Archive for Saturday, November 6, 2010

Onside kick turning point in KU’s 52-45 comeback over Colorado

Kansas safety Olaitan Oguntodu signals Jayhawks' ball as the Colorado special teams unit huddles over the pile following an onside kick by KU during the fourth quarter, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010 at Kivisto Field.

Kansas safety Olaitan Oguntodu signals Jayhawks' ball as the Colorado special teams unit huddles over the pile following an onside kick by KU during the fourth quarter, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010 at Kivisto Field.

November 6, 2010


KU-CU video clips

Video clips from the Jayhawks' 52-45 win over Colorado. Enlarge video

Chris Harris grinned sheepishly before sharing his secret following Kansas’ 52-45 victory over Colorado on Saturday.

So that surprise onside kick, the one KU executed so well with 11:05 left in the fourth quarter ...

“We’ve never practiced that at all,” the KU senior said. “Never.”

Down 45-24, Harris said many of the players were trying to convince KU coach Turner Gill to try for the onside kick.

After walking away for a second to think, Gill came back to the special teams huddle.

“Let’s do it,” he said.

There was one issue. Harris said KU had never attempted a surprise onside kick in practice.

“We pretty much just drew it up in the sand,” Harris said.

KU’s players still had seen the play executed before.

Two weeks ago, when preparing for Iowa State, KU special teams coordinator Aaron Stamn played video of Iowa State’s surprise onside kick against Texas Tech.

Stamn wanted to prepare his players in case the Cyclones tried to run the same play again; instead, Harris said it started a buzz around the room, as KU’s players talked about how they should run that play sometime themselves.

In the huddle Saturday, Stamn told everyone on the right side of KU’s formation to block except for one player: receiver Bradley McDougald. His job would be to recover the kick.

KU kicker Jacob Branstetter’s onside kick was nearly perfect, taking a high hop at 11 yards before McDougald recovered it.

“That definitely got us energized,” Harris said. “The momentum shifted right there.”

KU followed with a four-play, 59-yard touchdown drive to close the gap to 45-31. It was the second of five touchdowns for KU in the fourth quarter.

Gill said afterwards that the surprise onside kick was the turning point.

“This was really the chance for us to do it ... and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got to go for it, and go for the win. This is our opportunity to make something happen,’” Gill said. “We had a little momentum, and I thought once we got that, then I thought we had a great chance to be successful.”

Added Colorado coach Dan Hawkins: “We kind of thought that they might attempt (the onside kick). We were ready for it, and they did a good job of executing it.”

Harris, who was on the left side of KU’s kickoff return team, said the onside kick was a gamble that KU had to take.

“That’s something,” he said, “we might have to keep in our back pocket.”


fan4kufootball 7 years, 4 months ago

Yipee! What a great comeback today guys. Loved seeing the passion in the playing today!

riverdrifter 7 years, 4 months ago

Uhm, I wasn't there. I had to work. However, if was I was there, I would've left. This I freely admit.

Congrats to HCTG & staff. NOBODY on your team quit.

chetrico79 7 years, 4 months ago

This is to all those babbling idiots who've heaped endless amount of criticism on Coach Gill, his staff and his players. These coaches & players have shown more character in one day than all you impatient flamers have in your whole lives. So now back off and shut up! Thank you Coach Gill & your staff for your commitment to KU. Thank you players for your unwaivering dedication to the game and the true fans who support you wholeheartedly.

kujayhawk 7 years, 4 months ago

Not really. It's not about wins and losses this year, it's about playing with some passion and not quitting.

riverdrifter 7 years, 4 months ago

Yes. thebcman is a quitter. This is a tough situation. Only the tough Jayhawkers need apply. Lay your ears back and let's go. Kill the Holers.

Mandie Eutsler 7 years, 4 months ago

That was a fun game to watch. What a comeback! Way to go Hawks, thanks for all the hard work...

rtwngr 7 years, 4 months ago

What Gill thought was, "Well, it can't get any worse than this we might as well go for the onside kick which we have never practiced and I'm willing to roll the dice anyway because this season has been pure hell and who knows if my contract will be renewed next season so nobody will remember this specific play when I'm gone anyway and it could work and then I'll look like a hero and I think I'm going to throw up."

Good afternoon to be a Jayhawk though.

kshusker 7 years, 4 months ago

Sad that some of you are so negative you can't experience the joy of college athletics. Downtown had a positive buzz last night as true KU fans were celebrating the victory. It is a great day to be a KU fan!!

Congrats to Coach Gill and the KU Team!! You have believed in yourselves when others have chosen to waste their time with negativity. I include the negativity of our local media. How much more enjoyable it is to be positive and optimistic. Life is hard, we should enjoy and appreciate all our KU sports teams. Save the negativity for areas of your life you have control of and quit trying to bring the rest of us down.

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