Murray was the lone "Special Teamer" recognized by Pro Football Focus.
Video: Coach Fleck's First Days
Gopher Digital Productions takes you behind the scenes with new Gopher head coach P.J. Fleck on his first few days on the job.