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.
Minnesota coach Jerry Kill is working his way back into the job after taking a leave of absence to better manage his epilepsy. He’s not ready to return to the sideline. But he said confidently that he’ll soon be seizure-free.
A big win over Nebraska!
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.
Gopher athletic director Norwood Teague said Thursday that head football coach Jerry Kill will be stepping away indefinitely from his on-the-field duties to focus on treating and better managing his epilepsy.
Minnesota coach Jerry Kill is resting at home this week following a seizure that kept him from traveling to the game at Michigan. Gophers defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys filled in for Kill on the Big Ten coaches’ call with reporters on Tuesday.
Minnesota coach Jerry Kill missed an entire game for the first time because of his epilepsy, staying at home Saturday after suffering another seizure. The Golden Gophers lost 42-13 to No. 19 Michigan. Minnesota officials said Kill was not feeling well on Friday, but planned to travel to Ann Arbor on Saturday to coach in the game. But he suffered a seizure on Saturday morning and was resting at home in Minnesota while the Gophers played.
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.
Now it’s the Big 10 season, which means the 1-3 Gophers can achieve a lot for their program if they can at least be competitive on Saturday against the Wolverines. It’s the battle for the Little Brown Jug in front of more than 100,000 fans.
This has been a lingering weakness for the Gophers, who face New Mexico State this Saturday in their home opener. Sacks weren’t kept as official statistic until the 1980s, but since then only four players have finished with more than eight sacks in one season.