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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

100 3 years, 8 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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NebraskaJayhawk 3 years, 8 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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mphawk27 3 years, 8 months ago

This is a pretty ignorant comment I have to say. HCTG has done nothing but try to downplay such discussion and at no time has he tried to make this game about him at all. As he has for the entire time he's been the coach here, he's been all about the team concept.

“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.”

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NebraskaJayhawk 3 years, 8 months ago

You're ignorant to what I meant by my comment. In the media, this game will be about Gill returning to coach in Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. What I am suggesting is that he inspire some tenacity in these players to win this game for the state of Kansas, the University, it's fans, and alumni....and not himself.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 8 months ago

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

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Ben Kliewer 3 years, 8 months ago

You're right, it's completely different than (GaTech, Nmsu, cu) game! As in, it is apparently not a football game?

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Matt Tait 3 years, 8 months ago

When you copy it, try it without the period at the end. It's also now hyper-linked too so you can just click on it in the story above.

Thanks!

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bigtex 3 years, 8 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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khummel60 3 years, 8 months ago

Correction: KU had never practiced a surprise on-side kick before, but had practiced a normal on-side kick many times. If your going to drive the anti-Gill bandwagon you need to get your facts straight.

You can try to minimize that win all you want, but the fact is KU executed when they had to and never quit. All the mistakes they had been making in previous games, and in the first half of this game, they suddenly stopped making. Yes, CU let down their guard and made some bad decisions. But it is just as true that KU, for once, didn't shoot themselves in the foot. They still had to stop an offense they hadn't stopped all day, and they still had to score 35 points against a defense they had been able to score much on. You can't dismiss all of that by saying CU just suddenly rolled over.

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jaymar74 3 years, 8 months ago

Agree completely and so do thousands of others. The fact is the anti-Gill group is a minority and it is becomming even smaller.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 8 months ago

Exactly. Cu lost it, we didn't win it! Don't worry after the next three beatdowns the supporters will go back into hiding.

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Ben Kliewer 3 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, nobody should support our football program. That's what people who like KU would do.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 8 months ago

i'm here because i love my school and cannot stand what is going on with the football program mostly due to the coached inabilities to get the job done and will scream my feelings until things change. as for the players i have never ragged on these young men. recruits, maybe, but that's because gill signs a home schooled two star lineman who picked us over the university of alaska and you guys do backflips like he just inked jonathan ogden! now. . .what's this about pie!?!?!?!?!?!

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JBurtin 3 years, 8 months ago

I disagree...I think you're here because the mods don't have an IP blocker to stop azalum / mulaza / ahpersecoachingexperience from signing back up after being banned.

Kudos for being a great troll though.

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hailtoku 3 years, 8 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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DevilHawk 3 years, 8 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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ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 8 months ago

Was that a western Kentucky logo next to one of those players. Recruit recruit recruit!

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100 3 years, 8 months ago

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

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Tony Bandle 3 years, 8 months ago

100, my friend, please take no offense but is your statement support or sarcasm?

Wait, never mind, after reading your first post I am sure it is solid support...I thought that 4 stars were harder to get in football than basketball and I feel that the Kansas program is not yet "five star" attractive.

Is that a reasonable interpretation?

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Ben Kliewer 3 years, 8 months ago

Couple comments. 1. I believe 100 is being supportive. 2. Four star recruits are boons to any program, even successful ones. Generally 5 stars aren't just thrown around to any recruits that show good skills. 5 stars are generally fewer and farther between. 4 stars are more populace, and usually the backbone of any successful, solid program. Of course, 5 stars are 5 star material, but there are no teams out there made up entirely of 5 star recruits. You can have a really electric program made up of 4 star recruits. 4 stars are great. But I would also note that players like Kerry, Todd, Aqib, BMac, all of those guys who were big names a few years back for our program were 2 and 3 star recruits originally. So the rating system is flawed. You never know how a player is going to blossom in a college program, which is why rosters change, starters get benched and bench warmers get starts. It's all an evolutionary process. I've seen it first hand because I played college ball.

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100 3 years, 8 months ago

Oakville, great to hear from you.

No offense taken. Kleave explained it best. You load a football roster with 4 stars & experienced 4 stars along with a huge line & some key defensive players & watch out!

Gill is talking & signing more four star talent than I expected this early on.

The five stars are hard to come by, but the amazing thing is where Mangino had no shot at getting in a five star's kitchen eating area for obvious reasons (simple supply/demand side economics), Gill has such solid connections in the South that he is already in conversation with two 5 stars (one in Florida, the other in Texas).

That in itself is pretty unheard of in Kansas football history. Yes we landed Gale Sayers. But we weren't simultaneously talking with several Gale Sayers type high school athletes at once.

Gill is.

(for the record there is only one Gale Sayers, best running back in the history of the NFL, he was robbed the other day to be considered #22, only because he had a shortened career due to his knee getting pounded early in his career in the days before doctors could fix it properly).

Back to Gill. That's why I think Gill signed that huge line so early; he is connected to a lot of premier athletes & their communities especially in Texas but they want to know they'll have some blockers!

It will be very interesting to see how Coach Gill's recruiting takes off once Nebraska is playing in Canada next year.

Kids who wanted to be Huskers across the South & Midwest will now be touring the best practice & strength training facilities in the nation with coach Gill.

We are about to take over the recruiting of half of Nebraska's recruits thanks to them moving to the Big 10 combined with us having the offensive recruiter in Gill they felt like they lost with their decision to not hire Gill as head coach!

Hint: why did Nebraska suddenly start sucking? Look at when their offensive recruiting started suffering (it's when Gill left for a higher paying job!!!)

Nebraska fans won't say it (they like Gill a bunch). But they're freaking out over the future. It's not "just" the Big 10. It's the fact that we have their glory days recruiter wrapped up in a five year contract & now their Texas recruits thanks to the big 10 won't get to play in Texas/ Oklahoma/ Kansas several times a year anymore!!!!

By the way Oakville. So far, head to head recruiting between Nebraska & Coach Gill since he showed up in Lawrence:

Kansas 2 Nebraska 0

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Tony Bandle 3 years, 8 months ago

Kleave, 100..thanks so much. I feel like a got a deeply informative response, Jaybate in scope but fractional in length....Jaybate, my friend, just joshing :}

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Ben Kliewer 3 years, 8 months ago

100, while I certainly appreciate your zeal, I would warn against making such statements, certain posters on this board might slam you with equally as speculative statements. While I don't disagree with you, a lot of what you're saying hasn't happened yet, and is speculative based on past statistics... Just like a lot of what ahpersecoachingexperience says hasn't actually taken place and is all speculative, based on past statistics. I would like to refer back to a post I put up after the CU game that stated that none of us know anything about what is going to happen, PERIOD. That being said, I appreciate the optimism. I'm still on the fence about Gill. There are times this season where I've thought, "Oh crap, this guy can't lead this team." And other times when I'm like "This guy could be a genius." Both keeping an eye on recruiting and the games. I'm still skeptical of Gill, but I'm trying to leave plenty of room for him to prove himself as a coach. Plenty. But at the same time, I really hope that Gill pulls this out and can turn it into a power program. I'm probably the weirdest combination of skepticism and hope on these article posts. But either way, we can quote all the opinions and statistics we want, but it won't tell us what will happen tomorrow.

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100 3 years, 8 months ago

Sure we don't know what will happen tomorrow....

What we do know is, since Gill came to KU... In the head to head recruiting battle, it's:

Kansas 2 Nebraska 0

The last 11 minutes of Kansas football has averaged KU scoring a TD every 2 minutes & 12 seconds.

After the game we have another 4 star with a high interest in KU along with three more with speed.

We in fact do have the biggest line in America coming in next year.

All of this is fact.

Oh and even after the factual embarrassing beatdowns, we stole a 4 starvrecruit from Nebraska because he wanted to play for Gill.

The only speculation, which is educated speculation, is that Gill will begin to take many of Nebraska's offensive recruits once NU bolts for the Ohio State Conference. I'm not gonna aplogize to you for posting what seems like a good solid bet; recruits & their parents love Gill, he's recruiting speed, he's transparent & Nebraska is leaving.

Gill is pulling them in.

Well, even with them here we're winning the head to head competition.

As for what is to be seen in the next few years with "coaching", I think it's pretty obvious.

Lots of speed. Lots of owning the line of scrimmage. An attack defense (yes we've factually been embarrassed using it in 3 games this year with a new system).

We will be a force.

Whether you think it's "speculation" or not, I don't give a rats ass'.

You are a good KU fan.

Gill is brininging a system with lots of honesty & integrity.

Like you said, who knows if we have a shot against NU Saturday.

I know we do. If the players visualize & plan together, and find those gaps using a simple gameplan, they can win.

I'm not saying they will; but I know they can.

It's up for them to find a way, even if they are undersized, slower, younger and injured.

Cu sure as he'll didn't expect 35 unanswered points.

Who knows what Saturday brings.

I just know we can.

And as for the future; Gill will bring us many amazing years here.

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Rivethead 3 years, 8 months ago

"We in fact do have the biggest line in America coming in next year.

All of this is fact."

Really? We've signed all those linemen? Or are you just taking the word of a 18 year old as "fact"?

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ccarp 3 years, 8 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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Ben Kliewer 3 years, 8 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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ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 8 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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KSseahawk 3 years, 8 months ago

First thing I thought too. 43 is stunned.

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