Archive for Tuesday, September 7, 2010

KU football focus quickly shifts to Georgia Tech

Jayhawks coach Gill moving on after difficult loss

Head coach Turner Gill purses his lips as he makes his way from the field alongside tight end Bradley Dedeaux (87) and defensive coordinator Carl Torbush following the Jayhawks' 6-3 loss to North Dakota State, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010 at Kivisto Field.

Head coach Turner Gill purses his lips as he makes his way from the field alongside tight end Bradley Dedeaux (87) and defensive coordinator Carl Torbush following the Jayhawks' 6-3 loss to North Dakota State, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010 at Kivisto Field.

September 7, 2010


Often times, after big victories, coaches will give their players a set amount of time to celebrate before requiring them to refocus and move on to the next game.

Jayhawk junior has rough football outing

Junior Tim Biere struggled in the first game of the Jayhawks' 2010 season. The tight end dropped passes and fumbled the two he managed to catch. Enlarge video

Evidently, coaches can do the same thing after bad losses, too.

Saturday night, after a shocking 6-3 setback to North Dakota State in the season opener, Kansas University football coach Turner Gill talked about his timetable for moving on.

“At 3 o’clock (Sunday), we’ll evaluate this, but after 6 o’clock (Sunday night), then this has got to be behind us,” Gill said after the game. “We’ve gotta look at the tape and see what we need to get corrected, but after (that) they need to be moving on and getting ready to play against Georgia Tech.”

Going by that line of thinking, the Jayhawks had less than 24 hours to sulk and stew over a loss that surely will go down as one of the most embarrassing defeats in school history.

Is that enough time?

“Whenever we’re playing Georgia Tech the next week, I think it is,” red-shirt freshman quarterback Jordan Webb said. “We’ve got a chance to show that this isn’t us.”

In some ways, the loss might have helped Gill and his coaching staff, though it may be hard to convince anyone of that just yet. For the past couple of years, thanks in large part to the incredible achievements of the 2007 team, the KU football program has carried with it a certain swagger. Because Todd Reesing, Kerry Meier and Dezmon Briscoe led a potent offense and because KU’s defenses played a blue-collar style of ball, many in crimson and blue simply expected the Jayhawks to be successful and relevant on Saturdays.

History, however, has shown that there’s still a long way to go before KU reaches that point on a consistent basis. So, with Gill in town and with his focus fixed on turning KU into a perennial contender, an attention-grabbing loss might be just the thing he needed to get his players to buy into the hard work and dedication it’s going to take. Asked Monday, during the Big 12 coaches teleconference, if he thought the loss served as a wake-up call, Gill said it would.

“Well, I think so,” he said. “With the two things, the unfortunate loss and then you’ve got a very good football team coming in this week, those two things are going to get you focused and get you in tune fairly easily. We didn’t play very well, and we have an outstanding opponent, Georgia Tech, coming into town, and I think those two things right there get all of us more focused.”

Instead of spending the week building on a victory, the Jayhawks have been left to answer their critics and sort out a quarterback controversy — starter Kale Pick was benched in the fourth quarter in favor of Webb — all while finding some way to get ready for the Yellow Jackets.

“We do have the potential, but potential’s nothing. That just means you can do something,” junior wideout Daymond Patterson said. “It’s not taking shots (in the passing game) or we need to run the ball or do this more. We need to hold on to the ball, we need to catch the ball, we need to make blocks and we need to execute. And that’s all it comes down to.”

Running back help on the way?

Kansas University running backs Angus Quigley and Deshaun Sands ran for 34 yards on 17 carries in Saturday’s 6-3 loss to North Dakota State. That output was considerably less than coach Turner Gill was looking for from the KU running game, and it might have inspired a change. Though Gill admitted he wasn’t comfortable with the idea of playing true freshmen Brandon Bourbon or James Sims at running back in Saturday’s game because it was so close, he said either player could be used this week against Georgia Tech.

“I’d for sure say we’re going to play one of them,” Gill said. “We’ll definitely do that.”

The same was true for sophomore linebacker Toben Opurum, who was moved from running back this preseason and is still trying to get settled in at his new position.

“Toben’s coming along,” Gill said. “But, again, the closeness of the score did prevent him from at least getting some reps.”

Safety ‘OK’ in debut

The Jayhawks played three true freshmen during Saturday’s loss: safety Keeston Terry, kicker Ron Doherty and defensive end Keba Agostinho. Agostinho rotated in on the defensive line, Doherty handled kickoffs, and Terry, who entered the game midway through the second quarter and finished with four tackles (two solo), played significant minutes in the secondary.

“I thought he showed up. That’s a good sign,” Gill said of the freshman from Blue Springs, Mo., who was moved from wide receiver to safety in August. “(He came) in and (showed) that he is physical and that he can move. I would say he played OK. I won’t say he played great or not bad, I would say he played OK. He did what he had to do, one or two misalignments, but other than that I think he did OK for his first game.”


yankeevet 7 years, 8 months ago

I think KU can win this next game; providing the quarterback can make a few long touchdown passes; the receivers can catch the ball; and the kicker can make a few field goals..........

Jason Bailey 7 years, 8 months ago

What I get from the comments that Gill made is this, he doesn't have any idea what really went wrong Saturday night and has no bright ideas on how to fix it anytime soon. How can you justify taking the one man (still left) who consistently raked in the yards (Opurum) in 2009 and leaving him on the sidelines as a LB when it is so obvious his production is needed. I'm not sure if it's stubbornness on the part of Gill or if Opurum got drunk one night and whizzed in Gill's living room. Either way, we need Opurum as RB.

With that said, many of the heavies had problems this past week. TX, FL, OK, Ole Miss...the list goes on of the dynasties that had less than stellar starts week one. They found a way, though, to pull out a "W" where we couldn't. Hope what we saw last week was a case of game one jitters and the coaches were able to accurately gauge where their team is weak -- after all, you only know how good your team is when they're up against a real opponent.

Gregory Newman 7 years, 8 months ago

Great assessment but you forgot one thing. They are probably the slowest big-12 team in history. Where's the speed 4.5 ain't fast

Ryan Shumaker 7 years, 8 months ago

Toben needs to be on the field on both defense and offense for us to have a chance.

rgh 7 years, 8 months ago

It's the lack of names on the back of the jersey's. Even the players don't know who they are yet.

Richard Payton 7 years, 8 months ago

Doubt if the defense holds Georgia Tech to just 6 points. Will the offense score next week or will they continue to drop passes? I thought KU would walk all over North Dakota State but quess KU players didn't come to win. Hopefully, this team starts playing with passion and desire.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 8 months ago

It will interesting to see how Gill responds this week against GT. He had his team woefuly unprepared to play last week. This shouldn't be a problem this week.

On Saturday we might see the most motivated footlball KU will play all season. I fear it will still be mediocre.

KU might be able to beat New Mexico State, but I can easily see a winless season if they continue to play as badly as they did on against the Bison.

OldGold 7 years, 8 months ago

onceagain, that score (the all-time national record) was 222-0, Georgia Tech over Cumberland College, way back in 1916. Tech was coached by John Heisman (of trophy fame), who held a grudge against Cumberland because they had defeated Heisman's baseball team the previous year 22-0, using a group of professional baseball players recruited from Nashville. The football contest ended after 50 minutes. Heisman's Golden Tornado (their nickname back then) had one blemish on their record that year, a tie with Washington and Lee, but recorded a perfect season in 1917, winning Heisman and Tech a National Championship.

Now - as for this year's Kansas - Georgia Tech game - there is no way this will be a rout. Kansas has a proud football tradition and fine athletes who were embarrassed by that loss last week. They will play with passion, and I just hope we can escape with a win.

Good luck to you Jay Hawks - starting with your third game...

Mandie Eutsler 7 years, 8 months ago

It's going to be interesting to see who scores first this season. Our offense or defense? If Isiah Barfield had managed to squeeze out of the end zone we may have had a TD!

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