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Archive for Saturday, September 18, 2010

Webb proves toughness in face of adversity

Kansas quarterback Jordan Webb is sacked by Southern Miss defensive lineman Cordarro Law during the third quarter, Friday, Sept. 17, 2010 at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The Jayhawks fell to the Golden Eagles 31-16.

Kansas quarterback Jordan Webb is sacked by Southern Miss defensive lineman Cordarro Law during the third quarter, Friday, Sept. 17, 2010 at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The Jayhawks fell to the Golden Eagles 31-16.

September 18, 2010

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KU fans weigh in on football team

Students on the KU campus weighed in on the current status of the KU football team. The Jayhawks lost to Southern Mississippi on national television Friday night. Enlarge video

— Now Kansas University red-shirt freshman quarterback Jordan Webb knows what it feels like to stand on top of a freeway median with semis barreling toward him from both directions.

Time to panic. Time to run in place the way so many quarterbacks do when surroundings freeze them into inaction. Time to fumble the ball away. Time to throw it to the guys wearing the other jerseys. Time to swing the finger of blame like a pendulum, making sure everyone knows it wasn’t his fault.

Webb did none of that on a night he showed his inexperience in many ways during a 31-16 loss to Southern Mississippi on a hot and steamy night at The Rock.

Webb showed the toughness to take buckling hits, the maturity to focus on the next play. On nights he receives better protection, it will be easier to judge his talent level. A Southern Miss defense too swift and strong for the Kansas offensive line created the perfect environment in which to judge Webb’s toughness.

That test Webb passed, in part because of how well he ran for his life. He had 39 yards in gains running the football and 29 yards in losses, many of them coming in the time it takes to break into a sweat in the Mississippi heat.

“In general I would say it probably was OK,” first-year Kansas coach Turner Gill said of Webb’s play. “There were some reads there that should have been made from the standpoint of the way they are taught from upstairs.”

As is the case with most young quarterbacks at all levels, to watch Webb is to ask repeatedly, “Why did he throw it there when he could have thrown it over there?” Some overcome such flaws. Others don’t. It’s not always easy to forecast which ones will. The guys who panic don’t hold the job long enough for anybody to find out whether they’ll fine-tune their abilities to read defenses. Webb has earned a long look.

“He showed very good toughness,” Gill said. “Jordan’s a good football player. Again, this is his first time on the road. I know it sounds like a cliché deal, but he’s got to get experience, and I think he’ll play better as we continue to move on.”

Wrinkles need to get smoother in the area of game-management. Gill, neither one to duck blame when things sour nor hog credit when they go well, addressed the annoying recurrence of confusion as the play-clock dwindled.

“Some of it was probably us as coaches, and some of it was a little bit of Jordan,” Gill said. “We are making our calls from the sideline from upstairs, and sometimes we were waiting too long to get the plays in.”

Those issues figure to smooth out with time, but it’s tougher to predict better blocking. Center Jeremiah Hatch, dogged by back problems, left the game and didn’t return when it acted up. Right tackle Brad Thorson, not the same player since coming back from a broken foot as before it, isn’t the answer for now.

Webb blamed himself: “Maybe I held the ball too long a few times. I’m sure I did.”

The hits he took didn’t force him out of the game.

“I don’t want to sit out a play, ever,” Webb said. “That’s just the way I play. Nothing to it, really.”

His toughness will come in handy.

Comments

lynchburgsbest 4 years, 1 month ago

THE SECOND COMING OF TERRY ALLEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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lynchburgsbest 4 years, 1 month ago

turner gill that is!!! Webb is the best thing this team has going right now!

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jhawkjjm 4 years, 1 month ago

Uhm.. no interceptions only because Southern Miss dropped 4 that hit them in the hands!!! Once again the team looks unprepared. And for the 2nd time in 3 games a punt is blocked. Maybe it's time to actually practice special teams.

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newmedia 4 years, 1 month ago

And to think Tommy Tuberville wanted an interview and Lew wouldn't answer the phone! October 15 is getting closer by the day !

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Kent Fisher 4 years, 1 month ago

Posters need to cite verified sources or stay off the boards.

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jaywalker 4 years, 1 month ago

No no, all this criticism is valid. Everyone knows that first year coaches always turn a team into a winner, no matter how young the team.

As to Webb, I was thoroughly impressed. Kid's tough and reminded me of Reesing quite often last night; good pocket awareness, quick feet, elusiveness, and wicked tough. He certainly made some bad throws, but for a redshirt freshman it's not surprising. I'm lookin' forward to the future with Webb and this coaching staff. I expected this to be a rough year. The NDSU game was awful, but the Tech win was awesome since I've taken for granted we were going to lose to them since I saw the sked last year. And Southern Miss is damn good, almost got us last year and gave South Carolina a great game on the road to open the season. Sixteen straight winning seasons speaks for itself, it's a solid program.

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jhawkjjm 4 years, 1 month ago

I'll agree that Southern Miss is good, but they lost to South Carolina 41-13.

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eastcoasthawk 4 years, 1 month ago

There is no doubt Webb is tough after this game. And as fans we really need to show a little patience. You can expect to see this type of defense against our offense a lot this year. Take away the short comfortable throws from the young QB and make him run for his life waiting for a longer pass play to develop. Webb needs to go through his reads quickly and release the ball to the open man. Right now he stares his first read down and forces the ball into coverage. I just hope he learns how to do this sooner rather than later. Sometime this season would be good. Then we will have another Reesing type QB on our hands.

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