Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Matt Tait’s KU football notebook


Sands, Beshears to sit Saturday

Kansas University football coach Turner Gill announced Tuesday that red-shirt freshman running back Deshaun Sands and sophomore wide receiver D.J. Beshears both would miss Saturday’s game at Iowa State to serve a one-week suspension for violating team rules.

Gill did not get into the specifics of what caused each player’s suspension, but, for Sands at least, it likely stems from last week’s arrest for failing to appear in municipal traffic court.

Because Sands has spent most of the season as the Jayhawks’ third-string running back, Gill wasn’t too worried about his absence impacting the game.

“We have (Angus) Quigley and we have (James) Sims,” Gill said. “We have two running backs who can handle the ball. Those guys have played quite a bit already, so it just means that they’re going to get more touches.”

As for the loss of Beshears, the team’s second-leading rusher (177 yards on 40 carries) and the team leader in all-purpose yards (765, including 556 on kickoff returns), Gill said Bradley McDougald and Isiah Barfield would fill that role. He added that he expected Beshears to learn from the setback.

“It’s always disappointing when you tell a young man that he’s not going to be playing a football game,” Gill said. “They all want to play and we understand that, but you just gotta adjust and we gotta move on from there. I don’t think it’ll be an issue. We just gotta keep the student-athletes accountable. He’ll learn from it and he’ll move on.”

Gill addresses fans

Not one to read the papers or listen to talk radio, Gill opened Tuesday’s news conference with a message for KU football fans that included a plea for patience and confirmation of his belief that he and his staff would get things turned around.

“I want to start off today by really speaking to our fans,” he said. “I want our fans to know that we’re going through some ups and downs in our football program and part of that is the transition as a new staff and our players getting to know us in a better way. I can tell you one thing, our staff is doing a pretty good job of getting our guys to know our system. You gotta teach them our offensive system, you gotta teach them our defensive system the way we want it to be done, and, through that transition phase, what that means is it takes time for our guys to understand how we need to do it and why we need to do it the way we want everything to be done.”

Gill continued: “As we continue to build this football program, our fans are going to see speed, they’re going to see athleticism, they’re also going to see people playing with a great passion. We are very, very confident that we will come through here and have a winning program on a consistent basis, year after year. That’s why we all chose to come here. We still feel very confident that it will be done.”

Harris not surprised by empty seats

Senior safety Chris Harris said Tuesday that he was not surprised to see so many KU fans head to the exits early during the past couple of home games.

“It’s definitely hard to see,” Harris said. “But (former coach Mark) Mangino always said, ‘They’re gonna be here when we’re winnin’ and they’re gonna be gone when we’re losin’, so he kind of prepared us for it. It’s a basketball school, so we expect the fans to leave if we’re not doing well. We definitely know we need a win if we’re gonna get ’em back. But it’s just something that fans have to be patient with coach Gill.”

Terry done for season

Freshman safety Keeston Terry has been out since the second half of the Southern Miss game with a knee injury. Gill said Tuesday that Terry would remain out this week and likely would miss the rest of the year.

“We have decided that we are going to go for a medical hardship for him,” Gill said. “Hopefully we can get this year back because of his medical situation that he has.”

Terry played in KU’s first three games of the season, recording 10 tackles, including 2.5 for loss. NCAA rules state that a player is eligible to apply for a medical hardship if: “In team sports, the injury or illness occurs when the student-athlete has not participated in more than three contests or 30 percent (whichever number is greater) of the institution’s scheduled or completed contests.”

If he’s shut down for the rest of the season, Terry will have played in just 25 percent (3 of 12) of KU’s games.

Injury update

KU quarterbacks Jordan Webb (doubtful with a shoulder injury) and Kale Pick (out with a concussion) are unlikely to play this week, which means junior Quinn Mecham is expected to get the start. In other injury news, defensive tackle Patrick Dorsey (concussion) is listed as questionable.


100 9 years, 4 months ago


[Four star recruit] Darrian Miller will be enrolling at Kansas this spring, allowing him to participate in spring ball. However, before he arrives, Miller has a message for Jayhawk Nation. ”We’re bringing the program back.”

FSUJHAWK 9 years, 4 months ago

HCTG has a very, very difficult task at hand. If he is given time and has consistent support from the fans I believe he can turn the program around. Cases in point, Bobby Bowden, Steve Spurrier (UF), etc. and more recently Ubran Meyer (at Utah and arguably at UF), Steve Spurrier (USC), GPinkel, etc were all in similar situations. Heck, if the goons across the Kansas boarder can have patience with GP why can't we do better for a guy who has integrity and a clear vision on how to build a program? It's unfortunate HCTG may not even be given a fair opportunity to prove his worth and his goal is being undermined by some fans!

PS, if KU is indeed a basketball school dealing with this growth in the football program should not be difficult to stomach and really does not warrant fans walking out of the stadium, despite the score.


David Robinett 9 years, 3 months ago

Absolutely. Gary Pinkel is a perfect example of patience paying off. I believe "he" lost to a few no-name or DII schoools in his first few years at Mizzou. It take time to move the Titanic around. Usually even more than 3 years.

Heck, what has KU got to lose? If we've generally stunk in football, why not practice some patience with a guy with a plan and who emphasizes recruiting, which of course it the key.

With no Lines, he has already recruited the Oline of the future. Now for Dline...

KUbsee69 9 years, 4 months ago

Chris Harris ... "It’s a basketball school, so we expect the fans to leave if we’re not doing well". Unfortunate attitude for a player. I'd rather hear "we're going to make this a football school, too, to keep the stands full".

Beshears must have brought his girl home at 10:05 p.m.

Patrick Leiker 9 years, 4 months ago

I agree. That is an unfortunate quote/attitude. There are few if any fan bases that would site there and watch an uncompetitive team take major steps backwards. It is not because we are a "basketball school" that people are leaving early; it is because of the product on the field. Hopefully the players and coaches realize that.

I'm as die hard as they come as a football fan and I haven't been able to make myself stay past the 3rd quarter the last two games. I do think Gill and Co have a good chance to get this turned around, but it is hard right now as a fan to sit through uncompetitive games at home.

Phoggin_Loud 9 years, 4 months ago

“I want to start off today by really speaking to our fans,” he said. “I want our fans to know that we’re going through some ups and downs in our football program and part of that is the transition as a new staff and our players getting to know us in a better way."

I'm still waiting for the "ups" that he mentioned.

youowethehawks 9 years, 4 months ago

Georgia Tech wasn't an "up" for you? You could take issue with his use of the plural, but the GT game was definitely an "up".

Some of the recruits we've garnered so far have definitely been "ups."

Don't get your undergarments all in a bunch, it's early in the Gill era.

GridironHawk 9 years, 4 months ago

I must say Gill couldn't have asked for better news then a few of the commitments he has picked up in the last few days. Darrian Miller is a stud and Adonis Saunders might only be listed as a 2 star by rivals but he has something that is unteachable and that is speed....

jaymar74 9 years, 4 months ago

Speed and an offensive line are on the way. Why weren't they here already?

bteambrett 9 years, 4 months ago

Whatever the reason, it's Gill's fault.

jaymar74 9 years, 3 months ago

You're right, Gill should have been recruiting to Kansas for the past two years in anticipation.

rastameta 9 years, 3 months ago

Pretty sure he was being smart-ass saying it was Gill's fault. Making fun of other posters who blame Gill for everything and expect us to be competing for Big 12 championships in his first year.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 3 months ago

Pretty sure he knew it was sarcasm and was adding another layer of sarcasm but then you answered seriously. Or maybe his was serious and yours was sarcasm and then... Oh, hell...I don't know anymore. Rock Chalk!!

Phoggin_Loud 9 years, 3 months ago

Georgia Tech was an "up". You are absolutely right. The problem is that it came a week after the biggest "down" in recent memory when they lost to NDSU. Since that win they are 1-4 and have been outscored 206-82 by non-ranked teams with similar talent, with the exception of Baylor. Ultimately, I like Turner Gill and I want him to succeed at KU. He is a fantastic individual with strong morals and values. He get's the "bigger picture" of "building men of character". I totally respect him. However, he is being paid a lot of money to win football games. He needs to start now!!

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