TWTW: Kill inspires, Wolf impresses

Jerry Kill has been through a lot.
Cancer. Epilepsy. The long hard life path of working his way up the coaching ranks from Division II, to Division I-AA, to Northern Illinois to the Big 10. The guy is a year younger than my dad and looks old enough to be his dad.
He was certainly not the first choice of the Minnesota Golden Gophers after they fired Tim Brewster (I wasn’t my wife’s first choice, either, Kill joked at his introductory press conference), and many, myself included, have wondered if he was in over his head as the coach of a Big Ten program. And that was before the epileptic seizures began to characterize his tenure at the U.

The Gophers haven’t taken on a particularly daunting schedule, and they’re not going to be playing for a national championship, or even a conference championship, this season.
But in a year that has seen Kill’s health become a public concern and led others to question whether he belongs in charge of the Gopher program, it’s got to be easy for anyone to root for the Gophers, let alone actual Gopher fans who have been starved for any kind of gridiron success.

With Saturday’s win over Penn State, the Gophers are 8-2. For this program, that’s a big deal. 8 wins is four more than Gophers fans can typically expect and two more than they can hope for. There’s still two games left, and while the Gophs will be underdogs in both, a 9-or-10 win regular season is still on the table.
Kill deserves a ton of credit (as does defensive coordinator, part-time acting coach Tracy Claeys), and he certainly deserved this moment.

* USF got drilled by a very impressive top-ranked MSU-Mankato team on Saturday. The most impressive play was MSU QB Jon Wolf leaping over USF defensive back Solomon St. Pierre. Here’s the video.