Can Minnesota Golden Gophers Go in for the Kill in 2014?

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Jerry Kill has been improving the Minnesota Golden Gophers football program each year since he took over in 2011.

Now, after two straight bowl appearances and an 8-5 season, fans in Minneapolis could be clamoring for more. This year, going in for the kill could be winning the Big Ten West, which may be unlikely, but would be an incredible jump.

Is that goal too high? Is even matching the success of last year too high? With the amount of talent gone, possibly.

Kill’s got lots of questions that need answering if he is going to continue the improvement that’s been taking place in Minnesota. There

Dec 27, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach Jerry Kill watches from the sideline during the third quarter of the Texas Bowl against the Syracuse Orange at Reliant Stadium . Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

is just enough talent gone at key positions that his team could take a step back this year, but if the trajectory of the program is three steps forward, one step back, that’s not bad long term.

Also, despite losing some key players, there is lots, and I mean lots of talent returning, all over the field. A team that relied heavily on the running game, defense, and special teams still has all of those ingredients to be successful this year, and Kill has proven his ability to win with what he has.

As he continues to build his program, there is a lot to be excited about. But he’ll have to replace a few playmakers.

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