Archive for Sunday, October 16, 2011

This time, Kansas not punch line

October 16, 2011


Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Turner Gill

Kansas coach Turner Gill talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 47-17 loss to Oklahoma on Oct. 15, 2011.

It sounds absurd to talk about a football team taking a step forward on a night in which it allowed 610 yards and 47 points, a night in which it had one second-half first down and lost by 30 points, but the fact is Kansas University looked significantly better Saturday in a 47-17 loss to Oklahoma in Memorial Stadium.

For this night at least, with the nation’s No. 3 team in town, the Jayhawks did nothing to be mistaken for a punching bag, nothing to qualify as a punch line in a joke about ineptitude.

“Only thing I can say is, I love my defense, and I love this team, and we fought,” senior inside linebacker Steven Johnson said. “After this game, I’m walking out of here with my head held high because we got a lot better.”

He’s right about that. The defense, particularly in the red zone, performed far better than it had in losses to Georgia Tech, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.

Johnson was in on 13 tackles, one for a three-yard loss, and made an impressive interception. More teammates than usual brought the same intensity and passion on this night.

When Johnson talks about this team, 2-4 overall and 0-3 in the Big 12, he makes his coach, Turner Gill, sound like a pessimist by comparison. Johnson gets carried away. Before the losses began to mount he talked about winning a national championship and then about winning a Big 12 title. In short, he believes.

“After the game, when we talked as a defense, we felt as though, hey, we shouldn’t lose any more games,” Johnson said.

That, of course, is fantasy-based talk. But the way Kansas competed in the first half, trailing just 27-17, the chance of winning a Big 12 game took on a more realistic feel.

The defense, put in a better position by the coaching staff because things were simplified, looked faster.

Inside linebacker Darius Willis, the transfer from Buffalo, stood out, as did safety Bradley McDougald and outside linebacker Toben Opurum.

True freshmen mixed in — linebacker Collin Garrett and safety Victor Simmons also played a part in the defense having a sleeker look.

Sure, Oklahoma wide receiver Ryan Broyles had a Heisman Trophy-like night, but he’s a cut above anybody KU has on its roster, and the mix of a stale pass rush, an Isiah Barfield misstep here and there and the fresh arm of Landry Jones made that a combustible mix that won’t occur every week.

Gill, disappointed because “a loss is a loss,” acknowledged improvement. Defensive coordinator Vic Shealy wasn’t doing backflips, which is a good thing because the way his year has gone he might get hurt if he tried that.

“I don’t know if we played that good,” Shealy said. “You give up 600 yards and 47 points, that’s not a standard that makes you feel good.”

Still, one week after Kansas allowed eight first-half touchdowns on Oklahoma State’s eight first-half possessions, the difference was easy to see.

“I thought we made more plays,” Shealy said. “Until the last two scoring drives, third down was better.”

And for a half, the running game shined against a defense that held Florida State to 27 rushing yards and Texas to 36.

Freshmen Darrian Miller, he of the phenomenal balance, and Tony Pierson, such a burner, helped James Sims in giving KU 168 first-half rushing yards. The Sooners dominated the line of scrimmage in the second half, and Kansas regressed to a final total of 144 rushing yards for the night.

Still, as 30-point losses go, this wasn’t a bad one.


TLR 6 years, 8 months ago

Are you kidding me? This is another loss by 30 points or more. This isn't a gain; it's OU taking KU very very lightly. If you watched the game, you know that OU should have scored two more times in the first half. Gill has no clue.

LJD230 6 years, 8 months ago

The former big 12, now the big x jr. will have to re-brand itself.

Any suggestions for a new name for the once Big XII?

danmoore 6 years, 8 months ago

Big 12 is 10 teams and Big 10 is 12. Keep the name. We're better than Big 10.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 8 months ago

What a brilliant photograph! A tip o hat.

Sean Livingstone 6 years, 8 months ago

The defense is fine.... the problem is the offence.... if they had capitalized on some of the easy opportunities that OU gave them, things might have different...

Armen Kurdian 6 years, 8 months ago

The defense did look better, but the offense completely went home in the 2nd half. We got three takeaways, which is great! We didn't get a single 1st down in the 2nd half, which is awful! OU changed up their game plan, and there was nothing available whatsoever for the offense in the 2nd half. OU did tighten up their game, and our offensive line just got overwhelmed. I really hope we win two more games this year. Emphasis on hope.

Corey Williams 6 years, 8 months ago

Run it straight up the middle. Nearly every single time. The other team will never see it coming.

labmonkey 6 years, 8 months ago

Kick the Nebraska trash back up north. Tom Osborne has to be laughing his a$$ off right now. FIRE GILL!!!

Steve Miller 6 years, 8 months ago

Don't get to excited, they flounder, continue to flounder and will flounder, it's their tradition, unlike basketball. I never do and never will expect much out of this program. With the donation dollars looking rediculous, how long do you think gill will be around,the alumni will can him quickly. They got rid of their good coach.. So you get what you put into it.Simma down now... It's gonna be a long season for you hopefulls.... It's like the economy and how it's being ran " Hope and Change".. Your always hoping that it wil change...

droppinplates 6 years, 8 months ago

It only seems like gain because they didn't give up 70 points. They got pounded by 30 points at home. They gave up 600 yards again. The offense did nothing the second half after OU decided to play. They will get the same treatment from everyone else on the schedule. Count on it.

newmedia 6 years, 8 months ago

OU sure knows when to have a "off" night. Their game with Okie State should be a hoot.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 8 months ago

You had a winning coach in Mangino, but the no bully school crowd ran him out of town. You got what you wanted. Live with it.

Bursting 6 years, 8 months ago

completely agreed, if it wasn't broke we shouldnt have fixed it.

drnater 6 years, 8 months ago

ya, that one great season and one mediocre season was awesome. greatest coach ever!!!! take away the orang bowl season he was what 39-47 as a coach. what an amazing record....

Dana Brown 6 years, 8 months ago

couldnt have put it better. You reap what you sow.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 8 months ago

The brave new world of lowered expectations.....

larrylocal 6 years, 8 months ago

KU Football is a running punchline with Gill as head coach. I can't even believe that anyone would try to pitch a 30 point loss as anything other than embarrasing. I was actually rooting for OU to blow us out as possibly this could lead to Gill being fired. It's sad when die hard fans cheer against the team because sadly, in being long-sighted, KU is better off tanking this season and getting a new coach,.

drnater 6 years, 8 months ago

thats not being a die hard fan. thats being a fairweather fan. you should check your definitions. die hard fans cheer through the good and the bad, and never cheer for losses. your the sorriest kind of fan there is.

drnater 6 years, 8 months ago

Fairweather fans, these are the same people that cheer for basketball season to get here. Then when we get upset by a mid-major they scream for Coach Selfs head, or complain that the players just didnt want it enough. I hope AD Zhenger doesnt pay attention to these posters, if he does I hope it gives him a bad taste in his mouth, because it almost makes me sick to see how clueless these people are, and still think they know everything there is to the sport of college football. If they knew any better they'd be the coach, but their not, because they are spineless, and only know how to complain.

irvan moore 6 years, 8 months ago

we lost by 30 and the 2 best gainers we had were broken plays, i'm not seeing the progress.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 8 months ago

Did OU really deserve all those points they scored? Wouldn't it have been more fair for the government to have taken some of those points and awarded them to KU?

Tom Wilson 6 years, 8 months ago

Time to drop football. If we can't be competitive (how many examples would you like?...they are everywhere!), why go through the motions!

kansasredlegs 6 years, 8 months ago

Football is a game of emotion, it was clear OU had none as it was coming off a beat down of its rival Texas to face a KU team its in-state rival Okie State beat down by 40 plus points, so not much to get up for.

KU had its chances, but when nice guys who make a ton of money to coach a kid's game & can't call anything but a misdirection handoff, it's time to fire 'em and bring Mike Leach here. May not win it all, but it will be fun to watch. Leach calls plays from a crumpled up napkin standing on the sideline.


Webb, pull the ball once in a while when you read that end crashing down. You did that only one time & it resulted in a first down.

Coach Gill - I know you make $2M a year & you'll have forgot more football than I'll ever know, but after the OU fumble into the end zone, football gods say strike fast by throwing deep downfield, not 2 inside runs & pass to the flat & punt OU back to their 40 where it had started before the fumble. I was beginning to wonder if there was a glitch in the MATRIX when I inexplictedly said "dejavu"

Flap Doodle 6 years, 8 months ago

Meow Mix is in negotiations for a major sponsorship of KU football and possible naming rights for the stadium.

sad_lawrencian 6 years, 8 months ago

"...the chance of winning a Big 12 game took on a more realistic feel." This sentence says everything that's wrong with the KU football program and Coach Gill. Winning EVERY Big 12 game should be 'realistic'. It's sad KU cannot, apparently, keep up with the rest of the conference and not expect to win games. Judging from this one simple sentence, KU is in a mindset to never win a conference game.

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