By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - For the second straight season Jerry Kill and the Minnesota Golden Gophers football team head into week three with a 2-0 record. Last Saturday's 44-21 win against New Mexico State came in a similar unorthodox fashion as week one against UNLV but at the end of the day, a win is a win and the Gophers have two.
The injuries are starting to pile up and the wear and tear of a tough season is taking it's toll on this young Gophers squad. Jerry Kill met the local media Tuesday afternoon for his weekly press conference, below are some notes straight from the coach's mouth.
Boddy-Calhoun to miss the rest of season...
The injury looked grim Saturday afternoon and the test results earlier this week weren't much better. Kill announced today that Briean Boddy-Calhoun will miss the rest of the year with a torn ACL/MCL and partially torn PCL.
"Briean is a critical injury because he's probably playing at the highest level of any of these defensive backs," Kill said. "He's a great kid and it's hard to see something like that happen."
Erik Murray and Derek Wells are expected to fill in during Boddy-Calhoun's absence.
Quarterback option taking it's toll on Gophers...
While the read option continues to fill in as the soup du jour in the NFL, it's strong hold on college football remains ever present. Tuesday, Kill discussed the toll that the read-option offense has been taking on his team including a stinger delivered to starting quarterback Philip Nelson last Saturday
We're an option team, [physicality] is part of it," Kill said. "You've got to protect yourself and you've got to be smart. It's no different with Kaepernick and the 49ers or anybody else who's doing read option football...When you're the backup quarterback [in a read option offense], you better be prepared."
Kirkwood's status remains up in the air against Western Illinois...
Starting running back Donnell Kirkwood missed out on the Gophers week two game with an ankle injury and his status for week three remains up in the air.
"I'll know more today at practice," Kill explained. "The trainers have said that Donnell has done well with his rehab. It's something that you figured he would. Donnell's a good kid and a positive kid...We'll be smart with how we're going to handle that and we're in a position to be smart because those two [Rodrick Williams & Phillip Nelson] played well."
Against New Mexico State, the Gophers ran for 342 yards without Kirkwood. Rodrick Williams tacked on 148 while quarterback Philip Nelson added 134 yards.
Defense still rounding into form...
While much of the focus remains on the Gophers offense, when the Big Ten schedule kicks off early next month the attention will have to shift towards a defense that has yet to prove itself against two mediocre offenses. Defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys had a lot to say to his struggling defense last week.
"He was very verbal at halftime," Kill shared. "I know coach Claeys doesn't get upset very often, or most people don't see him upset very often. But at halftime, he was very upset with the defense from what happened on the last drive with mental mistakes."
Confidence on special teams is riding high...
With two weeks in the bucket the Gophers special team's unit has been behind two returns for touchdowns. Marcus Jones was the specialist carrying the ball on both (a 98 yard kick return against UNLV and a 65 yard punt return vs New Mexico State). That said, the special teams unit is riding pretty high off of two solid performances.
"I hope they feel pretty good," Kill exclaimed. "We've covered the ball well, we've punted the ball well, we've kicked field goals and extra points well. We had that big return before the half with Marcus. I think their attitude is pretty good."
Aj Mansour covers Minnesota Sports for KFAN.com. Feel free to leave comments and questions regarding this post in the space provided below. For Vikings updates and breaking Vikings news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjKFAN