It is “the” test of the non-conference season for the Gophers football team. They’re headed to Fort Worth to face Texas Christian University. They’re two touchdown underdogs who are physically beaten up.
There’s a lot of excitement around many college football teams as the season starts this week. Everybody has potential, and with a new four-team playoff system established, there will be a true and undeniable national champion at the end of the year. The University of Minnesota is one of several teams to open its regular season Thursday night.
The Gophers open their fall camp on Friday, and there’s plenty of excitement around the program as it continues to make strides in Kill’s fourth season. Here are the top six things to watch this season.
There are smiles on the faces of Gopher football players – that’s what happens when you win. The U of M is on a three-game Big Ten win streak, something the program hasn’t done for years.
Linebacker Aaron Hill recovered a fumble by Indiana’s Tevin Coleman with 25 seconds remaining and surging Minnesota held on to beat Indiana 42-39 on Saturday.
The Gopher football team takes on Northwestern on Saturday searching for Minnesota’s first Big Ten win. It will most likely be defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys’ first time as acting head coach in Jerry Kill’s absence, as the head coach is in the midst of an indefinite leave to manage his epilepsy.
Three seizures during three games in two years have Gopher fans like Margaret Swanson wondering if coach Jerry Kill’s struggles with epilepsy are too much for the job. “I feel so bad because it seems to be happening a lot,” Swanson said. “I wonder what happens in the locker room when he doesn’t come in…I’m sure it takes a toll on them a little bit.” Dr. Thaddeus Walczak is an epileptologist at the University of Minnesota. He says that although high-stress situations – like football games – could make seizures more likely to occur in someone with epilepsy, that’s not a reason to change careers.