I received a few questions about the Minnesota Golden Gopher football team through Twitter, Facebook and email. I will answer those questions in this article.
If you have a question about the Golden Gophers, submit it to my Twitter handle (@JGuntherExaminr), to my Facebook profile or email it to me through the contact link in my profile.
We are constantly hearing about Jerry Kill's seizure history and how the coaching staff has a protocol in place. Honestly, can the Gophers really becoming a relevant program with Kill missing time, both practices and games?
As much any human being would want Kill to succeed in building a perennial Big Ten contender, I don't think so. Is it possible? Yes. Is it likely? No.
The coaching staff has continually said that nothing changes when Kill is away. As much as they want to believe that Tracy Claeys makes the same decisions and has the same voice, he doesn't. When there is a different voice, there is a little confusion.
Also, the players can say they are unaffected by having him gone. The truth is that they are 18 to 23-years-old. They know when he is gone and there is a bit of confusion when a different voice is giving instruction.
The subtle differences of not having Kill on the sidelines for practices or games will make it difficult for the team succeed long-term.
Mitch Leidner played well against Michigan and Phil Nelson didn't against Iowa. Should Leidner remain the starter and is he the answer at quarterback?
He played well for awhile before the game got away from the whole team. Nelson struggled against Iowa, but so did everybody else. It really doesn't matter who the starter is right now. The coaches need to use both guys until one completely separates himself from the other quarterback.
The talk around campus was how the team has improved. They looked good in non-conference games and have looked awful in their first two conference games. Was the non-conference schedule that bad or is it something else?
It is a little of both. The four teams they played in non-conference are not up to the level of the Gophers, but they also do not put themselves in position to win games that they shouldn't.
Whether it is a mental thing or a coaching thing, the Gophers cannot beat good teams.
The coaches, everyone from the head coach to the position coaches, need to put the players in situations they can succeed. This team does not have the talent to line up and win all the one-on-one battles.
Offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover does not have the talent to say, "we're going here, stop us." That old school style does not work when the player on the other team is flat out better.
The Gophers need to be more creative, innovative and inventive. They need to be magicians of sorts. Get the defense looking one way while going the other.