Jerry Kill

Minnesota coach Jerry Kill reacts to a double penalty during the second quarter against Texas Tech in the Meineke Car Care Bowl NCAA college football game, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Dave Einsel)

Perhaps you read Brian Rosenthal’s weekly opponent breakdown.

If not, have at it (click the link).

Tim Beck has studied Minnesota’s defense forward and backward by now.

It’s clear he expects another all-day challenge from the Gophers (7-3, 4-2 Big Ten), who defeated the Huskers 34-23 last season in Minneapolis.

“They’re very active up front, good secondary -- they play the ball well,” he said. “They play a lot of (man-to-man). They play their system. They’ve recruited to it. They coach good technique. They’re rarely out of position. They’re a good tackling team in space. It’s a good defense.”

The Gophers have allowed 4.4 yards per rush -- that’s not great. They’ve allowed only 5.7 yards per pass -- that is great (it ranks seventh nationally).

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They’ve forced 25 turnovers, which gets your attention, especially considering they're set to face a Husker outfit that may be struggling a bit with confidence on offense.

Beck was asked to assess his unit’s confidence level in the wake of the Wisconsin loss and recent struggles.

“That game’s over – you move on. It’s one game,” he said. “Any player who’s ever competed, and put himself out on the line, goes through this. You can’t judge yourself because of a game or two games or three games and say, ‘This defines me as a coach, as a player, as a team.’ It was a game. That’s what it was. We have two games left for sure. And we go from there.

“If you ask me if we’re a good offense, I’m going to say we are a good offense. I believe we’re a good offense. Did we play a good offensive game last week? Maybe for three drives. Then we didn’t. That’s reality. But I’m not going to second-guess our kids, what we’re doing, our coaches, by any means. It’s been proven over a long period of time.

“You just keep plugging away. You keep working.”


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