Archive for Monday, October 31, 2011

Not dead yet: Turner Gill eager to put October behind

In the spirit of Halloween, a Texas fan hoists a skeletal effigy of the Jayhawks during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

In the spirit of Halloween, a Texas fan hoists a skeletal effigy of the Jayhawks during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

October 31, 2011


It doesn’t take much to figure out how fans feel about the current state of Kansas University football program.

A quick search of KU message boards, Twitter or talk radio provides a colorful, and sometimes brutal, synopsis. But with his team mired in a six-game losing streak and sitting at 2-6 overall and 0-5 in Big 12 play, Kansas coach Turner Gill doesn’t seem rattled by the negativity that’s out there.

“I understand the fans’ (perspective),” Gill said Sunday night. “I don’t know all that, but, just like myself, you would like to have a better situation than we had in October. But we do have the month of November here, and we just need to finish and give our fans some things so they can see that things are definitely making progress in this program and moving forward in a good way. We’re trying to build on a steady basis to be competing for championships.”

At this point — just two days removed from a 43-0 loss at Texas, the latest in a long line of lows for the Jayhawks — things have become pretty routine with Gill’s crew: Work hard and think positive thoughts during the week, suffer an embarrassing letdown on Saturday and show up Sunday ready to put it all behind them. Despite being stuck in a rut, Gill said the team had held together.

During his weekly phone call with reporters Sunday night, Gill was asked if he thought he or his staff had lost the team. His answer?

“No. No. No. Not at all,” he said.

That aspect of KU’s recent struggles seems to be the one that matters most to Gill. While he said he could sympathize with all the disappointment out there, he emphasized that the focus remained on his team and the final four weeks of the season.

“I’m just worried about trying to get our football team ready,” he said. “Obviously, I understand we’re not as productive as myself or the fans or anybody would like to be. But I know we’re trying to make sure that we finish this season up good, and I think that’s the key thing right now. We’ve got an opportunity with these next four games. As we all know, in most cases, you’re more remembered by what you do in November and hopefully we can make a good statement.”

Film reveals failure up front

A day after watching his offense limp to 46 yards, three first downs and minus-2 rushing yards in the loss to the Longhorns, Gill and his coaching staff watched the game film while keeping an eye out for just what went wrong that allowed UT to hold Kansas more than 350 yards below its season average. They found a clear answer.

“Our guys up front just couldn’t knock ’em off the ball, couldn’t make any creases,” Gill said. “We just couldn’t get any rhythm going.”

UT used new look

Part of the reason Texas was able to gouge Kansas for 441 rushing yards was its use of a new offensive formation.

Gill said Sunday that, on certain running plays, the Longhorns created an unbalanced look by using an extra offensive lineman. The extra run-blocker, a reserve who wore No. 82, allowed UT to put four lineman to one side, opening up big hole after big hole against the KU defense.

“They put him in at that tight-end spot, but he actually was an offensive lineman,” Gill said. “That was the only thing that was different, (from what we’d seen) and, obviously, they gained a lot of yards in running that one play.”

Other than that new wrinkle, Gill said Texas did not do anything out of the ordinary.

“I can’t say anything was a total surprise, as far as what they did,” he said.

ISU favored by 13.5

Iowa State, which KU will play in Ames, Iowa, at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, opened as a 13.5-point favorite against the Jayhawks. By Sunday night, the line already had crept up as much as a point and a half.

The Cyclones are the eighth-straight opponent to be favored against the Jayhawks.


irvan moore 6 years, 6 months ago

speaking for october and some others, we will be glad to put tg behind us too.

Richard Payton 6 years, 6 months ago

Looking at Rivals and other websites Kansas University isn't getting many football players. Hope recruiting starts picking up or Kansas my be playing football one guy short.

50YearResident 6 years, 6 months ago

The Little League mentality, no matter how bad they play, tell them they did great, winning isn't everything.

twaldaisy 6 years, 6 months ago

I say give Coach Gill another year. I give credit to the young men on the team as they just keep plugging away and are not giving up. The coaching staff is doing something right in keeping those players motivated. Not sure I could keep playing hard and losing. I still BELIEVE...This time next year maybe not so much.

boknowssports 6 years, 6 months ago

if he figured out the extra lineman to one side of the ball, why not make adjustments at half.....oh yea....we don't do that. This guy is pathetic! Not BCS ready. He had one winning season in a chump change conference. How did he bag 10 million from KU?????

oldvet 6 years, 6 months ago

"How did he bag 10 million from KU?

Because the criteria when KU needed a new coach was not "Who is the best football coach we can get". There were too many limiting modifiers...

50YearResident 6 years, 6 months ago

We should have kept Mangino ans fired Perkins instead.

linkmeusa 6 years, 6 months ago

You are so right. I hope the wine and cheese crowd in Lawrence are choking on their decision to get rid of Mangino. He just did not fit the country club scene...but he definitely knew how to coach and lead. I say we try to hire him back...he's laughing all the way to the bank.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 6 months ago

Gill should be given one more year. He is doing a terrible job, but firing a coach after two years? What good coach would want to come into a situation like that, knowing they could be fired after just two years without a chance to build their program?

And who knows? Maybe Gill will turn it around. Not likely, but he should be given one more year.

JayCat_67 6 years, 6 months ago

Bob Valesente was gone after two years, and was replaced by Glen Mason (a mid-major coach from Kent State, incidentally). Maybe Mason didn't get KU onto the national scene, but they were at least respectable and went to a few bowl games.

6 years, 6 months ago

wasn't mason's claim to fame the fact his beat nebraska in lawrence?

I believe he bulted for Minnesota ... where he is now - who cares.

Kevin Randell 6 years, 6 months ago

You know....if we had a dollar for EVERY time somebody mentions Mangino on here, we would have enough money to buy Gill out.

Everyone, stop acting like the OCD boyfriend who can't get over his ex...Mangino is NOT coming back!

From yesterday's article, we are chin deep in debt and it's going to be hard to fire Gill and get a new coach in here. I am one for the side of we need to let this coach go.

But since it's Halloween...I will leave you with something REALLY scary. Turner Gill be still be here next year.

My only rainbow in this crap storm of a season is that there will be so many season ticket holders not renew that I will be able to move closer to the 50 yard line and even get a better parking space. Happy Halloween everyone!

6 years, 6 months ago

Mangino got flat out lucky to coach a bunch of guys that wanted to play football and decided they wanted to be good.

Look at his record - 4-20 against Big 12 South and take out the Orange Bowl year he was 1-19. Only reason he had a winning record were the cup cakes on the schedule.

flamingoroad 6 years, 6 months ago

Give Gill another year. First do some "cleaning house" of the coaching staff!!

6 years, 6 months ago

To all of you Gill bashers ... please explain how KU is to be competitive when the following 18 guys are your top prospects from their class and who are not juniors and seniors:

Rell Lewis 2 stars Jeff Spikse 2 stars Anthony Davis 2 stars Jeremiah Hatch 3 stars Richard Johnson 2 stars AJ Steward 2 stars Patrick Dorsey 2 stars Isiah Barfield 2 stars Josh Richardson 2 stars Greg Brown 3 stars Lubbock Smith 2 stars Duane Zlatnick 3 stars Trevor Marrongelli 2 stars Corrigan Powell 3 stars Kale Pick 3 stars John Williams 3 stars Tim Biere 3 stars Tanner Hawkinson 4 stars (only 4 star player that I can tell is still around - out of 3 or 4)

As far as I know these guys are decent players. Some of the reciers are doing okay. But the bottom line I'm really question if any of the above could leave KU and start (not just play) for OU, OSU, or TX.

I don't see any defensive studs in the group. Don't see anyone in this group that will make any All American lists, not even sure there is anyone in this group who is playing up to the caliber be be placed on 1st, 2nd, or honorable mention for a Big 12 team.

So if you really think KU ought to be competitive against OU, TX, OSU, G Tech, TX Tech ... please explain how. Above are your "best players" - or at least were recruited under that thought process. That is 18 out of about 50 guys that are still left.

Maybe it is time the above list of guys start playing football - especially on defense. Hit the other guy time and time again until they get tired and want to go home. I don't see the above guys having that make-up ... could be wrong.

fu7il3 6 years, 6 months ago

The problem is that Gill won't be able to recruit anyone better than that in the near future. No one wants to come to college and get their butt handed to them every week.

6 years, 6 months ago

Actually - I think Gill was able to get a better recruiting class last year than Mangino ever did.

fu7il3 6 years, 6 months ago

If you were a player and you had a chance to play for the worst team in the conference, or someone else, where would you go? You have a choice between a team that racked up less than 50 yards in a single game, or anywhere else in Division I.

We will not get good players here.

Jayhawk1963 6 years, 6 months ago

We have in the past but I'm afraid we are going to need a much more dynamic leader and recruiter than Turner Gill ! The ultimate problem with KU football is even if we somehow hit a home run with a good young coach, he'll move on up to a "football" school if he has even moderate success at KU. Our only hope is to win the coaching lottery with someone like a Bill Snyder at KSU. Unfortunately, they are few and far between.

6 years, 6 months ago

Based on what? If you don't have players how can you expect to compete?

6 years, 6 months ago

Before you go off stating win loss records you really should look at them a bit before trying to state it proves the person was a bad coach. If so - I'll repost Mangino's record out here.

OU has always had better players playing on the 2nd team than KU ever has had on the 1st team.

OU vs KU - apples and oranges

6 years, 6 months ago

The team Gill took over had one an average of 1 game/year for the previous 7 years before he arrived. Third or fourth year he won the conference and the played - cincy - don't remember and yes lost. What cracks me up is that people tout his record but have no clue what makes up the record. I think it is the lemming factor.

I've posted Mangino's record several times. But just in case you missed it. Overall Mangino is 2 wins over .500. In the Big 12 he took his beatings. Against the north his record is under .500 and against the south he is 4-20. You pull out the Orange Bowl season and he is 1-19 against the south with a win over Baylor.

On recruiting he brought 25 players in each of the 2 seasons following the Orange Bowl. He made mid 30 ratings with those two. Sounds gooduntil you look at what he was able to get. Vast majority of the players were 2 stars. Had something like two 4 star players each year and I believe there is one left. Currently out of those two classes there are 18 guys left and 12 are two star recruits and one is 4 star the rest three. Gill's group last year is mainly three star players and it ranked in the mid 30 range as well.

CHEEZIT 6 years, 6 months ago

Wasn't Texas 5-7 last year? Why didn't they fire Mack Brown? That is totally unacceptable!

tolawdjk 6 years, 6 months ago

It is easier to understand the innerworkings of the female mind than it is to understand "Texas" and why they do what they do.

However, who cares why they didn't fire Mack?

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 6 months ago

"He is not a good coach, church youth leader maybe, but not coach."

Ha! true dat!

blindrabbit 6 years, 6 months ago

Don't feel too good about the entire KU sports programs:

Football in the tank! Basketball: Missing recruits, players leaving early, senior discipline problems! KUAD: $54 million in debt. Realignment: Nobody wants us! Overall: Last place in conference! Future! Who knows!

Jayhawk1963 6 years, 6 months ago

Boy, that is the God's truth !!! And I can remember when we had some of the best track teams in the nation and fought it out nearly EVERY year with OU to win the Big 8 all-sports trophy. Maybe we should just fire everybody except Self and Zenger and start over !!!

Gregory Newman 6 years, 6 months ago

good point but they recruited Cali not Texas

JayCat_67 6 years, 6 months ago

Not sure the declining enrollment has as much to do with a crappy football program as it does the continued erosion of funding from the state, making it less and less affordable for many students. As far as "hating". I can say I "hate" Iowa State on game day. Any other time, I think about the time they brought their pep band to the Women's big 8 tournament without any tuba players. I was there with K-State and ended up staying for Iowa State's game and covering the tuba part. The next night, when K-State played against Iowa State, I ran down to the other end and played a couple fight songs with them again, then ran back to the other end and "hated" Iowa State again. Still have the ISU shirt they gave me.

Jayhawk1963 6 years, 6 months ago

KU may have bigger problems than its football team but, you know what? It would STILL be more likely to get an invitation to a more prestigious conference (Pac 12 or Big 10) than Iowa St....or Baylor, or K-State! Or even Ok-State or Texas Tech if they didn't have their big brothers to drag them along. You're still an ag school, ISU: and you always will be....

pocorio 6 years, 6 months ago

Sorry to tell you but KU is broke and can't afford to fire Gill. The price for Gill and his assisstants is almost $9 million. He will drive the football program so low that no one will want KU in the next break up of the Big 12. Division 2 here we come.

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