There was a lot of head-scratching in Minnesota when former Gophers coach Jerry Kill took over moribund the New Mexico State football program before last season.
The Aggies were conference nomads and had a 8-39 record over the previous four years.
After health issues ended his Minnesota tenure in 2015, it looked like the ol’ ball coach just couldn’t give it up. He came back to Minnesota in September 2022 and left with a 38-0 loss to the Gophers. Two weeks later, Wisconsin beat his team 66-7.
But Kill stuck with it, reached bowl eligibility and beat Bowling Green to win the Quick Lane Bowl last December. The program had been to three bowls since 1959.
Then on Saturday, Kill and New Mexico State improved to 9-3 with a stunning 31-10 victory at Auburn (6-5). The Aggies were 25-point underdogs and came out with the program’s first win against a Southeastern Conference team.
Kill told reporters what he said to his players whe...