After a rough first season under Jerry Kill, the Golden Gophers hope the growing pains are done, or at least not as bitter.
Coach Kill has done this before and says the second year is usually easier and says he is "cautiously optimistic" about 2012. That's in large part to returning quarterback MarQueis Gray.
Minnesota also welcomes 36 new players to the 2012 roster. Those fresh bodies, along with the off season work is what's behind Coach Kill's optimism.
The Gophers posted just a 3-9 record in Kill's first season in the Twin Cities. Kill does return 6 starters on offense and nearly his entire defense is intact. Gray, who started his career as a wide receiver, will start his second season under center is the key to the Gopher offense.