Gophers football news and notes

Nate Gotlieb

Minnesota defeated Northwestern 20-17 on Saturday at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill., with head coach Jerry Kill watching from the coach's box.  Look for a full recap and analysis of the game in tomorrow's Daily.  Here are some notes in the meantime:

-Acting head coach and defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys was on the field Saturday instead of in the pressbox, which is where he usually coaches from. He said he thought he did a good job of staying focused, with the exception of one defensive play early in the fourth quarter.

Claeys said he never knows how the players' attitudes are in the box.  But the players appeared to stay positive Saturday, he said.

“Even when a couple things didn’t go our way, you could see it in their eyes," he said.  "They were ready to battle.”

-Junior running back David Cobb rushed for 103 yards on 20 carries. He became the first Gophers running back to rush for 100 yards in a Big Ten game since Donnell Kirkwood rushed for 152 against Illinois last November.

-Senior kicker Chris Hawthorne made two of three kicks.  He missed a 44 yarder before halftime. 

-The win was Minnesota’s second Big Ten road win in Kill’s tenure.

-Sophomore running back Rodrick Williams Jr. did not play Saturday because of an unspecified violation.

“He had a little bit of a rough week off the field,” Claeys said Sunday.  “As soon as he takes care of those issues, then we’ll make sure we get him back in there.”