Sunday, November 1, 2009

Offensive line miffs Mangino

Coach Mark Mangino has a word with officials during KU's game against Texas Tech at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas, on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009.

Coach Mark Mangino has a word with officials during KU's game against Texas Tech at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas, on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009.


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2009 KU-Texas Tech football

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Did you agree with the benching of Todd Reesing in the fourth quarter against Texas Tech?

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— Of all the things that went wrong during his team’s 42-21 loss to Texas Tech on Saturday — and there were quite a few to choose from — none hit Kansas University coach Mark Mangino harder than the lackluster play of the team’s offensive line.

A week after being dominated by a highly-touted Oklahoma defensive line, the unit gave up a season-high six sacks to the Red Raiders, while the Jayhawks’ run game managed just 71 yards.

“We can no longer play the way we are,” Mangino said. “We’re not efficient in the run game. We’re not physical. We don’t finish blocks, and our pass protection, at times, has become suspect, as well.”

While Mangino allowed that the unit’s youth has been a factor this season — the Jayhawks returned only two starters from last year’s line and is breaking in a new left tackle in Tanner Hawkinson — he vowed that if the current starters couldn’t get the job done, he’d find players who could.

“I believe we’ve regressed the last two or three weeks in that area,” Mangino said. “I have not been pleased for the last few weeks with the development of the offensive line, and I think if it’s necessary to make changes, I’ll make changes.”

Another day, another slow start

They’ve analyzed it, tinkered with it and fretted over it, but Kansas coaches just can’t figure out how to get the team’s high-powered offense going early in games.

For the second straight week, the offense failed to score in the opening quarter. In four Big 12 games this year, meanwhile, the unit has racked up just nine first-quarter points and none since a 34-30 loss to Colorado on Oct. 17.

“We have a case where the players are not performing well and all of us coaches are not coaching well,” Mangino said. “We have to take a look at ourselves and see what we’re asking our players to do, how people are playing us on defense.”

Pass rush effective in loss

Although the score would suggest otherwise, Saturday’s game proved a positive step forward for a defense still trying to settle into a groove.

Jake Laptad, Maxwell Onyegbule, Jeff Wheeler, Chris Harris and Darrell Stuckey each finished with a sack, as the Jayhawks finished with five total sacks — the third time this season they’ve finished with at least five in a game — and held the nation’s top passing attack to just 253 yards through the air.

“If the offense plays bad, we’ve got to play good,” said KU linebacker Arist Wright, who finished with two pass breakups and a fumble recovery. “If we play bad, (the offense) has to play good. Everybody got together and said that we’ve got to focus and get things done every week. Not just one game; not just some other game. Every week.”

Mangino addresses third-quarter kickoff

After Texas Tech had been flagged for back-to-back personal-foul penalties, the Jayhawks were set to kick off from the Red Raiders’ 40-yard line — a situation in which some coaches might have opted to try an onside or squib kick in an effort to make use of the penalty yards.

However, because of what Mangino deemed a lack of confidence in placekicker Jacob Branstetter’s ability to execute a short kick, the team chose to kick the ball through the end zone for a touchback, giving the Red Raiders the ball at their own 20.

“Branstetter, all he’s capable of is kicking the ball off the tee deep,” Mangino said. “You saw against Oklahoma, we tried to kick a little pooch kick, it didn’t work. We’ve tried squib kicks in practice, they’ve gone out of bounds. So we figured, ‘Let’s make sure that they get it on the 20 and not do anything stupid.’”

Reesing moves up conference total yardage list

Despite an otherwise rough outing, Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing did manage to inch up the Big 12’s career-total-yardage list Saturday.

With 170 yards from scrimmage, the senior from Austin, Texas, surpassed Bret Meyer of Iowa State for sixth place on the Big 12 career total yards list with 10,557. Meyer finished his career with 10,422 yards.

Outfit switch-ups prove futile against Tech

For the second straight year, Kansas has mixed up its uniform selection against Texas Tech, and for the second straight year, things have not ended well.

A year after sporting their alternate red jerseys in a 63-21 loss to the Red Raiders in Lawrence, the Jayhawks sported blue pants Saturday for the first time since 2004.

Unfortunately for Kansas, both games ended in lopsided losses.

Southern domination

Texas Tech completed its sweep of the North. The Red Raiders defeated Nebraska, Kansas State and Kansas by an average score of 46-15.

Two-way threat

Bradley McDougald became KU’s first player since Aqib Talib (fifth game of 2007 vs. Kansas State) to have both an interception and reception in the same game.


rastameta 12 years, 1 month ago

So glad that someone asked the question about the kickoff, but I am not pleased with the answer.

Why aren't they coaching him up and working on that stuff in practice? At the very least you need to be able to do an onside kick.

I am becoming more and more disenchanted with this coaching staff by the game, day, and even by the hour.

Steve Brown 12 years, 1 month ago

"all he is capable of is......"

excuse me but isn't that why we have practice to get players to be more capable & gain new skills?

5 fumbles on the day led to TT 28 points. If we lead in turnovers next week, it will be another long day.

KU 12 years, 1 month ago

It's not all on the offensive line. KU only uses about 2 or 3 running plays. Most of the time it's a zone read and virtually all the time it's zone blocking by the offensive line. There's no misdirection. There are few trap blocks. The defense can just tee off when they know what's coming. Why don't we use the jet reverse or get 2 backs in the game more often to open up the playbook?

Christopher Hauser 12 years, 1 month ago

How can you call it a slow start when the offense has done nothing for two games? The offense has not really done anything for 8 quarters, I dont think we can call it starting slow anymore.

lukeDE81 12 years, 1 month ago

Yes the kickoff and answer were so ridiculous. There is almost nothing bad that can happen on that kick, other than a big return. Last time I checked, even if you kick it out of bounds, the ball is placed 30 yds from where the ball is kicked. This would be the 10 and I assume they would take it half the distance to the goal. That would be the 20 which is where they got it anyway. So a possible out of bounds kick is a bad answer. A terrible pouch or squib kick would have almost certainly turned out better than a touch back. At the very least the same.

I am very disapointed with the coaching recently. I know it easy to be critical when they are lossing, but I feel like there are obvious things that need to be addressed. We are using the tail backs all wrong. We run our 230 lb tail back on delayed draws where he has almost no momentum into the line. We are also calling option plays that when strung out turn his 230 lbs into 160. Then our injured 180 lb back (who I really like and think runs hard) into the middle of the line. I can't understand these decisions.

Then we have no check down routes when there is pressure, or if we do they are never used. And I agree. How about a screen pass. Then the line doesn't have to block the big guys they just get to go pick on the little guys down field. The staff either has zero imagination or is scared. I'm not sure which is better.

troutsee 12 years, 1 month ago

I said after the game on this site that the O-line was the fault for 3 straight losses and I was immediately jumped. Six sacks, one forced fumble due to horrible pass blocking, and an inept running game. I rest my case.

But, equally disturbing is the formation out of which we attempt to run the ball. Todd puts the ball in the RB's belly and looks at the line of scrimmage in what is supposed to be a read option (not always but much of the time) but in reality is always a handoff to the RB and the defense knows it. Thus, we establish no run game and the fake to the RB to set up play action pass is ineffectual. However, having said that, there is NO smash mouth in our offensive line. Either that or the coaching to establish blocking schemes is woefully lacking. Also, our speed option is run too deep in the backfield and is usually not a true option either.

The play calling stinks. We streched their defense ONCE yesterday and that one should have been caught for a big gain. Thus we have to sustain drive after drive with short passes. Predictable! And I agree with the screen pass except for that stupid shovel pass, which has been a good play for us much of the time, but let's mix it up a little.

And one more thing while I am on the soapbox, I absolutely HATE the bunch know the one that resulted in the most critical turnover of the game. Hello, is there any surprise where the ball is going on that play?

And not to onside from the other team's 40! How crazy is that? You can't tell me Branstatter cannot do that. Hell, even if you haven't practiced it, do it!! That call was about as stupid as Glen Mason's punt on Colorado's 30 (4th down and six inches for a 1st) with us leading by 7 in that snow storm in Boulder back in the 90's....another heartbreaking loss that we who follow KU FB have grown accustomed to.

Our KO returns stink. Our punt returns stink. And our KO coverage stinks. I sound angry? Hell, I could tear this computer apart. When are we going to play a complete game?......on both sides of the ball?......When are we going to dominate a team. When? When are we going to show some guts?.....the way KSU did last night? Where's the toughness? I'll tell you one thing for sure....Glen Mason's team were always tough....and tough minded. At least the D is showing some toughness but melted when it counted the most yesterday.

Pardon me while I scream!!!!!!!

Bill Kackley 12 years, 1 month ago

Just to add to the statements mentioned above. We could have also punted the ball on that kickoff and our punter is good at the puch kick

Bill Kackley 12 years, 1 month ago

Just to add to the statements mentioned above. We could have also punted the ball on that kickoff and our punter is good at the punch kick

troutsee 12 years, 1 month ago

Thank you, MaxHawk. And I'm 70 years old and have been bleeding KU FB for almost that same length of time.

Jay_Z 12 years, 1 month ago

I agree with troutsee as well. Where is the leadership on this team? It doesn't appear any of the seniors are stepping up or taking charge of the team....there is no fire or excitement from them. It is very disturbing.

jesusisajhawk 12 years, 1 month ago

I think the play calling has been awful! Predictable and not aggressive what so ever. I agree about the screen pass and misusing Opurum and Sharp, you have to take what the defense gives you and keep them honest. The coaches and players need to watch some film of Iowa this season. Talk about a resilient team. Their quarterback threw four interceptions in the third quarter, started the fourth quarter down ten points and found a way to win. We just rolled over and laid there in the fourth quarter.

beebe1 12 years, 1 month ago

Gave up toward the end of the game. No KU football in OH on ABC. But Bob Davis mentioned that Meier had no catches; maybe Briscoe a few. So what was happening? Double coverage or what? But if Meier is so thoroughly covered he should take his opponent off to a part of the field where there will be no action, leaving our other guys more opportunity! We have 5 receivers and the others are good too! Why not make Wilson,Biere, Mc Dougald, etc, key features of some plays where the double coverage part is ignored. No imagination.

I've felt that Reesing was sick, but some indication of injury in the articles. Tough! And the O Line should be in particular careful to protect him.

The D Line played well! But the rest of the Defenders were out of position and misused. When will the coaches get the idea we need coaching improvement most of all? We've got good talent! More signed up for next year. USE THEM WELL!

jayhawkboogeyman 12 years, 1 month ago

After reading Mangino's statement that Branstetter isn't capable of kicking an onside kick... I am really beginning to hate him. I was so mad in the OU game when Pick came in to lose yards on a useless play in the THIRD QUARTER while we still had a chance to get in the game. And now saying a Division I kicker can't kick an onside kick? He has been here 2 years and at no point in that time did the coaches think it might be a good idea to have an onside kick? What an idiot of a coach. So if we are down 9 to MU and score a TD with a minute and a half left, I guess we just kick it through the end zone and hope our D gets the ball back? Maybe this explains why we just gave up last week, too. Even if we get back within a score, we can't do an onside kick anyway, so might as well not try. Any idiot can kick a squib kick down the middle of the field. I don't understand how it is possible for a talented athlete to be incapable of kicking a football 25 yards on the ground. It's not exactly like asking him to make a 60 foot putt at the Masters with his foot. And any coach who would say that his Div I kicker can't kick an onside or squib kick is a plain fool.

grandpa 12 years, 1 month ago

I agree with just about every body on this post.,especially beebe I and troutsee. troutsee, I am 77 and I went to the last game in Lubbock. This week, the coaches need to call two meetings. First one is about themselves. Starting with the head coach. Next, the offensive coordinator and his ;poor play calling. Next with the defensive coach.Poor handling of the secondary. When TT completed a pass over #20, they kept returning the favor to him.Stupid! Various times, we put Meier in motion , the play fizzled out. If you are going to put someone in motion, copy the Cowboys and put our tight end in motio9n, then yoou have a pass or run option. Next call a meeting of the players and announce that Meier will be the starting quarterback Sat. He is familiar with the plays and coaches will work with him all this week.This will still leave some good receivers to throw to. Tell Sharp that we know he is still hurting and start #35. Tell Reesing that we appreciate all he has done for us in the pastand we will paste all his statistics on the walls so everyone can see. We have not forgot him and while he is sitting on the bench, we will have one of the water boys bring him a disguized beer every 10 minutes. We drove over from here in Texas about 500 miles and although our crowd was small, we were loud and most everyone stood up the entire game. See you at the Nebraska game.

dallasgirl37 12 years, 1 month ago

I have only followed KU football since Briscoe has attended, and I hate to say that Mangino has nothing positive to say about any of his players except Meier, Reesing, and Sharp. Briscoe has not had a great year, and he has dropped passes that he should be catching, but Reesing is not playing at his usual level. I hear that his drinking is out of control and maybe Mangino needs to suggest AA meetings for his token boy. How dare Mangino make such a comment about Branstetter; now everybody knows our kicker sucks(although he really doesn't) as well as our offense. What a great way to let the rest of the Big 12 teams know KU won't make on on-side kick in last minute situations. Thanks Mangino, you really are an butthole like many of your players say you are.

FSUJHAWK 12 years, 1 month ago

Talent, talent, talent....and oh yeah...smarts and recruiting...we've done a good job at the offensive skill positions recently but everywhere else, including special teams, seems to be a continued failure in recruiting and nurturing...

Traditionally Jayhawks have always had guts and smarts despite the lack of talent on the football field. Dont ever lose your guts and desire to pound kittycats and misery into the ground...RCJHGKU.....

Steve Brown 12 years, 1 month ago

Offensive Line Miffs Mangino: New flash: KU Coaching Miffs Fans!

Grandpa: right on-100% NJay what have you seen that leads you to think we would beat St. Mary's?

which pregame speech would you rather deliver? a. we can stay on track to surprise everyone & win the North by beating these over/rated Kansas players. b. just hold on and play like 2 years ago. nuff said- going to be long day I fear. Stress leads to turnovers & we're not confident for good reason.

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