MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Gophers football coach Jerry Kill hasn’t missed a beat in his desire for his football team to just get better on a daily basis.

Gopher fans got a big boost by watching his team get a lot better in the second half when they shutout USC on Saturday despite ultimately losing the game 19-17.

Junior quarterback Marqueis Gray got his first start after playing wide receiver and waiting in the wings with Adam Weber as the long time starter. He was admittedly rough around the edges, especially early on, but got better as the game wore on. He had to leave the game in the fourth quarter because of severe leg cramps.

That left true freshman Max Shortell to get a quick baptism, which could have been an overwhelming experience. But Shortell took command in the huddle and at 6-6, and he not only had a great pocket presence, but overall threw the ball very well.

At his weekly news conference on Tuesday, Kill said Gray will start against New Mexico State at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday and really wasn’t surprised that Shortell may have been sharper.

“We’re not going to change anything we’ve done. I mean it’s a situation where, you know, Marqueis went out and Max came in and did well,” Kill said. “And I think that’s a great thing for us because we’d like to be aggressive with our quarterback and what we do, and now we know that we’ve got two kids that are capable of playing so that’s a good situation to be in.”


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