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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gill: Nebraska game isn’t any different

Kansas football coach Turner Gill, left, disputes an interference call following a Colorado punt during the first quarter of the Jayhawks’ victory Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Gill will face his alma mater, Nebraska, for the first time this week.

Kansas football coach Turner Gill, left, disputes an interference call following a Colorado punt during the first quarter of the Jayhawks’ victory Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Gill will face his alma mater, Nebraska, for the first time this week.

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The first question came Sunday night, barely 24 hours after Kansas University football coach Turner Gill and the Jayhawks delivered a record-setting comeback in a victory against Colorado.

Monday morning, during the Big 12 coaches teleconference, Gill was greeted by a half-dozen more questions about the same topic.

Whether he likes it or not, Gill returning to coach against his alma mater this weekend in Lincoln, Neb., is a big deal. And it figures to be quite a conversation piece for the next five days. Gill knows that, but he insists that this week means nothing more to him than any of the nine weeks that have come before it.

“It’s not about me, it’s about our football team,” Gill said. “And we’re just excited to have another opportunity to play another game and trying to improve as a football team and get us a win.”

That soundbite echoed the same thoughts he shared Sunday night.

“That’s probably gonna be the statement of the week,” he said. “We’re focused on trying to get this football team to win another football game. That’s what we’re gonna try to do and that’s what I’m here to do.”

Pressed to elaborate just a little about his expectations and emotions as he prepares to walk into Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium as a visitor for the first time, Gill obliged.

“The only difference is it’s gonna be on the other sideline,” he said. “But outside of that, it’s no different than any other game. Once you’re in the stadium and once you’re focused on your team, your mind (has) so many things going on so all the other things, it really doesn’t matter whether you’re playing at Nebraska or wherever, it’s all the same for me. And I think any coach would say the same thing.”

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini did everything but that when he was asked Monday about the potential distraction surrounding Gill’s return.

“I’m not playing and he’s not playing,” Pelini said. “I’m sure he’ll have some emotions, coming back to his alma mater and all those things, but that’s something that he’s gonna have to deal with. At the end of the day, it comes down to the guys that are playing out there on the field.”

Gill was a star quarterback at Nebraska in the early 1980s. He led the Cornhuskers to three consecutive Big Eight titles and finished with a 28-2 record in three seasons as a starter. That stretch included a 20-0 mark in conference games. In all, he threw for 3,317 yards and 34 touchdowns and gained 1,317 yards and 18 TDs on the ground. He finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1983.

After a brief professional career in the Canadian Football League, Gill also coached at Nebraska. In 1990 he joined Tom Osborne’s staff as a graduate assistant. After a one-year stint at SMU, Gill returned to NU in 1992, where he remained as an assistant coach until 2005.

While all of those memories are near and dear to Gill’s heart, the first-year KU coach doesn’t expect to think much about them this week when his Jayhawks take on the ninth-ranked Cornhuskers at 6 p.m. Saturday.

“Not really,” Gill said. “When you’re coaching, you’re so in tune with what you’re trying to get accomplished in the football game that the surroundings don’t affect you at all. Maybe more for my family than for myself. But I’ll be focused on trying to get our players to play well. We gotta play a great football game to beat Nebraska.”

KU-OSU to air on FOX

The KU football team’s home finale on Nov. 20 against Oklahoma State will kick off at 11 a.m. and will be televised on FSN, the Big 12 announced Monday.

The game will break a string of three straight games where the Jayhawks were not available on cable television. KU’s games against Iowa State and Colorado were not televised, while Saturday’s game against Nebraska will only be available on pay-per-view.

Another streak to snap?

Although KU snapped its 11-game conference losing streak with last week’s win against Colorado, the Jayhawks still are suffering through a stretch of winless road games. KU has lost seven consecutive games away from Lawrence, dating back to a 34-7 victory against UTEP in 2009.

The last time Kansas won in Lincoln, Neb., was in 1968, when the Jayhawks, ranked sixth in the country, defeated the ninth-ranked Huskers, 23-13. KU finished that season 9-2 overall, 6-1 in Big Eight play and with a heartbreaking, 15-14 loss to Penn State in the Orange Bowl.

Sayers honored by NFL Network

Former KU great Gale Sayers recently was named the 22nd-best player in NFL history by the NFL Network.

NFL Films polled a panel of former players, historians, scouts, team executives and writers to come up with the Top 100 players of all time. They considered players from every era, including current NFL players.

Sayers was a two-time All-American at Kansas in 1963 and 1964. He ran for 2,675 yards and produced 3,917 all-purpose yards in his Jayhawk career.

Sayers played for the Chicago Bears from 1965-71 and was selected to the Pro Bowl four times before being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977. At age 34, he was the youngest player ever enshrined.

“Having played four and a half years, 68 ball games, to be number 22 on the list, I’m very honored,” Sayers said in a release. “There are so many great players throughout the history of the league, and I’m pleased they rated me so high on the list.”

To see the full list, log on to: http://top100.nfl.com/?module=HP_cp2>http://top100.nfl.com/?module=HP_cp2

Comments

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 5 months ago

ooooooooooooooooh myyyyyyyyyyyyyy gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawk! why did nobody pick up the look of confusion on 43's face. it's like he just saw a ghost when gill showed some emotion.

and please tell me why i have more muscle cuts in my arm than our saftey?

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Ben Kliewer 3 years, 5 months ago

It won't happen, but wouldn't it be hilarious if we won out the season and became bowl eligible? I would laugh so hard. We'll likely lose to Nebraska, or "Corn" as it was so eloquently put by KSA_21_3503, who is clearly a KU supporter (sarcasm, clearly a troll). But 84-0? Possibility, but I certainly hope not. Hopefully our boys will show some testicular fortitude and play rough and tumble football in Lincoln. As for your very negative attitude, KSA_21_3503, I'll pray for you.

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KSA_21_3503 3 years, 5 months ago

84-0 Corn

Afterwards, Gill decides that players exposing their ankles is probably to blame because it is "disrespectful." Shorts now banned for football players.

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ccarp 3 years, 5 months ago

Just want the boys to come out, fight hard, and execute. If there is any storyline to add a little emotion to the game is some team from the north better step up and knock the huskers out of representing this division in the championship. Don't let the cornhuskers walkout on this conference holding the goods. Let's go get 'em! Call up the ISU coaching staff and learn what worked last week. BEAT THE HUSKERS!

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100 3 years, 5 months ago

Keep bringin in those 4 stars Coach Gill!!!!!

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DevilHawk 3 years, 5 months ago

Some good news on the recruiting front. Rodney Coe, a 4-star athlete with offers from most top programs, now has KU listed as "High" interest and is scheduled to visit KU on Dec. 3.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/kansas/football/recruiting/player-Rodney-Coe-99202

Also listed as "High" interest in KU currently are:

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hailtoku 3 years, 5 months ago

Have some attitude walking into Lincoln boys!!

Pick some fights, talk some trash...screw the swear jar! Enough with this "believe" crap.. go TAKE this game from them. Make it happen.

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bigtex 3 years, 5 months ago

Hawkins did a great job coaching to give us a win over Colorado.Lets face it, if CU runs the ball in the 4th quarter instead of trying to run up the score by passing the ball and running a reverse the score definitely could of been different. Hell Colorado couldn't even recover an on-side kick and KU never practice an on-side kick in practice all year,first time was in the CU game.(How about that for team preparation) Bo Pelini is not going to make stupid play calls . Tom Osborne made an excellent decision when he chose Pelini as his head coach.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 5 months ago

Isn't any different than (Ndsu, smu, bu, ksu, atm, isu) game!

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NebraskaJayhawk 3 years, 5 months ago

You're right, this game is not about you, Coach Gill. Get the focus off yourself and into the real meaning of this game. This game means a heck of a lot to most of us from the state of Kansas. We want to see Kansas win this game for Kansas, not for you. The state of Kansas, and Jayhawk fans in particular, deserve the best effort from this team on Saturday as these to rivals meet for the last time in conference play.

Take it to 'em 'hawks!

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100 3 years, 5 months ago

Take it to 'em Coach Gill!!!!!

Philosphically speaking, the man with the keys to the Porche this week is Jonathon Wilson. Keep it simple & let him go find some gaps just like "in the schoolyard."

Always play like we're 28 points down.

Let's jolt the Cornhuskers out of our lives and into the Big 10!!!!!

The Big (though slightly injured & young) Blue Machine is comin!!!!!

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