Sunday, November 21, 2010


KU can’t adjust, keep up

Kansas receiver Kale Pick is wrestled down by a handful of Oklahoma State defenders after a reception during the second quarter, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010 at Kivisto Field.

Kansas receiver Kale Pick is wrestled down by a handful of Oklahoma State defenders after a reception during the second quarter, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010 at Kivisto Field.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Turner Gill

Kansas coach Turner Gill talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 48-14 loss to Oklahoma State on Nov. 20, 2010.

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Highlights from the Kansas and Oklahoma State football game.

The Kansas Jayhawks hung with the Oklahoma State Cowboys early, before watching OSU run away in the second half. The final score was 48-14 in favor of the Cowboys.

From the opening play on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium, the Kansas University football team’s offense screamed, “Let me entertain you; let me make you smile.” It amounted to a big tease.

The steady signs of improvement evident the previous four weeks and in Saturday’s first half morphed back into a replay of early-season bloopers: not having 11 men on the field, undisciplined penalties, pass-protection breakdowns, special-teams collapses.

Yet again, Kansas came out of the locker room after halftime playing at a different speed than its opponent.

Not surprisingly, Oklahoma State, ranked 12th in the nation, took advantage of KU’s signature third-quarter blues and rolled to a 48-14 victory.

In conference play, Kansas has been outscored 90-10 in the third quarter. The easy answer: KU’s coaches aren’t as skilled at making halftime adjustments as the coaches of most other Big 12 teams. I’m not sure that’s where the answer lies.

Extremely well-conditioned athletes come out of intermission refreshed and can regain maximum energy level quickly. Those not as fit tend to have trouble restoring their energy after taking a break.

It’s just a theory, one I ran past first-year KU coach Turner Gill during one of those inevitable uncomfortable moments of silence that accompany just about any losing coach’s postgame news conference.

To what extent, I wondered, has conditioning played a part in the team’s third-quarter woes, or is it a case of in-game adjustments, or just what is it?

“It has nothing to do with conditioning,” Gill said. “Eliminate that for sure.”

His next remark could be spotted from a mile away: the E-word. Execution.

“Part of it is just being able to execute,” Gill said. “For the most part, we’ve been fairly good on defense. I think it’s offensively we probably haven’t been able to get things done in the third quarter.”

Which brings us back to: Is it conditioning or losing the in-game-adjustments battle that leads to such poor third-quarter blocking? The Kansas offense ran 15 third-quarter plays and gained six yards, all on the ground.

Whispers blowing out of last winter’s conditioning sessions told stories of far less running than in previous seasons.

“I wouldn’t say it was that much less (running),” sophomore safety Bradley McDougald said. “Conditioning is going to be hard one way or another. Guys are still hurting at the end of the day after workouts. Guys were still coming in sore.”

The emphasis appeared to have shifted from conditioning to bulking up, which fits a team that relies on smash-mouth, power football, but hinders one that spreads the field and tries to out-quick and out-last opponents.

“A lot of people did get stronger,” McDougald said. “That’s one of the biggest things I noticed. I raised my bench. A lot of other people raised their lifts as well. People are getting stronger and better.”

The approach to strength and conditioning needs to improve, and the performance of the special teams must as well. For now, the attention is trained on two words: Beat Missouri.


gchawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Our defensive secondary is as bad as I've ever seen. OSU could throw at will, as most teams have against us. I have seen zero adjustments in this area.

Andy Tweedy 9 years, 3 months ago

Maybe, but our defensive line provides so little pressure it's hard to really say where the fault lies.

Michael Leiker 9 years, 3 months ago

My biggest question about the secondary yesterday is where the heck did Greg Brown go? He had 3 legitmate pass break ups, was breaking on the ball very well in the first quarter on Blackmon and suddenly we have Barfield in there getting his a$$ ate up for the rest of the game.

leonard 9 years, 3 months ago

"If we execute and win the third quarter...we can win this game". That's the para-phrased Gill quote from the sideline reporter to start the second half.

What a joke.

Coach Gill better hope that his ballyhooed coaching staff can live up to the expectations because he's in over his head. Here's hoping he spends the night at a Holiday Inn Express before the game with Misery.

Rkessler 9 years, 3 months ago

I have a friend that works for the football team and he told me after the Baylor game that we do zero running. All weights!! Funny how we look so slow and overmatched. Even high school kids run. Way to go big John.

jaydee909 9 years, 3 months ago

We couldn't run the ball consistently last year either with the same OL, less Spikes and an overweight Hatch this season. Reesing ran for his life but it worked out most of the time because of his unique ability to make plays on the run and having two excellent receivers didn't hurt. Our defense was bad last year. Nothing new here. If you don't have the talent, you can't "execute" the way you want to. But what kind of coach is going to say that to the press. Special teams, however, looks to have more problems than just talent. We need a change there. Strength and conditioning, you hear conflicting reports. The kids have been fighting harder than they did in previous blowout losses. We were very much in this game at the half. Some good young talent coming back next season. Some position changes that look promising, Opurum at DE for one.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 3 months ago

you're the tird qt question guy on the interview! if i find out you are the guy that laughts when gill says "anything is possible" in regards to who will play where next week i'm going to put a picture of you on my wall and worship it morning, noon, and night!!

so i love how this gill character throws his players under the bus by saying it's execution. why not just say "it's not me, it's them." sorry coach but a 90-10 3rd qt points against/for reflects directly on you and your staff. i guess your coaching at halftime where you say things like "play hard, play fast" and "do what you need to do to win the game" just isn't getting it done!

and yes we are an underconditioned team. some have been screaming since summer that we looked like a pop warner team when compared to a real division 1 football team.

leonard 9 years, 3 months ago

"play hard, play fast" and "do what you need to do to win the game" just isn't getting it done! rang the bell with that one. It only worked once for George Gipp.

Michael Leiker 9 years, 3 months ago

Score a touchdown at the one in the 2nd quarter; Get the call on the hold for Blackmon's initial wide receiver screen on our safety that would have been able to at a minimum force him back inside and KU was in this game.

I'm still a happy KU Football fan after the last few weeks. I didn't see any quit yesterday. Kansas should give Mizzou a hell of a game Saturday.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 3 months ago

Where in 28-0 in the second half did you not see quit?

Michael Leiker 9 years, 3 months ago

Beat handily yes, but It wasn't like it has been and I was one of the biggest critics. I have a pretty good vantage point and it was much better than it was vs KSU and AM.

DevilHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

When all of your penalties on defense come after a punt-block-return which makes it a 20-point game, those mistakes come from players that give a damn and are frustrated as hell.

The game came down to: Penalties Pass defense Special teams Fumble near the goal line (KU recovered, but still should not have happened) * Decision to try for the TD on 4th & Goal at the 1 instead of kicking the field goal to tie at 17-17.

We were probably also out-coached in the second half - especially the 4th quarter - but that is difficult to tell when the players make mistakes. Big plays usually come from a combination of one team calling the wrong play and the players on that team making mistakes...while the other team recognizes it and takes advantage of the situation.

KSseahawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Agreed...Gill continues to blame players and takes no accountability for the garbage that's out there. By the way, it's not improvement when there is just as significant a regression in the same game. This entire year has been an evaluation process, but Gill won't admit it.

Stop lying and telling us that you're trying to win's pretty obvious that's not his concern at this point in time.

Folks...he is not a head coach.

KU_FanSince75 9 years, 3 months ago

KU football coaches are measured by how they do against K-State and Missery. We all know what happened against the Kitty Kats.

Clarence Haynes 9 years, 3 months ago

Keegan What do you know about strength and conditioning??

miltnewton 9 years, 3 months ago

It would be nice to see an end of the year piece focusing on the postives going into next year and beyond. We know we suck and everyone is having second thoughts on HCTG but there has to be a few positive things happening. For instance, tell us how these 9 monster offensive lineman we have commitments from will contribute and how fast it takes for a HS kid at that position to get big enough and strong enough to be a solid contributor in the Big XII conference. Give us something to hang on to.

FightnMangino64 9 years, 3 months ago

Unless they are a freak, it takes about two yrs to turn a hs lineman into a quality college lineman. That's why good coaches go to juco to fill holes for the upcoming season.

Marc Frey 9 years, 3 months ago

Hmmm seven conference game 3rd quarters we have been beaten 90-10. “Part of it is just being able to execute,” Gill said. “For the most part, we’ve been fairly good on defense. I think it’s offensively we probably haven’t been able to get things done in the third quarter.” That is still a D giving up 13 pts a quarter.

There is no substitute for running. As an Ironman and Marathoner, I can attest to that.

I say it is 30% talent, 30% conditioning, and 40% coaching adjustments.

grandpa 9 years, 3 months ago

Brown is a youngster and he looked good as a defensive back. He will come on strong in the future. I thought we looked pretty good in the first half except for the missed 4th & 1. Our quarterback came out flat in the third quarter and we kept trying to run the ball instead aof picking up first downs by passing. This is the third blocked punt this year and there is no excuse for this. Blame it on the blocking if you want but our punter is taking entirely too long to kick the ball. If we throw the ball accurately, I am predicting a win Sat.

grandpa 9 years, 3 months ago

jayhawkinnebr: Thanks for your comment. I am wondering how old yopu are as you don't even know how to spell defense. You are saying "when 6 guys pour through the defense line. "Please. We still have our offensive line in there. Not defensive line. I wear my glasses. You need to get your brain working.

beebe1 9 years, 3 months ago

Seem to agree with my post article above. The problem is Coaching! Hey, if it is 'execution' why the he$$ you didn't coach 'execution"? Maybe bad coaching all around. But good recruiting! But, doubt that the new recruits will be coached any better!

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 3 months ago

And why on fourth and goal from the one do we try to run. Has gill watched game film of our team? Expecting our o line to win a battle in the trenches for a go ahead score!?!?!?!

Dyrk Dugan 9 years, 3 months ago

i don't buy it. this 90-10 third quarter disparity is because we're not in shape? then how did we go 35-0 on CU in the 4th? if we're not running, then CU would have smoked us in the 4th......this is getting ridiculous.

You're telling me yesterday we weren't in shape when we stuffed OSU on the 1st two possessions of the 2nd half? on the 1st possession, they had 3rd and 1.....ran two plays and gained minus one yard....and we're not in shape?

we have up almost 600 yards yesterday....but it's not because we're under conditioned. this football program has been torn down the last few years by a coach who lost his d coordinator, (Bill Young) and never replaced him....and didn't get a QB in here who can play. Plus, we have two recruited scholarship LBs who can't run...and we have no DTs who can push the line.

if you can't tell that we're a more competitive football team than we were six weeks ago, then you're not watching. we ARE improving....but the results on the scoreboard probably won't show it for a couple of years. Let the man get his guys in here and play....and then we can evaluate the coach.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 3 months ago

Disagree with your agreed. And he has had 11 chances!

KSseahawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Please tell where you see team improvement.

Also, if he can't coach up these players and throws them under the bus and gives the fans the 'execution' excuse, how are you so certain that he'll all of a sudden be able to coach his guys? He abandons the game plan at half when it's keeping them in the game...a sign of a clueless coach who is likely still trying to figure out what he's got. Scary...

Further, we're not looking for results on the scoreboard...yet. We're looking for positive steps forward and frankly I thought maybe...just maybe this one would be different based on how we came out swinging. Then like a frightened turtle...TGill went back into his shell, wanting to evaluate players.

Will next year also be an evaluation process all over again, once he gets his guys in there???? They will be freshman and first year players...I'll bet we're in for more of the same next year. I hope I'm wrong, but GPinkel (sp?) will smell blood and the Hawks won't stand a chance.

DevilHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

I'm fairly certain that the job of the head coach in football is: To make sure that the position coaches are doing their jobs correctly and focusing on specific areas of interest/concern To make the correct game-time play decisions (timeouts, challenge, go on 4th down, etc.) To make sure that he has the correct players planned to be on the field To recruit players and direct recruiting efforts * To take an interest in the players so as to prevent off-the-field/personal problems from becoming on-the-field/team problems

Correct me if I'm wrong about that.

Were there some bad coaching decisions? I think that there were at least two. Is Gill in over his head? At the moment, probably so. However, his decisions and the team seem to be getting better each week. I think that he will be a very good coach for us, but there are clearly a variety of issues that need to be fixed - especially special teams. The pass defense needs to get fixed, but I think that is an issue of injuries + lack of talent rather than coaching.

Should Gill have the contract he has? No. Was Gill the right hire? Perhaps not. Has there been progress this season? Yes. Let's see what happens next year.

Particular improvements that I want to see next year: Force turnovers Reduce the penalties Fix the pass defense Fix special teams - especially the punting & kicking units * Better coaching decisions

The interesting thing is that even if we do see those improvements and even if we win what will remain of the North next year, we could still be looking at only a 6-6 season.

kckmedic 9 years, 3 months ago

Actually, any one of our 2 1/2 QBs would be serviceable at worst if they had a line to block for them. I kind of understand the "let him get his guys in here" mantra. But if he really is as bad as he looks, then we've given him three years or more to run the program into the ground. He's not getting fired after this year so everyone needs to give that up. But I see no reason why it shouldn't at least be up for discussion if there is no improvement next year. There are enough big money donors that will pool together $6M if we need to. The aministration doesn't want to pay $6M to fix Lew's F up but when you look at the long-term revenue loss of Turner Gill bringing us back to the Terry Allen era, I believe they will do what they have to do.

John Percival 9 years, 3 months ago

To me, execution means Coach Gill (or any other lame coach) thinks can take me and 10 of you yahoos, and if we do what he says, we'll win. It's the stupidest word in coach-speak and hope Coach (and all the rest) would be more up-front with the short-comings we all see.

KU_FanSince75 9 years, 3 months ago

Jayhawkinnebr---Hey, we agree on something----I can't stand Bo. Did you see how he acted toward the end when the penalties were going against him, the handshake with Mike Sherman at the end of the game and it looked like he had to push an aTm fan away so he could go to the locker room. He's an idiot. I am glad they lost. What would be really funny is that Nebraska loses to Colorado next week---the "Outcasts Game!"

In regard to Gary Pinkel and Mizzou----the Tigers do smell blood and question is, "will they run up the score?" If that happens, it would not be good for Coach Gill but as the saying goes, "what comes around, goes around!"

KSseahawk 9 years, 3 months ago

I don't think GP will run it up...but that doesn't mean it won't be a blowout. TGill seems to make things very easy for the opponents.

Again...hope I'm wrong, cause you gotta beat those tigers. We'll see...

DevilHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

KU is not going to fire Gill after this year. Stop wasting your time arguing for them to do so.

Gill will be the coach at least through the end of the 2012 season. Regardless of any coaching problems (special teams comes to mind), he has a large number of gaps to fill on the team. If Gill raises the talent level of the guys coming in next year, then we could still have a losing season next year and KU would probably still keep Gill as the head coach. Of course, we play the entire South next year, which means that despite improvements we could absolutely have a record between 3-9 and 6-6.

KU explained the purpose of hiring Gill as being to build KU into a legacy program. As long as Gill is consistently taking steps to reach that goal, he will be retained as the head coach.

Legacy programs have: Very talented players on the field Very talented players redshirting Very talented recruits committing to the program even though they know that they will be redshirting during their first year unless there are significant injuries Very good coaches who make the players get the most out of their talent Coaches that are very good at Xs and Os and know the game extremely well Charismatic coaches that recruit well

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