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Monday, October 4, 2010

KU football players fed up with roller coaster

A frustrated Steven Johnson walks off the field following the Jayhawks' 55-7 loss to Baylor Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010 at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas.

A frustrated Steven Johnson walks off the field following the Jayhawks' 55-7 loss to Baylor Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010 at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas.

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In some ways, it’s easy for the members of Kansas University’s football team to put things into perspective and take the big-picture-approach that they are still just five games into the Turner Gill era and that building the team they all want to build will take time.

Jayhawks crushed again on road

The Jayhawks couldn't muster much on offense and couldn't stop Baylor on defense Saturday in Waco. The Jayhawks dropped the contest 55-7.

In other ways, it’s not.

“It’s gotta stop,” KU junior Daymond Patterson said. “You can’t win, lose, win, lose and expect to have a good season. You gotta string wins together.”

Entering the season, that concept seemed a little easier to tackle than it might today. After being pounded, 55-7, by Baylor, a bottom-tier team from the Big 12 South, on Saturday, the Jayhawks have been left to wonder how many victories they might have left on the schedule.

However, according to Patterson, it makes little sense to worry about wins and losses when the team still is trying to find a way to play consistent football.

“We just gotta turn it around,” Patterson said. “(There’s) no time to hang your head. We see now that we have a lot to improve on, and (we need to) just work. That was (Gill’s) big thing, just working. Take no time off. We can’t do that.”

The bye in their schedule dictates the Jayhawks will take this week off. At least that will be the case Saturday. The Jayhawks will practice Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, and while a lot of the time will be spent looking ahead to their next game against Kansas State on Oct. 14, some of it will be spent on fundamentals.

“We’re going to do a little bit of (everything),” Gill said. “The first thing is we’re going to rest some guys that need to get rested who have been playing hurt to try to get them as healthy as possible. And then (we’ll) also be preparing for Kansas State.”

Some Jayhawks say the off week comes at a good time, and others say they’d rather get back on the field as soon as possible. Count Patterson in the latter group, if for no other reason than to wash away the funk from the team’s performance at Baylor.

“I know how good we can be, but a lot of teams can be really good,” Patterson said. “But until we go out there and show it, week in and week out, we’re only as good as what we show on the field, and that’s what we’re going to be judged by.”

Though buzzwords such as “execution,” “improve” and “process” continue to be tossed around by both the KU coaches and players — during the good times and the bad — some players were at a loss for words when attempting to explain just what went wrong Saturday.

“We lose one week, and we come back with a big win. It just happens. I don’t know,” sophomore wide receiver D.J. Beshears said. “We just gotta watch film and get better.”

One positive for this team is that, despite the rough start, it has stuck together. The players aren’t blaming each other, and they aren’t second-guessing their coaches. Perhaps most importantly, they’re not giving up.

“Every week we’ve had a loss, nobody’s really been pointing fingers,” Patterson said. “We’re trying to rally around each other.”

Added quarterback Jordan Webb, who played what Gill called his roughest game of the season Saturday: “I’ll never attack a teammate. I mess up, too. I had three turnovers (against Baylor). I messed up a lot. Guys are going to make mistakes. I’m going to make them too. We just have to overcome them.”

As he has been throughout the first five games — and the entire nine months — of his coaching career at Kansas, Gill remained even-keeled after Saturday’s loss. To him, at least during his first season, the outcome of each game is far less important than the overall progress of the team.

Still, Gill indicated that Saturday’s effort was unacceptable.

“We’re still trying to figure out our football team and our players,” Gill said. “There is going to be some inconsistent play at times, but we gotta get better. We cannot play a game like we just played.”

Comments

DevilHawk 3 years, 6 months ago

Overheard on campus among part of the team: "I prefer this over my freshman year, any day."

I don't know who made the comment, and there are about a hundred different things that it could be referring to.

However, it certainly would not be unreasonable to believe that it was referring to the current season roller-coaster or to the difference in coaching style between Mangino's staff and Gill's staff.

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KCHawk81 3 years, 6 months ago

4ME, I'm with you on Gill getting 3 years at least, no matter what happens. The only ones who suggest otherwise are the know-nothings on this board--they're the ones who can't spell very well. But I don't think you can qualify "diehard, rabid KU fan" with the word "basketball." You are either a fan of this school and its athletic teams or you aren't. Otherwise, you're just a basketball fan who happens to like KU.

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Alex Hunt 3 years, 6 months ago

Maybe someone pointed this out already, as I'll admit I stopped reading the comments halfway through. But Turner Gill is going to get three years at KU to do his thing. Whether we end up being a 2-10 team each of those three years or we end up competing for a Big 12 title during Year 3 is irrelavent as far as the initial three-year period goes. Unless he's found guilty of some (lack of) character issue (punching a player, sleeping with a student) or is involved in an academic scandal (a la UNC), he's getting his three years.

Think about it. Rich Rodriguez is in his third year at Michigan. Charlie Weis got four years at Notre Dame. Ditto for Bill Callahan at Nebraska. None of those coaches had great starts at their respective schools and all were viewed as extreme disappointments in the end, save for Rich-Rod (so far) this season. And all of those schools and fans are waaay more passionate about their football than we are (no offense to the KU diehards, but let's be realistic here). And all got at least three years.

I understand that we've stunk more than we haven't thus far and that we haven't shown a ton of consistent improvement from week to week. And that certainly needs to change from here on out; I am certainly no Gill apologist. But I also hope that those people calling for his head realize that their cries will ultimately fall on deaf ears, as he will get his three years. And how things play out from now until the end of Year 3 will determine, at that time, whether the Gill detractors will be celebrating his firing or his supporters will be lauding his contract extension.

Anyone who wants to call for Gill's firing after five games has the right to do so and, likewise, anyone who wants to defend him to the end can do that, as well. It certainly makes for good commentary and enjoyable reading. But as a relatively objective observer (as far as KU football goes, at least - I am a diehard, rabid KU basketball fan), I just wanted to get my opinion out there and see if anyone concurred. Anyway, "Free Selby" and Rock Chalk.

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hailtoku 3 years, 6 months ago

This team needs to stop being babied by Gill.

It needs a little more of this without the embarrassment.

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bearcat1322 3 years, 6 months ago

This team doesn't get better until Turner Gill is gone.

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jayhawkrider 3 years, 6 months ago

I went to the game this weekend and thought all of the fans around me were quite nice, even sympathetic (they've been in our shoes for years). At the end of the first half I still felt like we could get it together. We were moving the ball pretty well, although our defense couldn't defend a pass for anything and an interception stole our momentum (oh, and a 90-yard run for a touchdown). But by the middle of the 3rd quarter, we just beat ourselves with mistakes, missed tackles, turnovers, etc. It just felt like the team had a tired lack of urgency in the second half, and Baylor exploited that. We left when the score went to 48-7 in a matter of seconds...my family and I couldn't take it anymore. I never knew, but did Baylor put in its cheerleaders for the 4th quarter? I've been in TX or LA for over 17 years, and every game I've attended, we've lost. Clearly I'm bad juju for our guys. Rest assured I'm not going to anymore games, which should make Gill's coaching easier.

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stroked_out_wampler 3 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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DocBean 3 years, 6 months ago

Don't Roller Coasters go UP as well as Down???!!!! Anyone comparing this season to a roller coaster is an idiot.

I hate that everyone assumes Gill will recruit well. He recruited well when he was at Nebraska who was a National Championship contender every year.

If Gill hopes to recruit real talent, he's going to have to get some wins this year. Otherwise, we'll have to hope he can find diamonds in the rough, because no 3 or 4 star kid will want to come play for a team that loses to Baylor like that!

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mulaza 3 years, 6 months ago

Remember when sporting news (I think) said we were going to be a top 30 team? And CBS said we would play in the Dallas bowl (something like that)? Those were the days.

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hawkone 3 years, 6 months ago

Everyone needs to stop making comparisons to Mangino's first year. Mangino came to KU without a hint of talent on the field. He built from scraps. The team Gill has taken over is two years seperated from an Orange Bowl win and a one loss season. Gill has alot of work to do and doesn't have his style of players, but he does have talented athletes on the field. I hope we can win a couple games and go into off-season with some momentum. We have never been a good road team, which I hope Gill can fix. We should be seeing positve improvements this far into the season and I think how Gill handles the bye week and the game against State will be a good game to grade him on. One more thing....telling a college kid not to see women after 10pm should be considered cruel and unusual punishment. This is college, not boot camp!

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mondhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

Yep, Recruiting speed and a lot more 4,some 5 players will make it a lot easier to compete against the burrners in the big 12. Gill and Co. were hired because they had the ability to recruit well. They need to show this ability come Feb. That will be the indicator on where were headed. If they keep the players committed now and some of the good players taking visits soon ku will be fine.

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Larry Smith 3 years, 6 months ago

For those of you saying this is the worst since Terry Allen...

You do realize this team was 1-7 in conference play last year You do realize this team was 5-11 the last 2 years in conference play You do realize the previous coach had a 23-41 conference record You do realize the previous coach won 5 conference road games in 8 years You do realize KU has never won in Waco.

Am I happy about the results so far? No. Did I think this was going to be a tough year? I thought it was a good possibility. After all, this is a team that went 1-7 to finish the year, and lost three of the best players KU has ever had. Gill is no miracle worker, thats for sure, but to expect any better than last year is being optomistic at best.

This is Art Briles 3rd year at Baylor. Maybe this is the year they break through. It certainly looks like they are moving in that direction. I think given 3 years, Gill will make significant strides as well. His first order of business was to state that we need more speed and get better on the offensive line. I think that is an incredibly accurate assesment. How could Mangino not have recruited better after the success of the Orange Bowl year?

Agian, I am not happy with the losses, but at the same time, I see what there is to work with and understand that improvement may take time.

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JayhawkBigXII 3 years, 6 months ago

Let's all gather 'round and have a nice rousing rendition of Cumbaya. That should fix it.

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smar4 3 years, 6 months ago

What was Mangino's first season like? didn't he get blown out several times his first season?

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BeakofLight 3 years, 6 months ago

@ 100 - good to see you on here!!! been busy in other ventures so i havent had time to chime in on these boards, nevertheless, good to see a familiar face as i start trolling again!!!

you are dead-on accurate with your speed analysis...but can our coaches not scheme around this flaw?!?!?!? sure they can...our staff is used to the 5-stars, so they have yet to adjust on the fly schematically...good coaching = scheming with what your dealt and giving your team every opportunity to succeed...i like this staff alot, however, im seeing things that are alarming...like i said above, give them till the end of the month before we start getting apocalyptic with it!!!

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BeakofLight 3 years, 6 months ago

@ 100 - good to see you on here!!! been busy in other ventures so i havent had time to chime in on these boards, nevertheless, good to see a familiar face as i start trolling again!!!

you are dead-on accurate with your speed analysis...but can our coaches not scheme around this flaw?!?!?!? sure they can...our staff is used to the 5-stars, so they have yet to adjust on the fly schematically...good coaching = scheming with what your dealt and giving your team every opportunity to succeed...i like this staff alot, however, im seeing things that are alarming...like i said above, give them till the end of the month before we start getting apocalyptic with it!!!

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BeakofLight 3 years, 6 months ago

@ 100 - good to see you on here!!! been busy in other ventures so i havent had time to chime in on these boards, nevertheless, good to see a familiar face as i start trolling again!!!

you are dead-on accurate with your speed analysis...but can our coaches not scheme around this flaw?!?!?!? sure they can...our staff is used to the 5-stars, so they have yet to adjust on the fly schematically...good coaching = scheming with what your dealt and giving your team every opportunity to succeed...i like this staff alot, however, im seeing things that are alarming...like i said above, give them till the end of the month before we start getting apocalyptic with it!!!

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BeakofLight 3 years, 6 months ago

...and for those of you who say the cupboard is bare, its not...we have the pieces to be a respectable, above .500 club...

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BeakofLight 3 years, 6 months ago

  1. given the transistion from one regime to another, im perfectly fine with going 2-10...

  2. however, the alarm bells should be sounding, LOUD, for any objective observer...we are starting to see signs that should be bothersome...we play with no sense of urgency, lack competitiveness, and waltz out onto the field as if we are just happy to be frollicking with another squad...

  3. the season is at the halfway point...given the bye week, from this point forward we should start to see signs of progression...up to this point its been NOTHING but regression...if we dont start to turn the proverbial corner by the end of the month, i think we all should have serious cause for concern...

  4. all in all, its not what we ARE seeing on the field, its what we are NOT seeing that has people raising red flags...

  5. im a huge fan of t. gill and have great respect for his approach to life as a person; however, sometimes this doesnt translate onto the grid...

  6. im all for optimism, but dont fool yourselves

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steamboat 3 years, 6 months ago

Yep our asst. coaches need to pull their frickin' head out. Sure our players are young and new but my gosh they are not being coached. With a young bunch of guys trying to learn te system we have no business trying to play a fast hurry up game.

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SWMOJayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

Gill reminds me of a College football version of Herm Edwards. Talks a big game with little results. This team played horrible Saturday. Worst I have seen since Terry Allen was coach. I havent seen anything positive from this team all year and doubt we will. Also will they please get rid of those hideous looking pants they wear? Looks like something a blind fashion designer picked out.

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Stephen Johnson 3 years, 6 months ago

This was embarrassing. Coach Gill has been praising his asst. coaches all year, but this was a coaching failure. Let's see if Snyder and his three star players take the same beat down that we did with ours.

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100 3 years, 6 months ago

Their five stars were faster than our three stars.

Unless we want to play prevent D, this will happen against teams with incredible speed on the edge.

Recruiting is what this is all about.

We'll take our lumps this year.

But the take home message from Saturday was quite clear, because i didnt see us "quitting"... The take home message is we've gotta bring in some speed.

Five star speed; who want to play in an uptempo attack system.

That's why Gill's here.

Speed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Benjamin Piehler 3 years, 6 months ago

im sure this has already been said; but is it hoops season yet?

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grandpa 3 years, 6 months ago

Let's just forget about the taunting by Baylor . I was at the game and most of the taunting was by some young Baylor fans. Most all of the baylor people were very nice. Their players made very few mistakes but at least their students did not boo one of their own players like the KU students did when one of our boys dropped a couple of passes.What was disturbing is our line both offensively and defensively was getting outplayed and pushed around by the Baylor line. Bottom line is we had a300lb boys getting pushed around by Baylor 300lb boys.The coaches can just do so much on this and our boys have to get with it mentally and physically. I am not proud of our offensive game plan . We have no suprises. No slant patterns. No deep passes . No halfback passes, etc.

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Randy Maxwell 3 years, 6 months ago

KU matches up very well vs KSU.. KU wins. The Baylor game was a terrible matchup for KU. There's an old adage, styles make fights and Baylor had the wrong style for this KU team. KSU on the other hand is more like GA. Tech. KU will do well vs the Cats

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teddibear 3 years, 6 months ago

Turner Gill is a good coach, that will only get better. He's a good recruiter, and he will start bringing in 3, 4, and eventually, 5 star prospects. KU will survive this growing period. Be patient and supportive.

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troutsee 3 years, 6 months ago

Colorado got blown out by Cal and then beat Georgia. Strange things happen in college FB. Game preparation is so important. Each game takes on its own personality. Hopefully, we can rebound like CU did. I said hopefully., My confidence in this team's ability to play well on either side of the ball has been blunted by their perfornances against NDSU and Baylor.

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jhawk23 3 years, 6 months ago

Food for thought: which loss is worse, losing to D-II North Dakota State, or losing 55-7 to Baylor, the perennially worst team in the entire Big XII?

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Ashwin Rao 3 years, 6 months ago

I don't care about taunts. That is their prerogative. We just need to play well and don't give them an opportunity to taunt us. The ball is in our court.

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Kevin Kelly 3 years, 6 months ago

Our students have chants that talk a lot of #hit so its hard to be too upset about Baylor fans taunting us once they start beating us that bad.

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waywardJay 3 years, 6 months ago

One positive for this team is that, despite the rough start, it has stuck together. The players aren’t blaming each other, and they aren’t second-guessing their coaches. Perhaps most importantly, they’re not giving up.

“Every week we’ve had a loss, nobody’s really been pointing fingers,” Patterson said. “We’re trying to rally around each other.”

Added quarterback Jordan Webb, who played what Gill called his roughest game of the season Saturday: “I’ll never attack a teammate. I mess up, too. I had three turnovers (against Baylor). I messed up a lot. Guys are going to make mistakes. I’m going to make them too. We just have to overcome them.”

This is an encouraging sign. Lost and hurt is a good thing after a ......Game ( if thats what you want to call i t) like that...

I still have high hopes for this team, I do. Homer, sure. No problems admiting that. I also know we've still got 7 games to play, more games at home than on the road left and we have hunger. hunger's a very powerful motivator.

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pigballin 3 years, 6 months ago

On the other hand maybe the players that heard it will either play harder or maybe they will be so embarrassed themselves they will just quit ,hide and get lost on campus and just be another student face on campus.

That chanting had to be a real tummy ego buster.

Maybe Gill needs to sat some of these players and while he is at it ,,the D-coach as well.

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pigballin 3 years, 6 months ago

Maybe it was a small group that embarrassed the school with such crowing.

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pigballin 3 years, 6 months ago

Maybe it was a small group that embarrassed the school with such crowing.

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jayhawkintx73 3 years, 6 months ago

The fans at Baylor taunted? REALLY? That is hilarious. They have to visit Lawrence, and Griffith isn't a life long college player. Bye Bye Baylor. Used to have respect for them, not any more.

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