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Archive for Sunday, September 9, 2012

Don’t give up just yet

September 9, 2012

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A Kansas University victory, even an unimpressive one, against Rice would have guaranteed a sellout for Saturday’s 11 a.m. kickoff against TCU in Memorial Stadium.

Instead, Kansas reacted to late-game pressure about as well as Linda Blair’s stomach did to pea soup in “The Exorcist.”

Now the thinking is, it’s impossible to compete against TCU, so why bother going to the game?

Well, for one thing, nothing’s impossible. Kevin Costner can’t act even a little and has been paid tens of millions of dollars to act. William Shatner once thought he could do justice to Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” and millions have watched it on YouTube. You too?

Just two years ago, Kansas defeated Georgia Tech one week after losing to North Dakota State. A year ago, in the midst of a 2-10 season loaded with lopsided losses, the Jayhawks took a three-touchdown lead into the fourth quarter against Baylor and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. That would be the same RG3 who in his NFL debut Sunday averaged 12.3 yards per pass play, threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns and led his Washington Redskins to victory against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.

It’s highly unlikely Kansas will upset TCU, but it’s not impossible. It’s too early to blow off the football team with 10 games remaining on the schedule. Is it really such an ordeal to show up for a tailgate, eat great food, consume your favorite spirits, share the company of friends and exchange opinions on which players will get better through the course of the season, which will look worse against better competition and which just plain don’t have it?

Is it really a chore to sit outside for three hours with friends, watching Tony Pierson slither through small openings up the middle over and over and then bust a big one running outside? Pierson’s averaging 122 rushing yards a game, and Taylor Cox averages 100 rushing yards. It will be interesting to see which running back’s talents translate to better competition, when blowing open holes won’t come as easily for the offensive line.

Is the view of the hill really such a bad backdrop for three hours in the sun on a day in which the extended forecast calls for a high of 81 degrees and a zero-percent chance of rain (although rain’s not impossible; nothing is).

This team has problems — an inefficient passing game, a stagnant pass rush, a less-than-rugged run defense, a roster that’s a healthy snapper, plus one strong foot and 15 yards shy of a legitimate kicking game — but fan apathy this early in the season isn’t going to make things better.

Kansas has lost its last 11 against FBS foes and its last 12 Big 12 games. Those futility streaks likely will grow Saturday, but that doesn’t mean the number of witnesses has to shrink.

Comments

tyson travis 2 years, 4 months ago

Anybody remember 1967? KU was upset by smaller-college Ohio U. in Lawrence, then came back the next week to upset Nebraska, I think the score was 10-0 and NU was in the top five. Our first win against NU since 1961. There's always hope, maybe humiliation breeds motivation.

nativeson 2 years, 4 months ago

Remember 1967? KU head coach Pepper Rodgers had a coaching staff including John Cooper (Tulsa, Arizona State and Ohio State), Dick Tomey (Arizona), Terry Donahue (UCLA), and Dave McLain (Wisconsin).

They also had a few players of note including Bobby Douglas, John Riggins and John Zook who went on to great exploits in the NFL.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves. This was one that got away and we may not have another win this year. It is how far down the program got under Turner Gill. The unfortunate thing about this loss was that we had more talent and actually executed for about 2 1/2 quarters. Then all of a sudden we forgot to run the ball and played prevent defensive that caught us in the end.

DocPossum 2 years, 4 months ago

The difference in the game was that Rice had an superior kicker. Take their kicker away and we win. The team is improving each week. The TCU game will be an interesting test. Nebraska was a punching bag before Devaney arrived. Their program did not turn around over night. Keep up the support. The team needs it. They are busting their butts. You should be making an effort too! (Sham)rock Chalk Jayhawk!

alamohawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Thanks Tom for offering up the Cool Aid but I will pass. To even suggest that this team will upset any of the remaining favorites they will face would mean you are serving it by the keg with constant running spicket...

Jayhawk1958 2 years, 4 months ago

Weis tried to get too cute on offense early on and that backfired. C'mon Coach, its Rice. Save that for TCU. I also noticed that Crist had all time and open field to run. I know we don't want to bang him up, but there were countless times he had at least 10 yards available. Not having him run means the defense only has to worry about pass rush and secondary matchups.

CHEEZIT 2 years, 4 months ago

You mean like the last play where he had all day and then just threw it up for grabs?

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