More speed, better play at quarterback, a strong defense and a more athletic team than last year has Gophers head coach Jerry Kill thinking big in 2015.
Kill spent 15 minutes with the media during his Big Ten Media Days press conference Friday morning in Chicago. His message was clear: The Gophers have high expectations.
Those expectations could go through the roof if the Gophers can upset No. 2-ranked TCU in the Sept. 3 season opener at TCF Bank Stadium. Two months after playing the Horned Frogs the Gophers will get a date in Columbus, Ohio, against the defending national champion and No. 1-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.
"It is what it is. You line up against whoever they put you in front of," Kill said when asked about a daunting list of powerful opponents. "Last year we had one of the tougher schedules in the Big Ten and it made us a better football team. If you beat those people it's going to put you in a pretty good position ... certainly our schedule this year, we're stepping it up a notch."
Ohio State and TCU appear to be the cream of the crop, but Minnesota's conference schedule will be tough with road games against Northwestern, Purdue and Iowa, along with home games against Nebraska, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin.
A win over the Buckeyes or Horned Frogs would be the biggest win for the Gophers since they knocked off No. 2-ranked Penn State in Happy Valley in 1999, or so says an article from The Daily Gopher.
For first-year Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, who left the San Francisco 49ers after the 2014 season, think playing against a Kill-coached team will be a challenge.
“I've been seizure-free now for over a year and a half. I feel great," Kill said when asked about his health, according to NBC Sports.
In 2013, Kill was forced to miss Minnesota's road game against Michigan after he had a seizure earlier that day. It was the first game he'd missed in more than 30 years of coaching. Read more about his drive to succeed right here.