Nov. 19, 2011
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Northwestern vs. Minnesota
Nov. 19, 2011
Minnesota Head Coach Jerry Kill
General comments on today's game...
"I congratulate Coach Fitzgerald and Northwestern on the victory, they've got a good
football team and they played hard. They made more plays than we did at the end of the day
and held field position and executed. So I congratulate him, he's done a great job here, he's a
good man who represents college football very well."
On defensive adjustments after the first quarter...
"Offensively, we started to do some things, I think it was a confidence level. The pace of the
game was much different as the game went on. You can prepare all you want for no huddle,
quick pace offense, but until you get into the game it's a different deal. I think they settled
down as the game went on. We had a couple issues on defense early in the game and it
hurt us. We played hard, and in my opinion, we played well enough to win the game. We
just didn't make enough plays offensively. We moved the ball but didn't make a few critical
plays, and we got beat in the kicking game."
On getting beat in the kicking game...
"Follow my career for a long time and we've always been good in the kicking game. It's
frustrating. We got beat in the kicking game and didn't perform as well. The kicking game
is the difference. Their punter hit a 70 some-odd yard punt and we hit a 15 or 10-yard
punt, that's a 60-yard play. One of the biggest plays in football that people don't realize is
the punt. It's one of the biggest offensive plays in football and so when you lose that much
yardage, it's a pretty critical situation. And again, that's my fault. We work with the kicking
game all the time and it's our responsibility to get better. I take full responsibility. It's not
the kids' fault, it's my fault, we've got to do a better job of coaching."
On the two turnovers in the second half...
"I'm sure it's tough but you have to be relentless. Life's tough and you've just got to keep
battling back and as I told Duane Bennett and I told everybody in the locker room, that kid
showed a tremendous amount of courage. He fumbled the ball on the 25-yard line, he's
frustrated as heck, and then he came back and ran like a man possessed. To be honest with
you, we need more kids that learn to fight back through adversity. Sometimes we have
some youngsters make a mistake and they can't get over it then they make another one and
another one and then that's how you get into having some bad plays out there, and I think
Duane taught us all something today. He messed up, he goes back in and plays as hard as
he can play and that's what growing up is all about, that's what life is going to be all about.
He's going to learn that as a life lesson because when he gets to be your age and sitting in
that chair, there's a lot of other problems besides just a football game in here and hopefully
he'll battle back and handle adversity like he did today because he handled it well. He didn't
sit over there and pout or anything of that nature. He took the challenge and made the best
of it. Nobody feels worse than him about that and I feel bad for the kid because he's a good kid."
DB Kim Royston
On the game today...
"They run a fast, up-beat type of offense and there is no way of doing that in practice.
Unfortunately it took us a drive or two to get used to that pace, but once we did that I think
that we settled down pretty well. You know it is a team game. We have to be better in the
kicking game. We have to do better on offense. We have to do better on defense. If one of
those groups do not do well it will have an effect on the whole game. I think we have come a
long way since game one and I think that this program is heading in the right direction. You
know I have one more game here and I am going to play that last game like it is the Super
Bowl and leave this program on a positive note. Hopefully that positivity carries over into
On the defensive performance...
"We can obviously do better on defense. I think Northwestern averages 35 points a game, 400 something yards a game. So we obviously can do better on defense. But I think holding them under their average says something."
RB Duane Bennett
On reaching 2,000 career rushing yards...
"To have that under my belt is a real accomplishment. It is a milestone that I am happy I have accomplished, but at the same time I would have taken a win any day. The record in general I give that all to my front line, my
receiver, my quarterback, my coach because without them I would not be in the position to make plays and it never would have happened."
On the game and leaving points on the field...
"Of course it was frustrating. I felt like on the offensive side I feel like we could have finished a little better. That is just something that I think we have to go back and figure out how we can get better and finish. Because we went out there and put ourselves in a great position to move the ball up and down the field. First drive we came out and showed what we could do, but we stalled after that. We kept getting down there but we could not finish. And that is something that we have to look in the mirror and figure out what we can do to finish those drives."