MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota - Minnesota Coach Jerry Kill admired Iowa counterpart Kirk Ferentz from afar at his previous coaching stops.
"I think the highest compliment I can give, I think, I was at Southern Illinois and I sent our staff there to see how they practice," Kill said. "Because if you put their film on, technically, they're as good as anybody in college football. Hand placement, moving their feet, not making mental errors, they don't beat themselves and they play physical, downhill football. So that's really what we'd like to be, but they certainly put it on us last year physically. So hopefully we've done our summer work and gotten stronger and better. We'll find out."
Ferentz has his own admiration of a Kill-coached team when he was scouting Iowa State in 2010. Kill then coached at Northern Illinois, who opened that year with a 27-10 loss at Jack Trice Stadium.
"I remember watching that film and seeing a very impressive Northern Illinois team and then X amount of years later, whatever it's been, four or five, it looks like the same thing," Ferentz said. "Different uniforms, obviously, but they look like a good football team."
Iowa and Minnesota rely heavily on the running game, physical play in the trenches and avoiding penalties. Among Big Ten schools, Minnesota ranks third in rushing, while Iowa is sixth. Iowa, however, leads the league in time of possession, while Minnesota leads the nation in red-zone rushing touchdowns with 14.
"I know that this is the way the game of football, I think, two programs have two similar philosophies on what they're trying to do," Kill said. "We may do it a little bit differently but it certainly will be an old-fashioned football game, and I like that. That's good for football."
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