Archive for Sunday, October 30, 2011

No offense taken: Jayhawks futilely founder along

Kansas safety Lubbock Smith (1) and the Jayhawk defense can't hold back Texas running back Joe Bergeron as he marches through for a touchdown during the third quarter on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

Kansas safety Lubbock Smith (1) and the Jayhawk defense can't hold back Texas running back Joe Bergeron as he marches through for a touchdown during the third quarter on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

October 30, 2011


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.

— Stick together. Keep working. Move forward. For the past several weeks, those have been the words used by Kansas University football coach Turner Gill and his coaching staff to encourage a struggling football team.

Saturday night, during a 43-0 loss in front of a crowd at 99,211 at Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, the KU offense followed those words a bit too literally by dipping to a new low and playing the kind of game we’ve come to expect from KU’s defense.

“I don’t know (what to say) right now other than Texas just whupped us,” offensive coordinator Chuck Long said. “They out-physicalled us, and this is one of the worst days I’ve had as a coach. It was a rough night, obviously. It’s hard to take it all in right now.”

The Longhorns limited the Kansas offense to embarrassingly feeble numbers in the first half, and that tone carried into the rest of the night.

In the first two quarters, Kansas gained just 10 yards, recorded one first down and ran just 13 plays. During that same time frame, Texas had 318 yards, 21 first downs and 60 plays.

By the end of the night, KU’s totals weren’t much better. The 46 yards of offense were the lowest since KU gained 44 yards in a loss to Nebraska in 1997. It marked the school’s second lowest total since 1968.

KU’s three first downs on Saturday also set a mark for futility, surpassing the previous low of four. That, too, came in a loss to Nebraska, this time in 1972.

The shutout — which came in large part because UT ran 96 plays and had the ball for 44:07, compared to 36 plays and 15:53 for KU — was the first suffered by Kansas since falling, 64-0, to Kansas State in 2002.

Wait. It gets worse.

The Jayhawks ran the ball 20 times against Texas on Saturday. Those 20 rushes yielded minus-2 yards, marking the first time a KU team finished a game with negative rushing yardage since 1997.

Had it not been for a 13-yard pass from quarterback Jordan Webb to wide receiver Christian Matthews with fewer than five minutes to play in the game, KU would’ve played all four quarters without crossing midfield. As it was, the Jayhawks did not move beyond UT’s 40-yard line all night.

“It was definitely difficult to find a rhythm,” Webb said. “Nothing we were doing was working. We just, all-around, didn’t play a good game. Myself included. We’ve been answering the bell throughout the season pretty well, but we just couldn’t get going tonight.”

Even when the Jayhawks were able to record big gains, bad things happened. Brandon Bourbon’s 20-yard reception on the first play of the fourth quarter ended with a fumble. Tony Pierson’s back-to-back plays for 15 yards, early in the third, were followed by a run for negative yardage and a UT sack.

“I’m not gonna say we were gonna go up and down the field on them,” Gill said. “But I expected us to move the ball somewhat.”

While KU was struggling in every phase — the defense finished 10 yards shy of giving up 600 yards of total offense for the third time this season — the Longhorns were rolling. Coming off of back-to-back losses to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, as well as their bye week, UT used the game against Kansas as its opportunity to get well.

The Longhorns led 26-0 at halftime and had two running backs — Joe Bergeron and Malcolm Brown — finish with more than 100 yards rushing. Each added two touchdowns, the first of which came at 10:06 in the first quarter and proved to be the game-winner.

Of the incredible performance by UT’s offense, which ran for 441 yards, Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz marveled: “We just watched the game as fans for 40 minutes.”

KU fell to 2-6 overall, 0-5 in the Big 12, and sent the team’s tail spinning even faster.

“You get tired of losing. You get tired of saying it all,” junior safety Bradley McDougald said. “But it happened, so you just have to deal with it and keep going out there and giving it your all. If we fold, things can only get worse.”

Added Long: “This team is frustrated. We’re all frustrated at this point. We’re fighting and scratching to find a win. It gets frustrating for young guys to go through something like this, and we feel for them. I’m hoping that it’s just more of a hiccup than something that’s a pattern.”

Like they’ve become accustomed to, the Jayhawks left Austin with their heads hung low and the same message coming from their mouths.

“Their guys were better than our guys,” Gill said. “That’s the only way to put it. We’ve just gotta keep working, and our coaches need to get better, and we gotta continue to get better for next week.”

With next Saturday’s contest at Iowa State being the first game in November, several Jayhawks are looking forward to flipping to the next page in their calendars.

“We knew going into the season that October was going to be rough,” said Long, whose team was 0-5 this month and was outscored 267-100. “It was going to be a tough month for us and our football program. And it ended in an exclamation point tonight.”


tolawdjk 6 years, 7 months ago

Can't wait to here how how the punt team is doing.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 7 months ago

Ahhhhhh yes those golden parachutes no matter what. Rewards for not meeting demand.

Gee that's what increases our cost of living in the world of just about every aspect of anything we need or do.

YES we must reward leaders(?) for failing. Who the hell wrote this crap into the employee manuals and contracts of those at the top who simply fail? Or for those who don't?

irvan moore 6 years, 7 months ago

i know one thing for sure, their coach was better than our coach

Lee Eldridge 6 years, 7 months ago

That was my thought too when I read the quote. Leadership starts at the top. And it's clear that our coaches are not getting this team prepared to play competitive football.

Sean Livingstone 6 years, 7 months ago

The other thing for sure.... some of us do miss that big guy... and agree that someone need to be there shouting and cursing to wake up the whole team... maybe that big guy is needed to wake this TG up!

cato_the_elder 6 years, 7 months ago

"The 46 yards of offense were the lowest since KU gained 44 yards in a loss to Nebraska in 1997. It marked the school’s second lowest total since 1968."

That can't be right. The 1968 Jayhawks featured one of the most explosive offenses in KU history. KU lost only two games that season, one of which was the infamous 15-14 "twelfth man" loss to Penn State in the Orange Bowl.

Jerry Collins 6 years, 7 months ago

But at least we have a coach that doesn't yell at players or hurt their feelings. How I do miss the exciting offense that Mangino put on the field. When we replace Gill, and we will, we'll have a hard time finding a good coach, because you have to coddle our poor boys here so they or their parents don't get offended.

Sean Livingstone 6 years, 7 months ago

Sometimes..... you need to be yelled at and hurt people's feelings to wake some people up!. Football is not for the weak. It's stopped short at killing one another (if it's permitted).

lawrence_citizen 6 years, 7 months ago

Yes, Mangino took us to the Orange Bowl. But everyone forgets he finished his last season on a 6 game losing streak.

pocorio 6 years, 7 months ago

Yes. Due in large part to Lew Perkins and his investigation.

KDWinTexasNow 6 years, 7 months ago

You mean Lew and the investigators were on the field? In the locker room? Preventing them from practicing?

What does that have to do with anything?

JHog 6 years, 7 months ago

This is true. However, we were competitive in most of those games and as pocorio mentioned, Perkins wasn't doing us any favors that year hounding Mangino. Mangino had to go for one reason and one reason only. He continually ran off top notch assistants with his bullish attitude. If the man could have learned to work with people he would still be here and we wouldn't be in this mess.

kansasredlegs 6 years, 7 months ago

I thought it was 7, but Reesing was injured and could not scramble, but most of all KU Football was competitive NOT getting its arses handed to it every weekend by record setting negative performances. You must at least concede that even Mangino's first couple of years after No-Touchdown Terry Allen , Mangino didn't set these kinds of records even with the Division 2 players he inherited.

pocorio 6 years, 7 months ago

Bring back Don Fambrough. I doubt anyone else would take the job. Even considering his current circumstances Don would be a vast improvement

uplock 6 years, 7 months ago

I love it. KU got exactley what thay asked for. I hope you never get rid of Gill.

SnakeFist 6 years, 7 months ago

But the team is improving!!! Just give Gill a few more years and you'll see!!! We're in a rebuilding decade!!! [Insert lame excuse for bum coach here.]

Sean Livingstone 6 years, 7 months ago

Yes! We should keep him! Don't you guys know we're all setting records!!! No one can beat us now! We had -2 running yard yesterday! That's fabulous! Not even Mizzou can do that! Yeah!

uplock 6 years, 7 months ago

You need a strong minded person to coach college football or the players see right through you. You have to be the boss, you have to make sure thay know your in charge, some times you have to be tough but that can't happen at KU.

rtwngr 6 years, 7 months ago

Any coach that would take on this program would be a chance. No proven coach would touch this place with a ten foot goal post. KU is doomed to, at best, mediocrity and at worst, terrible.

blindrabbit 6 years, 7 months ago

Maybe we ought to rejoin the Big12 Conference, like the talk about Notre Dame, for all sports except football! Notre Dame can compete outside the conference (for football) and KU can join the league with Baker, Ottawa, Benedictine for football. John Hadl said last night on the halftime (televised) that "we are going to fix this"; I've been waiting since 1951 to see some long-term viable program, just "its and starts". If K-State can pull this off, what about us!! My season ticket days are over.

kernal 6 years, 7 months ago

Matt, did you mean flounder along as in to screw up, flail about helplessly, fumble, stumble, tumble, drop the ball, flop, come apart at the seams?

6 years, 7 months ago

The difference between the teams 5 years ago and today isn't so much the talent - it is the attitude and desire to win. You could see the players from back in the Orange Bowl period where they wanted to win and were going to find a way to win. Not sure this group of seniors and juniors has that makeup.

Maybe its time for them to stepup and start fighting for it. Or watch their coach get fired.

rgh 6 years, 7 months ago

I've been a long time proponent of allowing a coach 3 years to try and turn a program around, but after Saturday, I'm not sure I could stand another year of this. You have one of the best offensive minds in college football (allegedly) and you can't get into black numbers rushing or gain more than 3 first downs against a so-so team in the Big XII?

This to me was Turner Gill's worst loss since taking over at KU and that includes the other horrible losses we've suffered this year.

Armen Kurdian 6 years, 7 months ago

Turner - round, every now & then I get a little bit lonely and I dream of the end zone.... Turner - round every now & then I get a little bit tired of getting our butts handed to us..

Hammertoe 6 years, 7 months ago

KU has one Big 12 win under Gill in a season and a half at $2 million per year. No matter how it all ends, he is a very fortunate man .Set for life at a young age. Most Americans will not earn $2M in a lifetime of "real" work. "Is this a great country or what?"

6 years, 7 months ago

Not sure why anyone is surprised as to how poorly this team is doing. Out of the 45-50 prospect that came in (who should now be a junior or senior) only 18 are left. Of those the majority were rated as 2 star player - compare that against TX, OU, OSU ... where they have 40-50 prospects as well but most 4 and 5 star players.

But also remember - Mangino only had 4 wins over the south teams - 2 against baylor, 1 over OSU and 1 over A&M. Otherwise he was 4-20 against the south and if you pull the magical season out I think he was 1-19.

With the lack of talent - can he really be competitive?

catchagrenade 6 years, 7 months ago

I say that fans should make more noise about firing TG.

Moneyed alumni should write a strong letter to Z and BGL;
student organizations should set up booths at Wescoe; more fireturnergill websites should be set up; banners and posters and steamers and flyers in the campus, downtown, should be seen everywhere --- all saying the same thing: CHANGE THE COACHING STAFF. In other countries, something like this is called people power toppling corrupt governments; here in jayhawk land, it can be called KU fans wanting not to be embarrassed anymore.

As for me, since I do not have the financial capabilities yet, I will support any effort, in my own little way, in order to get rid of TG.

PLEASE. F. I. R. E. T. U. R. N. E. R. G. I. L. L.

Hammertoe 6 years, 7 months ago

K-State is going to a bowl game. Join the backwagon.

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