Archive for Monday, October 24, 2011

Loss to KSU ‘step back’ for KU

Kansas head coach Turner Gill watches the dismantling of his football team from the sideline during the third quarter on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011 at Kivisto Field.

Kansas head coach Turner Gill watches the dismantling of his football team from the sideline during the third quarter on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011 at Kivisto Field.

October 24, 2011


Despite dropping five straight games after starting the season 2-0, Kansas University football coach Turner Gill has continued to talk about improvement and progress.

Sunday, one day after suffering an embarrassing loss to in-state rival Kansas State for the second year in a row, Gill shed some light on how he and his coaching staff measure improvement.

“Week to week, and from the beginning of the year to where we’re at today are kind of the two ways we look at it,” Gill said. “Week to week, from Oklahoma to the Kansas State game, I think we took a step back as far as the overall team continuing to improve. Overall season, I know we are better than we were last year on offense and special teams. Defense … it’s kind of hard to say whether we are totally improved in that area.”

The numbers seem to say no. During its current five-game losing streak, the KU defense has given up an average of 57 points and 595 yards of offense per game. Rather than dwell on that, Gill and company seem content to promote the positive, with the overall state of the offense and special teams outweighing the disappointing defense.

“We look at numbers, and we also look at assignments and what they’re doing with their techniques and how that compares to last year,” said Gill, continuing to talk about how improvement is measured. “That’s how I can make that statement that we have improved, overall, as a football team compared to last year.”

Regardless of what the numbers say or how maddening the past five weeks have been, most of KU’s players have remained upbeat and continued to tell tales of progress.

“We are improving,” sophomore running back James Sims said. “It’s just little by little. People may not see it, but we see it as a team. We just need to take bigger steps instead of smaller steps.”

A quick check of how improvement was gauged after Saturday’s 59-21 loss revealed that the KU players may not be looking at it the same way the coaches do. Instead of focusing on the big picture — year to year, game to game, first half of the season to second half — the players look a little closer to home.

“I think it’s an every-day deal,” junior wide receiver Kale Pick said. “Just come in every day and pick out a few things you can improve on and try to improve on those and get your game better overall. I think a lot of our players do that. They come in and study the film and what they need to work on, whether it’s technique or fundamentals, making plays.”

Added sophomore quarterback Jordan Webb: “We really do take it day by day. Last year was a totally different team from this year. We have different guys out there, a lot of new faces. And we feel like we’re right on the brink of breaking through and being able to be a really good team, especially offensively.”

So what has been holding them back?

“The thing is, we can’t look at the scoreboard,” Webb said.

Offensive coordinator Chuck Long wholeheartedly agreed.

“It’s hard, emotionally, for a young guy to look at the scoreboard when it’s not going the right way,” Long said. “You’re talking about an 18-year-old kid there. And I thought (Saturday) was the first time they kind of let that get to them. Probably because it was an in-state rivalry, and they wanted it so bad. Playing your in-state rival like that can do some things to your psyche.”

Long continued: “It’s a fight. It’s a mental process. It’s hard to understand, but it’s a mental toughness that you have to develop over time. Quite frankly, you develop some of your mental toughness through times like this.”

Kansas (2-5 overall, 0-4 Big 12) will travel Saturday to Texas (4-2, 1-2).


Larry Evans 6 years, 6 months ago

TAit,,you must be the propagandist for this team...Why do you write all these horrid excuses?

Not worth ready anymore.

mae 6 years, 6 months ago

Tait, did you just hang around the offense? Not a single word from the defense. THAT IS WHO WE HOLD RESPONSIBLE.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 6 months ago

Giving 3 points a second before half-time is high school coaching stuff. Actually jr high coaching stuff, sorry high school coaches.

KU did not seem scrappy.

Don Whiteley 6 years, 6 months ago

If the coaching staff and players are truly satisfied with the improvements of their defense from game-to-game, then we should let the whole lot of them go and replace them with the Crimson least they're showing spirit.

rtwngr 6 years, 6 months ago

I prefer the Charlie Sheen benchmark for improvement. "Duh, Winning!"

squawkhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

As I said in another post, at this rate of improvement KU won't have a winning football team until the next ice age. I prefer this attitude, "patience my a$$, I want to kill something NOW".

fabian_zimbabwe 6 years, 6 months ago

"Defense … it’s kind of hard to say whether we are totally improved in that area.”

You're kidding, right?

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 6 months ago

Gill deserves at least another year. I think he is a bad coach and will never get it right, but he deserves one more year to try.

Mangino's first two seasons were pretty poor as well. The difference is I could see potential in those teams that I do not in Gill's team.

Mandie Eutsler 6 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, we lost to Oklahoma at Arrowhead Stadium 10-6. Not making this up. That was a competitive game. This season we considered a 47-17 loss an improvement!?!?!?!?!?!?! Unreal...

1029 6 years, 6 months ago

The important thing here is that these boys are becoming men and building their character. And if Gill can get at least one nonbeliever to become a Christian, that is another victory in itself.

If the team actually wins a few football games along the way, that is just a bonus. It's about building character, not actually winning the game. Turner Gill is the greatest coach we've ever had here.

hail2oldku 6 years, 6 months ago

Turner Gill is a great man, but the wrong one for this job.

Do the right thing Turner. Tender your resignation effective at the end of the season and Dr. Zenger get his coaching search out of the shadows.

lucky_guy 6 years, 6 months ago

1029, so KU's football team is all about becoming good Christians? Hmmm no wonder they can't play defense, they believe the meek shall inherit........ Turner Gill is the embodiment of the previous AD's dementia. But firing him won't help as then next coach will have to start over again, unless you can get somebody that has a huge name. Next year will be better just because of all the Big 12 break up, meaning KU football will make money no matter how bad they are.

DedicatedAlum 6 years, 6 months ago

In one other string last week, someone praised Fambrough (rest his sole) of turning the program around. That didn't happen during the 70's after the '69 Orange Bowl when we played for the National Championship. I played for the next two seasons (one under Pepper and the the other under Don) and they were miserable. We had about 20 players quit after the '71 season under Fambrough. We were an embarrasment. KU has a similar situation now. But today, coaches are more dispensable. Turner is a fine man, but he is so over his head he needs to admit it. The problem KU has now is that the program has so regressed that no one with a pedigree will want to take it on - except somone who has been exiled such as Tressel, Leach or even Mangino. The new Chancellor is more interested in academics which is very important, but schools with good all around programs make us alumni give more. Be bold Zenger, and bring someone in that has a real track record. Although barking autocrats, like Mangino and Leach may be perceived, if they have a pedigree, they will resurrect the spirit of the athletes - if those athletes will respond to their god given abilities. Morale must be a low point as it was in 1971.

Richard Payton 6 years, 6 months ago

Some of the KU fan base wanted Coach Gill gone the day Perkins inked the deal! Just because they thought Mangino was ran out of town. They continue to think that Mangino was set up by some weak football players and parents. Turner Gill has been strong in not letting this group of fans win. I agree with the players and coaches that better days are headed for Coach Gill and company. Has any other college football program had to play 3 weeks back to back of undefeated teams? I don't think so! Another couple seasons of good recruiting and this football team will be strong. Building a program takes some time!

boknowssports 6 years, 6 months ago

it takes more than recruiting. this coach does NOT know how to make second half adjustments. And what really disappoints me about Gill is his press conferences after the game. He alwasy blames the players, never accepts any accountability for the coaches. I can accept that out of a coach.

buwildcat 6 years, 6 months ago

I think Coach Gill should not have been hired that day, not because of Mangino, but because he is NOT Qualified. How does a man who has only ONE winning season at a MID MAJOR school become the best choice for a BCS schools job. He couldn't win at that level and he won't win here. KU has done this repeatedly....they have hired the opposite of the previous coach and Nice guys in a sport that promotes violence dont win. When Glenn Mason left they went with nice guy Terry Allen and now when Mangino was asked to leave it is nice guy Gill. Gill could have all the time in the world and he will not have a successful program.

Mandie Eutsler 6 years, 6 months ago

yes there are other programs who have played undefeated teams. That's not an excuse for not being competitive. Face it, he sucks.

fu7il3 6 years, 6 months ago

Do the players really think this, or is this just political lip service? If I was playing for a guy, I'd be saying I believed in him, too. Right up until the day he was fired, then I would believe in the next guy.

What is said publicly and felt personally could be two different things.

petty5069 6 years, 6 months ago

how can a university recruit with this going on? Indeed, the competition has been tough, but we did not compete on the field, nor on the sideline, period. It's hard to recruit when we all see that. Turner might be a really nice guy, and I'm sure he is, but these kids deserve better. They are good athletes and need coaches who can make them better. It's discouraging for them too...not just the fans. Turner, nor his assistants, have what it takes, and if they do, go prove it somewhere else. We need proven coaches who can get this turned

Richard Payton 6 years, 6 months ago

Chuck Long proved it at Oklahoma University before joining Kansas. Before spitting out negative hogwash at least few the staff's resume.

Mandie Eutsler 6 years, 6 months ago

Well, we've discovered that Chuck likes the draw play...

petty5069 6 years, 6 months ago

hogwash? You think the program is working? what game are you watching on Saturdays? Even if Long's resume is proven, it sure isn't working here. very predictable.

Kevin Randell 6 years, 6 months ago

Albert Einstein once said "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".

I guess Williams Fund and Football season ticket holders (like myself) are insane if we decide to do this again next year.

Fire Gill.....go get a better DC.....I don't care. I just want our program to be competitive. Because let me tell you. I have logged over 3600 miles of driving and countless hundreds/thousands of dollars in gas, food, apparel, and hotels the past two years to keep watching the same product. For the love of KU....please do something!

hbjayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Is there any truth to the Jim Tressel rumors . . . Sources are saying he is being courted by KUAC brass. Can LJWorld please comment on any of these rumors?

Flap Doodle 6 years, 6 months ago

Meow Mix and Tender Vittles are in a bidding war for sponsorship of the 2012 Jayhawks football team.

Take_a_letter_Maria 6 years, 6 months ago

Oh what could have been. Way back when Mason was the choice a little known assistant coach from Iowa was passed over. It would have been nice to have old Bucktoothed Billy here in Lawrence instead of Manhattan, but hindsight is everything.

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