The Minnesota Gophers had quite the season, defying all odds put against them. Many wrote the Gophers off as contenders in the Big 10, at best one or two conference wins. The team had different ideas, putting together their best season under head coach Jerry Kill with an 8-4 record.
The Gophers made some great strides this season, but there are three main reasons why we can remember the 2013 regular season as a benchmark for the Gophers team heading into the future.
1. Gophers knock off Nebraska:
Talk about a signature win for a football program that needed it the most. Beating the Huskers had to be the best moment of the season for a couple of reasons. First, it proved that the Gophers could compete against the best in the Big 10, something they haven’t been able to do for about a decade. Second, it brought energy back to a fan base that was losing interest in the program completely. It brought joy to my face seeing all of the fans spark a positive vibe to a Gophers team that in past years has been criticized.
2. .500 conference record:
Typically, this is nothing any team should brag about, but the Gophers haven’t been relevant for quite some time in the Big 10. To be competitive and post a 4-4 mark in one of the nation’s best conferences is good, especially when a team like Minnesota was projected to be in the cellar of the conference.
3. Jerry Kill:
What more is their to say about the man. He’s devoted to this team 100 %, and despite his health concerns was able to lead the team to an 8-4 record and a solid bowl game. Kill has brought life back into a program that was in complete rebuild mode just a few years back.
Next year, the Gophers should be even better. I think the program is finally back on track. It would be great to see a bowl win to end this unexpectedly outstanding season on a high mark.