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University of Minnesota
August 10, 2011
Jerry Kill has had success at every level as a coach, most recently at Northern Illinois. He's had 14 winning seasons (out of 17) as a collegiate head coach with a winning percentage of .635.
Photo: courtesy University Athletics
By Rick Moore
The cool front that moved into Minnesota on Monday signified more than just a respite from this summer’s unyielding heat. It announced that autumn is closer than many of us care to admit. Oh, and that football season is right there with it.
On another front, a new era in Gopher football arrived that same day, August 8, when new head coach Jerry Kill put 100-plus players through their first fall practice of 2011.
Kill had recently announced that the first 10 practices and scrimmages during the first two weeks would be made open to the public, so the debut workout featured dozens of curious onlookers, many who had never before seen a Gopher football practice.
It was fast paced and festive, with five-minute periods of drills in all corners of the outdoor practice complex punctuated by hip-hop and head-banging music. The practice had alumni and fans, old and new, smiling at the prospects for this year’s Gophers, who are coming off of a 3-9 campaign in 2010.
Four weeks to prepare
Kill and the Gophers have four weeks to prepare for their first game at Southern Cal. Three non-conference home games follow, versus New Mexico State, Miami (Ohio), and North Dakota State, before Big Ten action opens on the road against Michigan on October 1.
A taste of victory
Despite a challenging season that saw a nine-game losing streak, the Gophers closed 2010 on a high note, defeating Illinois on the road 38-34 and knocking off Iowa 27-24 at TCF Bank Stadium to recapture Floyd of Rosedale.
Three weeks later, Minnesota begins a stretch of three home games in four weeks, arguably the most enticing ever. New Big Ten Legends Division member Nebraska visits TCF Bank Stadium on October 22, followed by Iowa on October 29 and Wisconsin on November 12. For the complete Gopher schedule, visit GopherSports.
Here is the schedule for practices and scrimmages that will be open to the public:
August 8 — 3:55 p.m.
August 9 — 3:55 p.m.
August 10 — 3:55 p.m.
August 11 — 3:55 p.m.
August 12 — 3:55 p.m.
August 13 — 8:50 a.m., 4:50 p.m.
August 15— 8:50 a.m., 4:50 p.m.
August 16 — 9:50 a.m. (scrimmage, TCF Bank Stadium)
August 20 — 9:40 a.m. (scrimmage, TCF Bank Stadium)
Watch a video of the players’ orientation, their visit with President Eric Kaler, and their enthusiastic rendition of the Rouser: A rousing orientation