Monday, November 1, 2010

KU gains ground against ISU


The final statistics told one story, and the gaping holes told another.

QB Webb doubtful for Colorado

Gill said Sunday night that starting quarterback Jordan Webb was doubtful for Saturday’s game against Colorado because of his left shoulder injury.

“I probably really can’t answer any more until maybe by Wednesday to see how he feels at that particular time,” Gill said, “and I still may not have an exact answer at that time, but I’ll have a better sense of whether he’s going to be available.”

Gill said backup quarterback Kale Pick, who suffered a concussion against Texas A&M;, had improved in the last week.

“Definitely Kale’s probably more available (than Webb), if I said today, but again sometimes relapses happen,” Gill said. “That’s why you’re kind of just cautious and say that both guys right now are somewhat doubtful, and we’ll see how it goes.”

Saturday, during Kansas University’s 28-16 football loss at Iowa State, the Jayhawks turned in their best rushing performance in weeks, buoyed by new schemes, all-out effort and the fact that many Jayhawks were embarrassed by their recent performances.

“I think we definitely run-blocked better,” senior guard Sal Capra said. “We were a little bit more physical, and we had some different schemes in there, which did help us a lot.”

Those schemes, employed by KU coach Turner Gill and offensive coordinator Chuck Long as a way to simplify the offense, focused largely on running up the middle.

“We came in and tried to run some more power because we had watched on film that teams had gashed them with power,” senior Angus Quigley said. “We came in with the mind-set that we could run the ball, and we had some really good plays in the run game.”

Said Gill of the reason for the success: “I think our guys (were) winning the battles (at the line of scrimmage) and also (we ran) a little scheme we hadn’t done as far as our alignments and formations.”

Quigley and freshman James Sims combined to rush for 129 yards on 33 carries. Quigley gained 69 of those, and Sims hammered away for the rest.

KU’s solid showing on the ground served the Jayhawks well in several areas. It moved the chains. It chewed up clock. It gave Kansas confidence — something the Jayhawks really hadn’t felt since September.

The positive gains on the ground also took pressure off of the passing game, which was driven by first-time starter Quinn Mecham, a junior-college transfer from Snow College in Utah who filled in for the injured Jordan Webb.

“We haven’t done so well on offense the past few games,” Quigley said. “So creating a run game takes a lot of pressure off of teams rushing us like they’ve been doing, sending the house and things like that.”

Mecham, who was 22-of-33 for 149 yards and a touchdown, was especially appreciative of the support.

“Because we were successful, that definitely gave us that confidence that we needed,” Mecham said.

Of course, Mecham wasn’t the only Jayhawk who had someone to thank Saturday. Capra said the offensive line was inspired by how hard KU’s running backs ran on every play against the Cyclones.

“Oh yeah, definitely,” Capra said. “If you make a good block, they’re gonna make a big run. I think we executed well. There weren’t a lot of plays that we couldn’t run against them.”

Most of KU’s production on the ground came in the first half, before ISU coach Paul Rhoads and his defense made the adjustments that ultimately led Iowa State to victory. Quigley and Sims combined for 99 yards in the first half and just 30 in the second.

“I thought we did a good job of running the football,” Gill said. “Things went well. (They) obviously didn’t go well enough for us to get a W, but I thought we made some progress.”

Added Quigley: “I think that’s a positive from this game. That’s something we can build on, and that’s what we need as a football team.”


KSA_21_3503 9 years, 3 months ago

So this is what we are reduced to... scraping for positives from losses to bad teams.

I can't wait for this season to be over.

Robert Brock 9 years, 3 months ago

Are you just now catching on that this is a bad team?

Cal Bender 9 years, 3 months ago

It's not a bad team. It's badly coached team. Gill has no drive, no heart, no guts, no desire. He never has had. That's why he wasn't drafted by an NFL team. Since college he has been interested only in the money. He didn't even care about graduating at Nebraska. The NFL teams all recognized that. He also has no coaching skills, nor does he know how to hire a coaching team. That, in my most humble opinion, is why Tom Osborne didn't want him to coach Nebraska. The players on the team have heart, ability, drive, and they have desire. They could, with a qualified coach, be a good team. Maybe not the Big XII champs, or even the northern division champs, but they could avoid embarassment and could compete and win games. They are poorly coached and uninspired. On the side line Gill looks like he's wondering whats going on out there on the field. He's the epitomy of the dumb blond, he just doesn't have blond hair. I don't know what it will take to get him fired. Maybe it'll take a fraudulent misrepresentation law suit against him to nullify that obnoxious contract. Make Perkins a co-defendant. Oh, did I fail to mention, I don't think Gill is a very good coach or manager?

mtdewjunkie 9 years, 3 months ago

wow...if the players on this team have so much "heart, ability, drive...desire" what do they need coaching for at all...they would step up and make plays. also, he might not of been drafted for 1 other reason...he was an option quarterback. nfl teams havent run that style offense in about...ever. this is not a good team.

haydenhawkco 9 years, 3 months ago

It's easy to give up when times are tough. You're not giving up are you? Stick with the players and appreciate their efforts.

truefan 9 years, 3 months ago

Fans can help though. It's called home field advantage. Showing up to games and showing support through tough times also helps with recruiting and player morale.

I'm sure you conveniently forgot about these things to make your point stronger. Luckily, I remembered. So yes, it does matter if you give up. You may only be one fan, but when you give up and tell others to give up, that's when the stadium empties and we look like a bunch of whiny basketball fans again. Thanks for nothing hawk.

haydenhawkco 9 years, 3 months ago

I understand your point but I see it as entertainment, not an investment.

Icebird3 9 years, 3 months ago

No worries! Tomorrow KU Basketball plays its first exhibition game! No need to even realize football is taking place anymore. Basketball season is finally here!

Ted Toulouse 9 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, the schemes were great until ISU figured it out at halftime and shut it down. But I'm sure Gill would just excuse that as lack of execution, because it's the players' fault for not banging their heads against the wall properly in the second half.

Marc Frey 9 years, 3 months ago

I agree. The ground game was good for one half, then the coaches for ISU adjusted and KU did not. I hope KU can win another game, but I still have to tell myself; "The Fighting Manginos were 2-10 their first year."

NebraskaJayhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Okay look... I will say I'm a little impressed if this team is staying positive because the chances of them winning another game this season is not very good. I'm sure they know that, but they are still fighting. That's a positive.

Another positive is that Gill is holding onto the recruits that he has so far and also continuing to fill the ranks through this awful season. If he starts landing 5 recruits in the next year or two I really don't care if he can coach or not. Bill Calahan recruited 5 recruits to Nebraska, but couldn't coach worth a spit. However, the team that Pelini has to work with is basically all Calahan's recruiting classes. If Gill can do the same as Callahan during his tenure at Kansas...

I know it's a stretch, but hey...trying to find positives through this season.

Layne Pierce 9 years, 3 months ago

It is encouraging from the standpoint, that it shows a way that we could win. I frankly up until now,have seen nothing to show me a gameplan for victory. We are a terrible passing team. We have no way of posing a threat passing. You just take away Patterson, and Beshears, and nobody else does squat. The offensive line is just good enough to throw short meaningless passes. Our wide receivers are terrible blockers, so screens don't work.

It is clear that we are at best a score 28 give up 27 team. That's where we were most of the time with Mangino, and we are still there. The difference is right now we are a score 14 team, so you know what that means.

We can only win by effectively running the ball, and keeping our defense off the field, so their weaknesses are exploited as little as possible, and the players we have don't get worn out,because we have no depth of any kind.

I am not writing TG off, because they are recruiting, and I still believe that this season was written off from the beginning. I am a little aggravated that TG said he was not rebuilding when he came, fact is he is a 2 million dollar a year coach of a half-million a year team.

Joe Ross 9 years, 3 months ago

Let's face it. ISU is not a great team to use as a measuring stick. Sure, they beat Texas the preceeding week, but this ain't your father's Longhorns. UT is a paltry .500 and by all accounts this year's squad represents a paper tiger. The take-home message is that all the apparent "progress" made in the last week would not have been observed if we had faced some of the other remaining teams on our schedule (e.g., Nebraska, Mizzou, or Oklahoma State). The truth is I'm not taking ANYTHING for granted against Colorado.

Last week's performance "may" have represented progress, but both the cynic and the realist sides of me is able to accept that it could just be we faced an easier opponent.

The Truth.

F_N_Genius 9 years, 3 months ago

Great point jross.

Exactly what the Gill believers dont want to hear.

Truth hurts, but its reality.

siltom 9 years, 3 months ago

I wish they would just eliminate the ability of the readers to make comments. I am so tired of reading negative remarks EVERY DAY. Our boys go out there week after week and give it all they have. I am sick and tired of all these wanna-be football players coming on here and making their remarks. Most of you probably never even played football! Do you honestly think they enjoy losing? They still have 4 more games to play and I know they are going to give it their best. Stop tearing them down and try building them up for a change.

Joe Ross 9 years, 3 months ago

No one thinks these players enjoy losing. But the conversation doesn't end there. You must allow yourself to consider whether or not everything is being done to prevent that from happening.

That simple.

And as far as I can tell, most people are holding Gill accountable for these losses. Not the players. Since Gill is the head coach, he is rightly responsible for producing progress in this team. It doesn't take a football player to know that, but I was one. I played receiver for a state-championship team in addition to playing college ball. That aside, eliminating readers' making comments would have also abridged the one you just made. You have an opinion so you shared it. Just like all those have done with whom you disagree.

siltom 9 years, 3 months ago

Read the opening comment. "Ready for the season to end". Well, stop watching! They don't need your support if you are so ready for them to be done.

Joe Ross 9 years, 3 months ago

Fair enough, siltom. Fans should bear with the players. But they also have no obligation to be happy with the coaching.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 3 months ago

I post "realistic" not negative stuff almost everyday and it is directed towards the coaches in charge of the players. You know that guy pulling in 2 mill a year? It's okay if he is held accountable for the product he is putting on the field!

KSseahawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Agreed...most here aren't tearing down the players. We're trying to understand what the heck Gill is trying to do. Read the posts a little closer.

As for progress, maybe it was there in the first half and then out the window in the second, so I'm still not picking up what Turner is laying down. 3.9 yards per carry and 4.5 yards per pass attempt just ain't going to get the job done, especially against a decent to mediocre ISU team.

100 9 years, 3 months ago

We have no line.

And still won the first half.

I'd say that's progress against a veteran team that just beat UT.

shelleysue 9 years, 3 months ago

Dear Coach. Forget about the nice guy routine. SHOW SOME FIRE. PLLLEEEAAASSE!!

Joe Ross 9 years, 3 months ago

Amen! The AntiMangino mantle can only take you so far. Get those boys playing!

jhawkmt 9 years, 3 months ago

Keep the players, they are trying. GET RID OF THE COACH. What do we expect when Lew hires a proven loosing coach? Promise Mark Mangio all the big boy panties that you can and get him back. Lew is gone, (thank God) so lets get a proven winning coach. Enough is enough. The players are playing their hearts out but cant win if the coach just doesnt care.

Sean Rodger 9 years, 3 months ago

I'd prefer to go with Leach - like where Mangino got us, could have got a little further with Tuberville, but just think of the offense that we would've had in Lawrence!

100 9 years, 3 months ago

Our boys didn't give up; it was competitive.

He's got a 4 star guy signing up after three blowout losses. The recruit says, "Tell the KU fans, we're bringing back the program."

If he believes in Gill (this is a kid who could've started at KSU, OU, NU in the next couple years), then perhaps we need to watch the rebuilding process.

I can't wait to see us with the 6'5" 330 pound line.

Guys we are gonna be set up to run the ball!!!!!

Quit worrying so much about this year & hope we can show competitiveness throughout the rest of the season.

I mean c'mon, you've got to give it to our players; we are severely undersized right now, injured & young, and we still controlled that entire first half, running the ball nonetheless!

That was a step in the right direction.

NebraskaJayhawk funny you bring up 5 star recruits, he has one in Texas & one in Florida he's in contact with.

How does he do it even after getting blown out three weeks in a row?

Because we have a dinky, young, bruised up line right now. Any knowledgeable speedster doesn't want to play for a dinky line.

So what did he recruit first?

A big ass' line.

The line that he recruited for next year is HuGe, and five stars wanna be protected & have some room to run free, which a massive line does.

Geekinout 9 years, 3 months ago

Agreed! Once we get the type of O-line we need, it's going to make all the difference.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 3 months ago

The day I say "I saw improvement in a loss to isu" is the day I'll jump off a bridge!

Andy Tweedy 9 years, 3 months ago

So I take it you think ISU always sucks because they're ISU? That should make it easier to be a KU expectations whatsoever!!!

khummel60 9 years, 3 months ago

I understand the skepticism of many of the posters. I suppose I'm so desperate to find something positive that I'm looking for any signs of progress. I didn't see as many silly mistakes in this game (e.g. clipping penalties, false starts, holding) so that feels like progress. We held them to 12 yards of total offense in the 1st quarter and 7 points in the first half, and that seems like progress. Our Offensive Line played much better, we had a lead at half-time, and for once our free-safeties didn't lead the team in tackles. These all seem like progress. And while Iowa State isn't a ranked team and probably won't win the Big-12 North, they do have the same number of Big-12 wins as NU and MU. And I think I'm in the minority here, but I even thought Gill made the right call by letting the clock tick down at the end of the first half, before kicking the field goal. This team desperately needed to go to the locker room with a lead, and I think Gill was right not to risk blowing that lead.

But here are just a couple of reasons to be less than enthusiastic about this apparent progress. Iowa State may be bowl-bound, but they are little more than an average team. Yes we were able to run the ball, but we rushed for only 119 yards against a team that ranks 10th in the Big-12 in rushing defense (just ahead of KU). Yes our Defense held them to 28 points (half of what we usually spot teams), but we gave up 400 yards of total offense to a team that ranks dead last in total offense (just behind KU).

Here we are hoping against hope that we can beat CU in the battle of the conference losers. Sad. I don't even want to ponder what NU and MU will do to us with teams that are far better than ISU if we don't get allot better instantly (and I think we all know that isn't going to happen).

All of that said I still can't join the Gill Hater's Club, as that just seems pointless. We should all be trying to support this team, and hoping that Gill and staff know what they are doing, and that they all get better (coaches as well as players). Unfortunately, this season is little more than extended training camp for next year.

100 9 years, 3 months ago

Nice comments.

By the way, it might be noted, we have no line.

And still ran the ball in the first half.

One other point, we have no defense (remember last year's D???)

Well we still have no D. But somehow, our players played with guts & controlled ISU's potent running game for an entire half.

I liked our free safety (#44) getting moved to Linebacker; he is a leader & his attitude is infectious.

Watch him in week 2 of the Gridiron. It's on YouTube.

That's the spirit that Gill's leadership, letting players pump each other up. When we have athletes again that can compete in the big 12, to go along with the mindset that you see in that clip, man we are gonna be fun to watch....

We just need to have patience as a fanbase.

We will be explosive in the next couple years, for many seasons to come.

I believe. Does our fanbase? Of course most dont, they just see a rebuilding year 59-7 loss to "the purples" (lavendar Wichita State) at home & they're "real mad!!!"

The great thing is, KU's fanbase doesn't have to believe in national championships, world domination & punt returners breaking the sound barrier for the next two decades, because, right now, we're smart enough to see that we are undersized at every position & "Gee, we're getting beat, there's no way we'll ever be good..."

[[quick Chiefs commercial]]]

It's not about this year's wins & losses.

We are building a foundation.

A big line & the fastest kid in the Midwest is coming next year.

And who knows? Maybe Gill can grab a five star or two in January, because we will have the biggest line in America.

F_N_Genius 9 years, 3 months ago

You my friend need to lay down the piece pipe.

Lay it down....

Now just walk away.......

Walk away......

100 9 years, 3 months ago

Good to hear from you.

  1. Last I checked, it's Peace Pipe.
  2. Shoot the messenger, fine. The message is all I care about....
  3. The message: We still have the biggest line in America next year. And we just signed a four star running back who could've played anywhere.

F_N_Genius 9 years, 3 months ago

Awesome. Pointing out a homonym error in someones internet post sure does validate your craziness.

All I got to say is dont b!tch when your BIG A$$ LINE is still getting its a$$ owned next year. I'm not sure why the hell you're so high on Gill and his "BIGGEST LINE IN AMERICA" theory. Gotta be a fool if you think KU is going to have the biggest line in america EVER.

Even if we did have the biggest line in america, what the hell does that have to do with conditioning. We could have a damn NFL line out there but if Gill cant condition, their worthless. You're clueless if you cant see that thats what this is all about. CONDITIONING. Not size.

dtownhawkfan 9 years, 3 months ago

“Oh yeah, definitely,” Capra said. “If you make a good block, they’re gonna make a big run. I think we executed well. There weren’t a lot of plays that we couldn’t run against them.”

wow.....we scored 16 points, gimme a break

haydenhawkco 9 years, 3 months ago

Interesting perspective. Not everyone is sold on Gill as the head coach but to suggest that the players have to get beaten down so you feel better about yourself is just sad. I guess your life is pretty boring.

Danimal 9 years, 3 months ago

I think that the team is making progress, ISU is pretty salty this year. Unfortunately, they've got a long, long way to go.

Geekinout 9 years, 3 months ago

The play-calling in past games has been really suspect and predictable, but I'm really starting to think the coaching staff is solely looking toward the future. We have a soft, injured, and undersized o-line. With a Juco transfer Qb who was 3rd on the depth charts. Not entirely sure he belonged 3rd, but basically KU's Qb situation this year was doomed from the start. Plus, there isn't a whole lot of depth on defense and they're on the field the majority of the game thanks to the offense. This coaching staff probably could care less about the overall record or scores for this year and are trying to figure out what they have to work with in the future. The worst it is this year, will make next years turnaround all that more dramatic, HOPEFULLY...

Simply had way too high expectations for this year.

OhioHawkfan 9 years, 3 months ago

"Those schemes, employed by KU coach Turner Gill and offensive coordinator Chuck Long as a way to simplify the offense,"


Turnergill4life 9 years, 3 months ago

By gaining ground, does the headline refer to covering a spread??? I'm not sure I understand in gaining ground. Are they referring to keeping it within two touchdowns of a lousy team???

Joe Ross 9 years, 3 months ago

I respect Matt Tait. I've read many of his articles and I think as far as sports journalists go, he certainly passes the sniff test. Matt, if you happen to read this, please try to construe my comments as remarks made to address a phenomenon which I see not only in sports journalism, but in human nature. Above all, please understand that I mean NO offense whatsoever and I mean this in all candor.

The title of this article may be correct, but it does not necessarily follow from the line of reasoning Tait expresses in the article. Consider that scientifically, it would be fallacious to conclude that KU has made progress because one of the variables in the "experiment" was changed: namely, the team KU played. When one observes a different outcome after changing variables, the difference in the outcome must be weighed against manipulation of the variable. In English, I'm saying that if you play a poorer team (taking for granted only for the moment that ISU is a poorer team), then a better performance can not necessarily be interpreted as progress. It could simply be that KU performed better because of the caliber of the opposition. This is NOT progress in and of itself.

Tait could reasonably argue that by the same logic, one could not conclude that KU is worse because of the change of a significant variable: in this case, the coach (and also personnel for that matter...Reesing, Meyer, et al.). He'd be right to do so, at least while the pool of data is relatively small. The translation is that extracting a conclusion from a small number of games yields less confidence in that conclusion than if there were many games to judge by, and by all accounts Gill's tenure at KU has been short thus far. So does it stop here? That no conclusions can be made about Gill or the performance of the team because the number of games is small and there have been lots of changes? No, not quite.

One could consider the following. Has there been week-to-week improvement for more than just consecutive weeks? Is Kansas showing improvement in their play against tougher teams? Apart from the performance of the team, has the coaching been independently evaluated over the course of the entire season? Apart from the coaching, has the team's performance been independently evaulated over the course of the entire season? In fairness, are there injuries or other factors contributing to progress or the lack of it? These kinds of questions (and more) give a true picture of whether or not a team is making progress. One also needs to be careful about using stats (if not done scientifically). A politician once said, "If you torture numbers long enough you can make them confess to anything." The point is that you don't look to one game--a game in which the competition is NOT very strong--and conclude that we are gaining ground because of a better performance.

All respect, Matt.

TopCityHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Talk about a Hall of Fame case of over-analyzation.

To me, at least, it seems a little over the top when your analysis of an article becomes lengthier than the article itself.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to point out Iowa State's program is sub-par. Also, considering Mangino's first trip to Ames ended in a 45-0 shellacking, I would have to argue 28-16 really wasn't all that bad. All things considered.

Joe Ross 9 years, 3 months ago

You say my point is easily understood but the irony is that with your last point you show you really don't understand it. To use laymen's terms (since your opposed to the contrary), I'm saying you need to compare apples to apples before drawing conclusions. Mangino a long time ago is not Gill today, nor are their situations the same, the caliber of their personnel, etc. Perhaps such a lengthy explanation was in order after all?

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