Archive for Sunday, October 30, 2011

Matt Tait’s KU football notebook: Keeston Terry steps up for KU

October 30, 2011

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KU coach Turner Gill opening statement after 43-0 loss to Texas

KU coach Turner Gill makes an opening statement following his team's 43-0 loss to Texas on Oct. 29, 2011. Enlarge video

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Turner Gill

Kansas coach Turner Gill talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 43-0 loss to Texas on Oct. 29, 2011.

Red-shirt freshman Keeston Terry, a safety who has struggled to overcome injuries throughout 2011, finished Saturday’s 43-0 loss to Texas with 15 tackles and delivered what many believed was his best performance of the season.

“I thought he tackled well tonight, and I thought he showed some toughness,” KU defensive coordinator Vic Shealy said. “I definitely think there are some areas he’s improved.”

But it wasn’t just the six solo tackles and nine assists that made Terry stand out. It was his resolve.

“He got a little bit dinged there,” Shealy said. “But to the kid’s credit, if he was looking for a way out, he could’ve (checked out there), but he came back in a series or two later and, to me, he wanted to play tonight. For a young kid to not do that, that’s improvement in itself.”

KU senior Steven Johnson led the Jayhawks with 18 tackles. It marked a career-high for Johnson and was the most by a Jayhawk since 2005.

Linebacker Isaac Wright, who played more tonight than he had all season, finished with a career-high 12 tackles. Fellow junior Tunde Bakare also recorded a career-high 11 tackles.

Jayhawks say they haven’t quit

Despite becoming used to being on the wrong end of such lopsided blowouts, the KU coaching staff doesn’t believe its players have quit.

“I’m not ready to say our kids didn’t battle,” Shealy said. “I think they did do that. Maybe we didn’t make enough plays, at times, to limit the number of points on the board. They’re disappointed, but they have not given in.”

Junior safety Bradley McDougald credits the coaches for that.

“They’re doing a great job of keeping us together,” he said. “I know guys on the offensive side and defensive side are just going to try to keep getting better. That’s the only thing we can do. We’re having a bad stretch, but teams do, universities do, we just have to work through it.”

This and that...

For the second week in a row, the Jayhawks won Saturday’s opening coin toss. However, for the first time all season, KU deferred its choice to the second half instead of electing to receive the opening kick. ... Red-shirt freshman tight end Trent Smiley recorded the first reception of his career in the fourth quarter. ... Junior linebacker/defensive end Toben Opurum’s sack in the third quarter was his third of the season. ... Junior cornerback Greg Brown’s interception in the end zone in the second quarter was his first of the season and the second of his career. ... Sophomore defensive tackle Shane Smith made the first start of his career.

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