Thursday, October 28, 2010

Matt Tait’s Kansas football notebook


Mecham sleeping well

Ever wondered how a junior-college transfer quarterback sleeps during the few days before the first Big 12 start of his career?

Kansas junior Quinn Mecham, who will be thrust into a starting role Saturday at Iowa State, offered a glimpse into what it’s like.

“I’ve been getting a lot of reps, so I’ve been sleeping pretty good,” Mecham said after Wednesday’s practice.

So, has the Snow College transfer reached that REM stage of sleep where completions and touchdowns have danced in his head? Not exactly. But he has had his share of dreams.

“(None) that I can tell you guys,” he quipped.

When Mecham and the Jayhawks take the field at 1 p.m. Saturday in Ames, Iowa, the 6-foot-2, 207-pound righty from Provo, Utah, will become the third quarterback to start a game for the Jayhawks this fall. Asked what he was most looking forward to about his first start, Mecham repeatedly mentioned helping the Jayhawks snap their losing skid.

“You’re your own worst critic,” Mecham said. “I just want to go out and help the team. It’s a great opportunity. “

Mecham said Wednesday the plan all along was for him to red-shirt this season. That all changed last week when starter Jordan Webb injured his shoulder before halftime and backup Kale Pick went down in the second half.

“That was the plan,” he said. “But, you know, I just stayed in the game and kept in the meetings, and I feel like I’m prepared.”

Mecham played the final few snaps of last week’s loss to Texas A&M;, and KU coach Turner Gill said the juco transfer appears to be ready for Iowa State.

“He’s actually brought some energy to the team,” Gill said. “I think all of our guys are excited. They’ve rallied around him, and he’s stepped in and is ready to move this football team. That’s what you want from your quarterback. When he was called upon, he was ready to go, so it’s been a good thing.”

Because of a concussion, Pick has been ruled out for Saturday. Gill said Wednesday that Webb is doubtful for Saturday’s game, and starting defensive lineman Patrick Dorsey (concussion) also was doubtful and definitely would not start.

Thorson recognized

KU senior Brad Thorson, an offensive lineman from Mequon, Wis., was named a Big 12 Conference Fall Chick-Fil-A Community of Champions honoree on Wednesday.

Thorson, who already has graduated and is working on a master’s degree in economics, has been heavily involved in community-service projects throughout his time at Kansas.

During the fall, winter and spring terms, one student-athlete from each Big 12 institution receives the honor based on his or her performance in academics, community service, leadership and sportsmanship.

KU pumps in the noise

In preparation for Saturday’s game at Jake Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa, Gill used loud speakers and simulated crowd noise during Wednesday’s practice.

Gill said it was the second time the Jayhawks have used the artificial sound this season, the first coming during the week of KU’s Friday night contest at Southern Miss.


Janet Scott 9 years, 3 months ago

If other teams are using artificial sound at practice before playing KU in Lawrence, their sound system will be used to simulate two scenarios: 1) a stampede, simulating thousands of KU fans and students departing the staduim en masse in the second quarter; and 2) "deafening" silence, simulating an empty Memorial Staduim (the stadium scenario after the first half).

Rock_Chalk_NYC 9 years, 3 months ago

Agreed! Don't forget that sweet 8 lane track around our field...

minnhawk84 9 years, 3 months ago

At least Quinn has several years experience as a QB beyond high school coming into the game. His numbers were very good at the JuCo level as well. While I don't think that will be the salvation of the Jayhawks as they ride into Ames, at least give the guy a chance.

KCMOhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

It would be nice if he could step in and run the show, My fingers are crossed. I guess we are now at our last chance to see if he is the final one that can turn the offense around. Come on Quinn!!!!

Matthew Roesner 9 years, 3 months ago

The concern is still the OL and basic blocking schemes. In watching the last game on DVR, there were many missed assignments and people late reaching their lane. Similar to the KC Chiefs last year vs this year, an OL that delivers the basics can make a QB appear to be worse or better than he is.

Harrison Green 9 years, 3 months ago

I think its funny how easy it is to satisfy a KU football fan, myself included. If we the same record but the deficit had been 10-20 instead of 40, we'd be relatively quiet. No matter how ridiculous our expectations get we'll never reach this level of delusional fan.

TopCityHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Freaking hilarious... I thought some idiots on here were delusional... "Melt Down Thread" - Brilliant

treidy 9 years, 3 months ago

Could Mecham be the answer to this season like Todd Whittemore and Brian Luke were during the earlier years of The Mangino QB Carousel ?

Michael Leiker 9 years, 3 months ago

I like it...all former KU stud quarterbacks now to be referred to as "Todd"

treidy 9 years, 3 months ago

Yes. I unintentionally refereed to him has Todd. Sorry Bill. But in all seriousness remember how Bill, who transferred from Fort Scott CC, didn't have a very good year his and Mangino's first on Mount Oread? Then the second year he got things going and took us to our first bowl game in 8 years. I like to think it was Whittemore who really got KU football going in the right direction even though we did a QB shuffle with John Nielsen, Brian Luke, Jason Swanson and Adam Barman before Todd Reesing took us to new heights. Maybe Mecham can do the same?

Robert Brock 9 years, 3 months ago

I don't expect Mecham to suddenly light up a weak offense. The line has to block, receivers have to run proper routes, the timing has to be coordinated, and passes need to be accurate. Our problem is sytemic.

About all I want, from this game in Ames, is for Mecham to stay healthy.

HawkTronic 9 years, 3 months ago

Congratulations Brad. I'm confident that your community service will include protecting the community of KU's backfield on Saturday.

minipman 9 years, 3 months ago

I love this. After hearing bout his number from the juco level and coming to kansas as the best juco QB last year, i wasn't sure why he wasnt getting the starting job anyways. Quinn takes the Jayhawks into Jack Trice Stadium on saturday and leaves with a WIN. If his accuracy and ability to make a quick decision is even decent. Then we come back with a W. Webb has horrible accuracy. I dont know how many times I saw him miss a wide open Patterson because he passed it behind him. Quinn leads the Hawks to three more wins this season!..............and Toben gets moved back to RB...we could only wish.

grandpa 9 years, 3 months ago

minipman. I like your positive attitude. Two years junior college experience is a lot better than our previous quarterbacks. I agree, Webb's accuracy with his passing has been very bad which costs us some good opportunities. Pick continued where he left off in the first game. Brad Thorson's community service has been good. His blocking has been very poor. He needs to study himself on the game films.

Harrison Green 9 years, 3 months ago

I think if Meachem were to go to ISU and dominate with amazing accuracy, decision making and leadership ability to the extent that KU wins by 2 TDs, that would make Turner Gills jobs security even worse. People would call into question his ability to evaluate talent and all of his other personel decisions. ON the other hand Quinn could stink it up and we lose by the usual 40, the ascent continues... Lose lose situation gilly. I feel like we'll win though.

hawkitup 9 years, 3 months ago

I disagree with this. Meachem was expecting to red-shirt. This may not be very smart thinking, but who's to say Gill wasn't going to red-shirt him knowing we wouldn't be strong this year (and didn't want to waste one of the two years he has left) and then he could capitalize on Meachem the next two years when his recruiting classes might be stronger. Just a thought.

Ryan Shelton 9 years, 3 months ago

You don't care, yet you found time and the need to comment.

As I scrolled down through the thread, I wondered to myself, "Where's hawknhutch's usual negativity?" And there you were. What would we have done without your comment?

I'd recommend you stop posting. If your comment isn't posted, it will be more like real fans supporting the team, not criticizing.

How 'bout we just support our team?

Go KU! Beat the Cyclones!

DevilHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Actually, that would just help to kill what exists of KU Football. KU is basketball, and anything else is out-of-sight, out-of-mind. It's better for the program to be in the spotlight, critiqued/criticized, and angering the fans than it is for it to be ignored.

FreddyinLA 9 years, 3 months ago

Folks, the Phat Man couldn't recruit, plain and simple.

We are very young and young players make LOTS of mistakes. I remember Mario as a freshman literally could not get the ball past half court against Arizona in Maui his freshman year. Three year later, he makes the biggest shot in KU basketball history.

We will be better next year and then the year after. The big question is will we be stuck as a middle of the road football program under Gill. With his contract, and the terrible financial situation Lew left the athletic department, Gill isn’t going anywhere for at least 3 years.

Rivethead 9 years, 3 months ago

Recruiting was not his strength. That's true. But to say he couldn't recruit ignores the fact that the current roster has the most talent in the history of KU football. Look at the 4 star recruits: Operum, McDougald, Kande, Murphy, Terry (all Mangino recruits) and Bourbon (Gill recruit). And the three star list is even more impressive.

This seems to be a recurring theme on this board (and others) and I don't get it.

4jhawks4ku 9 years, 3 months ago

Conner Teahan, Conner Teahan, Conner Teahan

meremy 9 years, 3 months ago

Petty Retort about Mark Mangino. Cynical reference to Lew Perkins.

John Randall 9 years, 3 months ago

"""Petty Retort about Mark Mangino. Cynical reference to Lew Perkins."""

Yeah, I noticed that too.

Have to remember, many of the posters on this board have absolutely nothing to offer when you take away "petty" and "cynical" . . .

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