Archive for Sunday, November 21, 2010

KU can’t adjust, keep up

Kansas receiver Kale Pick is wrestled down by a handful of Oklahoma State defenders after a reception during the second quarter, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010 at Kivisto Field.

Kansas receiver Kale Pick is wrestled down by a handful of Oklahoma State defenders after a reception during the second quarter, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010 at Kivisto Field.

November 21, 2010


Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Turner Gill

Kansas coach Turner Gill talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 48-14 loss to Oklahoma State on Nov. 20, 2010.

Highlights from the Kansas and Oklahoma State football game.

The Kansas Jayhawks hung with the Oklahoma State Cowboys early, before watching OSU run away in the second half. The final score was 48-14 in favor of the Cowboys. Enlarge video

From the opening play on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium, the Kansas University football team’s offense screamed, “Let me entertain you; let me make you smile.” It amounted to a big tease.

The steady signs of improvement evident the previous four weeks and in Saturday’s first half morphed back into a replay of early-season bloopers: not having 11 men on the field, undisciplined penalties, pass-protection breakdowns, special-teams collapses.

Yet again, Kansas came out of the locker room after halftime playing at a different speed than its opponent.

Not surprisingly, Oklahoma State, ranked 12th in the nation, took advantage of KU’s signature third-quarter blues and rolled to a 48-14 victory.

In conference play, Kansas has been outscored 90-10 in the third quarter. The easy answer: KU’s coaches aren’t as skilled at making halftime adjustments as the coaches of most other Big 12 teams. I’m not sure that’s where the answer lies.

Extremely well-conditioned athletes come out of intermission refreshed and can regain maximum energy level quickly. Those not as fit tend to have trouble restoring their energy after taking a break.

It’s just a theory, one I ran past first-year KU coach Turner Gill during one of those inevitable uncomfortable moments of silence that accompany just about any losing coach’s postgame news conference.

To what extent, I wondered, has conditioning played a part in the team’s third-quarter woes, or is it a case of in-game adjustments, or just what is it?

“It has nothing to do with conditioning,” Gill said. “Eliminate that for sure.”

His next remark could be spotted from a mile away: the E-word. Execution.

“Part of it is just being able to execute,” Gill said. “For the most part, we’ve been fairly good on defense. I think it’s offensively we probably haven’t been able to get things done in the third quarter.”

Which brings us back to: Is it conditioning or losing the in-game-adjustments battle that leads to such poor third-quarter blocking? The Kansas offense ran 15 third-quarter plays and gained six yards, all on the ground.

Whispers blowing out of last winter’s conditioning sessions told stories of far less running than in previous seasons.

“I wouldn’t say it was that much less (running),” sophomore safety Bradley McDougald said. “Conditioning is going to be hard one way or another. Guys are still hurting at the end of the day after workouts. Guys were still coming in sore.”

The emphasis appeared to have shifted from conditioning to bulking up, which fits a team that relies on smash-mouth, power football, but hinders one that spreads the field and tries to out-quick and out-last opponents.

“A lot of people did get stronger,” McDougald said. “That’s one of the biggest things I noticed. I raised my bench. A lot of other people raised their lifts as well. People are getting stronger and better.”

The approach to strength and conditioning needs to improve, and the performance of the special teams must as well. For now, the attention is trained on two words: Beat Missouri.


jwbird 7 years, 7 months ago

Thanks Tom, for writing another article that describes that our coach is not on par with the other Big 12 teams. What irritates me, is we are falling fast and this will be a lasting mistake for many years to come. To think where we were just a few years ago, to where we are now, sickens me. At least if we had names on our jerseys, we would at least look like a major college team(we arent) As high paid coaches, how can they look at film at keep playing some of the same players. With about a 100 kids on scholarship, surely there are better choices on defense. 19,5,33,17,44 are you kiddin me. Maybe our coach is thinking about switching Sims to defense next year. But waiting until next year, right before the first game to do it. I've had it! KU needs to dump Gill and start over. Where is Mike Leach? With him, KU would win 7-8 games next year and be in a bowl game. Lets hire an AD, (hopefully not from Buffalo) and get Football straight at KU!

rtwngr 7 years, 7 months ago

This team lacks a lot. Welcome back to the Terry Allen era.

kujayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Eventually execution falls on the coach.

mae 7 years, 7 months ago

Um, is coach smart enough to hire some good assistants? Also, maybe man up on your team, this isn't jello softball, it's a boy's sport. Talk to Self, no wonder TTaylor was picking on your guys.

Michael Capra 7 years, 7 months ago

gill and his flying monkeys do a great job again what a joke

CHEEZIT 7 years, 7 months ago

I wonder what they're saying on the Longhorn blogs???

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