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Iowa State defeats Kansas, 28-16

  • 1 p.m., Oct. 30, 2010
  • Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, IA

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halfway decent: Bad half dooms Kansas

The Iowa State defense drags down Kansas running back James Sims late in the second quarter Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 at Jack Trice Stadium.

The Iowa State defense drags down Kansas running back James Sims late in the second quarter Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 at Jack Trice Stadium.

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KU vs. ISU highlights

Highlights from Iowa State's 28-16 victory over Kansas on Oct. 30, 2010.

— In every way but the final score, Kansas University’s football team competed during its 28-16 loss to Iowa State on Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium.

These days, the effort probably seemed as good as a victory to most people. But KU coach Turner Gill and his players believed the opposite was true.

“We’re here to win football games,” said Gill, whose team had been outscored 159-24 in the three weeks prior to Saturday’s loss. “I didn’t come here to the University of Kansas to be competitive. I understand what the perception is and what has taken place in the last two or three games. So the whole thing is, we’re making progress, and that’s what we talk about doing.”

Behind an inspired defense and three field goals from Jacob Branstetter, the Jayhawks outplayed the Cyclones in the first half and took a 9-7 lead into halftime.

“We were pretty confident,” junior quarterback Quinn Mecham said. “Things were going our way, we were playing our game, and we just wanted to keep it going in the second half.”

As it turned out, the early success was nothing more than a temporary break from a permanent problem.

KU’s halftime lead would’ve been greater if not for its continued inability to score touchdowns and one crucial hiccup on special teams.

When Iowa State sophomore Josh Lenz returned an Alonso Rojas punt 62 yards for a touchdown with 4:24 to play in the first half, the Cyclones took a 7-6 lead despite their offense having just 88 yards, 52 of those coming on one run from senior tailback Alexander Robinson.

“That punt return hurt us a lot because, as a defense, we were playing really well,” KU sophomore Toben Opurum said. “We had ’em shut out the whole half, and then they put up seven off the punt return. (Our coaches) always stress special teams because that can really turn the game, and that turned the game in their favor.”

To make matters worse, Lenz’s return featured at least three missed tackles.

“That was a letdown,” Gill said. “They made a play, and we didn’t.”

Though the return gave the Cyclones the lead, it didn’t break the Jayhawks’ backs. KU’s next drive went three-and-out, but the defense stiffened and gave the offense a chance to drive for a field goal as time expired on the first half.

Mecham, making the first start of his career, hit Angus Quigley (125 total yards) with a 30-yard screen pass that put the Jayhawks in Iowa State territory and set up the field goal.

“It’s very disappointing,” KU senior Sal Capra said. “We were doing good, but we just couldn’t get the ball in the end zone. Every week has felt like that. We’ve felt we should score on our drives, and we’ve settled for a field goal or nothing. It’s tough.”

If the Jayhawks could’ve turned their field goals into touchdowns — KU’s lone TD came on a pass from Mecham to James Sims with seven seconds to play — this one could’ve been interesting. Instead, it only stayed that way for a half, as the Cyclones outscored the Jayhawks 21-0 in the third quarter to take control.

“Defensively, we talked about getting three and out,” Gill said of Iowa State’s first drive of the third quarter. “I think we had two or three third downs in that drive, and we weren’t able to get off the field.”

There were plenty of positives to take away from Saturday’s effort. The running game was productive — particularly up the middle — Mecham was sound in his first start, and the final score certainly was more respectable and one that doesn’t figure to bring further embarrassment to the struggling program.

“We needed it. We needed it bad,” Quigley said. “We’ve been getting blown out, but we were in the game. A few plays here and there and things could’ve turned out differently. But I think we can find some positives out of this. Guys plays hard.”

Added Capra: “It comes from losing. We played with a lot more heart.”

Comments

Jaylah 4 years ago

Consider this to be heart-felt sympathy and condolences from the Cyclone Nation to the Jayhawk Nation. Two years ago, we were sitting exactly where you are now. Didn't seem to matter how hard we played our heart out, we couldn't catch a break for nuthin.' We know it hurts, and it's discouraging, and -- if nothing else -- we know all too well that it isn't for lack of trying on the players behalf.

It's true that neither ISU nor KU is (or ever will be) one of the big "powerhouses" in college football. But that -- to me -- was a large part of why watching the ISU-KU game was so much fun from year to year. It wasn't always a forgone conclusion. It often was a real game and not just sitting on the sidelines watching -- for example -- the Cornhuskers use your team to mop up the field year after year. (I'm still trying to feel bad about the fact that Nebraska is leaving the Big-12.)

In ISU's case, it was a case of an unworkable coaching situation. I don't really know enough about the KU program to know if it's the coaching, or what. But the point I'm trying to make is that we've both suffered with re-building/transition years. And we both know it ain't fun.

Here in Ames, we know that the Jayhawks will make it through this discouraging time, and will -- once again -- give us a real run for our money. While we'd be lying if we said we weren't happy about getting another win in this year, that doesn't mean we're sitting up here gloating over the Jayhawks misfortune. You have always been a worthy opponent and -- knowing how frustrating it was for us two years ago -- we have true sympathy for what you all are going through now.

As the sports saying goes, "walk it off" Jayhawks, and we'll look forward to seeing you again next year. And with any luck at all, next year will be a good game.

Carter Patterson 4 years ago

Thanks Jaylah. Yes its been a long year. But as we say in Kansas....see ya on the basketball court. Looking forward to seeing Hoiberg back in the conference.

Jaylah 4 years ago

We're pretty happy about having "The Mayor" back home again, too, Carter! We'll see you in Lawrence this year, but we'll see if we can bring a little "Hilton Magic" with us. :)

ahpersecoachingexperience 4 years ago

get out of here troll!!!! wait, what. sorry jaylah i used to uk, mu, and ksu fan on this site talking smack. thanks for the nice words

Rivethead 4 years ago

Two years ago you guys won a BCS bowl game?

This is where the GREAT misconception lies. Coach Gill was not hired to rebuild a program. You don't make a coach the 5th highest paid coach in the conference if you're rebuilding. Coach Gill was hired to take us from mediocre to conference contender.

There have never been more 4 star and 3 star players on a KU football roster than there are today.

KU's decline from BCS bowl winner to worst team in D1 college football is the steepest and fastest I've ever seen (barring NCAA sanctions). As such, I don't think ISU was sitting in the exact same situation as we are now. I understand what you're saying, but I think it's much, much different.

Coach Rhodes is a helluva coach and a great example of a guy who does more with less and gets the most out of his players. I'm envious.

Jaylah 4 years ago

Our bowl game was last year, not two years ago, Rivet. Two years ago, we were still wallowing in the dirt with Chizik. Two years ago, we went 2-10.

Coach Mac had recruited some good players that then, after he got fired, got stuck playing under Chizik and going absolutely nowhere. So we had a couple of seniors last year that, under Coach Rhoads, actually got to go to -- and win -- a bowl game in their last year at ISU. Which was nice, and I think they deserved after sticking out two miserable years of Chizik.

Supposedly, Jamie Pollard (ISU's Athletic Director) wanted to take the ISU football program to a "new level" and his best idea for that was to fire Coach Mac (Dan McCarney...the "winningest" coach ISU football has ever had) and replace him with a loser named Gene Chizik. After a two-year record of 5-19-0, Chizik bailed to Auburn, and we finally got another coach who really wanted to be here. It showed.

(As an aside, Jamie also changed our coaches uniforms and other stuff to baby-blue and white during the Chizik years....which is kinda strange considering our school colors are Cardinal and Gold. Fortunately Rhoads insisted they be switched back. A lot of us are kinda wondering where Pollard's mind is, and what school he thinks he's at.)

At any rate, the reasons each school found itself in the dirt may well not be the same. As I said, I don't really know enough about your program to offer an opinion on that.

I just know that you folks in Kansas have the heart to come back from this. And, when you do, we'll be happy about it, too.

Rick Arnoldy 4 years ago

"There have never been more 4 star and 3 star players on a KU football roster than there are today."

Still, if you had that talent, would you respond to a coach who didn't recruit you but imposed rules like no girls, no cell phones, etc.? Regardless of talent, Gill either has the wrong players for his coaching style or today's players simply won't ever respond to his style. Not sure the fan base is going to wait to find out which it is.

mtdewjunkie 4 years ago

Coach Gill was hired because the last coach went over the line too many times with too many people and got himself fired.

Looking at recruiting rankings is nice, but you really should take them with a grain of salt. (and there were probably more 3 & 4 star recruits on last years team) also, most of the ranking services popped up about 10 years ago after the interwebs really took off so there is really no way to tell if your statement is true or false.

Ben Kliewer 4 years ago

Nebraska doesn't always use us for Mop-Up. I was at the game in '07 when we stomped the Huskers 76-39...oh, to have that again... Needless to say, that season was the result of an easier schedule and that game was the result of a coaching debacle in Lincoln... But that team was pretty darn good. Regardless of what happens this year, and with the coaching staff, I am optimistic that we'll be there again...might take a few years though.

Jaylah 4 years ago

Kleave, I remember November 14th, 1992 in Ames, too.

I live quite close to the ISU stadium, so we get a lot of cars parked on the street during home games. (A fact which, to be honest, quite often annoys me...there's absolutely no hope in attempting to go anywhere on game days. It becomes a case of "You can't get there from here." But I digress...) That day, there was a pick-up with Nebraska plates parked across the street from my house.

After the game, I couldn't resist (shhhh, don't tell) penning a note that read "So sorry....well, not really!" and slipping it under the wiper of the truck before the owner got back. :)

It really was too bad of me, I know. But given the typical arrogance of Cornhusker fans when they roll into Ames, I couldn't help myself. And I'll admit that it was also fun to watch all the Nebraska fans slink quietly out of town immediately after the game ended that year. ;)

duanep5ku 4 years ago

Hi Jayla Thank you , for visiting our site and posting a comment on here and showing class, Good luck, I hope ISU can make a bowl game this year and I think most Kansas fans here would like ISU to beat Nebraska. So good luck Jayla and enjoy the wins as Kansas fans are currently dealing with sometimes It's not easy for our programs to get them.

William James 4 years ago

I've been to Jack Trice twice for football games. Iowa State has one of the nations most underrated fan bases. Two years ago, KU went in there, for what was supposed to be a blowout victory. ISUs fans packed the place and had the team energized early. The result was an extremely competitive college football game. It went back and forth and went down to the wire. That's what college football is all about. Its why college football is the greatest sport on this planet.

siltom 4 years ago

Thanks for the words of encouragement Jaylah.

caribhawk 4 years ago

And you wonder why KU is so bad...When you know your own head coach has no confidence in you, then why even care or try! With 30 seconds before half-time and 1 timeout, KU has the ball at ISU 20 and plenty of time for several passes. Gill doesn't trust the new 3rd string QB so he lets the clock run down and kicks a field goal. GUTSY CALL! TG sent a clear message he doesn't trust his team. What the hell does KU have to lose in this horrid season, so what if Meachem throws an interception or they don't score, did TG really think a field goal was going to win this game! TG was clearly only playing to keep the score close and not win it. If KU scores a TD, that might have been the most momentum and confidence that KU has had all year, and who knows what happens the 2nd half. TG sucked every bit of life out of the team when they could have had momentum. When the coach has no guts and no confidence in his team, its clear how this negatively impacts the players. Its Halloween, TG will take off his mask tonight and reveal himself as Ron Prince!

OmahaKUAlum 4 years ago

Finally, somebody brought this up! I was at the game (surrounded by ISU fans, because my husband is an ISU season ticket holder) and I was beyond pissed that we didn't attempt a play at this point! Ball in the red zone, 30 seconds left, plus 2 time outs, and we let the clock run down and kick a field goal. This shows absolutely no confidence in your team! Take a shot or two at the endzone, or at least run a conservative draw play and hope your RB breaks one loose. What did we have to lose at this point?! This sends such a negative message to the offense and to the fans! I was yelling and screaming, and all the ISU fans around me agreed. Absolutely terrible. I know Gill supposedly needs time, but this is ridiculous. I suffered through the Terry Allen years when I was at KU, and this feels a lot like it did then. No heart, no desire. As the players used to say back then about TA, "Nice guy, bad football coach." I'm worried we have another Terry Allen on our hands. I hope I'm wrong.

William James 4 years ago

Ron Prince won 17 games, 15 more than Gill currently has. Prince took his first team to a bowl game, Gill wont. Prince has 2 wins over a top ten Texas. Gill has nothing yet that compares. So far, Prince has been more impressive than Gill, and it aint even close.

Ben Kliewer 4 years ago

I agree, Gill should have won 15 games this year.

troutsee 4 years ago

Gill went for it twice on 4th down on our end of the field....pretty gutsy and certainly sent a positive message to the team. The coaching decision to kick a field goal in the wanning seconds of the first half was a questionable decision. Yet our D was playing well and we were controling the ball and the clock. So, I can't criticize the decision. I think we need to ease up on our expectations for this year. New system, new coaches, new QB, porous defense. We will get better. However, if blow out losses continue to mount for the rest of this year and next year, the natives are going to get real restless.

KSseahawk 4 years ago

You absolutely criticize the decision to not go for a TD at the end of the half. What are we playing for this year if not give these kids confidence? TG has yet to demonstrate that he trusts and believes in them. Silly high-school cerfews, no girls, no cell-phones, stupid stuff. Again, if you want to develop men with character, keeping them under your thumb isn't the way to do it. Trusting them and giving them the tools to succeed is how you do it.

Also, ease up expectations?!?! Pretty sure we're not asking for a bowl game...we're asking to be competitive for a game and perhaps give us a win or a close game in conference season. Why is everyone saying to let up on TG? If the record were the same and the games were closer and we could actually see that some of the player moves are paying off, then I'd be pleased, but I have yet to see ANYTHING this year to make me confident.

I would suggest that going for it on 4th in your own territory is a dumber move than not going for a TD at the end of the half. Especially when you go for it on 4th to build confidence and keep the momentum, and then sit on it for a FG just to take the lead at halftime because you don't want to turn the ball over? (His words folks)

If the definition of progress is putting together a decent half of football and leading at halftime, this team will NEVER be good with TG at the helm. He can bring in the best recruits, but at the end of the day, it comes down to coaching. I have yet to see any evidence, an article, or a post that demonstrates what TG actually brings to the table (from a football standpoint), except for not poking guys in the chest...which is clearly the largest gap that we needed to fill.

DocBean 4 years ago

100%?! So you can say without any hesitation that Gill will turn out to be successful? After what you've seen so far? I don't know how ANYONE can honestly say they've seen anything at this point that makes them think Gill will be successful at KU.

I want a sip of whatever you're drinking.

Cody Stumma 4 years ago

“We’re here to win football games." - Turner Gill

WHOA? Hold the presses, when did he care to actually WIN the games? Last time I heard a quote, he said he was here to build character, and NOT win games.

steamboat 4 years ago

You're an idiot. for 8 weeks now I've heard and seen all these Gill bashers. And there has been plenty of 'em. Ya know what? Deal with it, Gill ain't going anywhere at least not for a couple years. Yea we suck but kicking the coach like you would a dog won't get the wins. If you all are true KU fans and not just fairweather basketball fans then you will quit your damn b!tCh!ng and show alittle support. All you guys are down on Gill and keep saying he sucks!!!!!! well you know what? you guys suck and I hope I never hear from any of you again on this website. If this is how you all show support then the true fans can do without it

Matt Gauntt 4 years ago

Well, we're now ranked 100 out of 120. We're only a few positions ahead of Buffalo now - can we send Gill back?

http://masseyratings.com/cf/compare.htm

temjay 4 years ago

Interesting list, Matt. Funny thing, though. I didn't see South Dakota State listed. Oh, that's right .... they're not in Division 1. Silly me.

Armen Kurdian 4 years ago

I think you meant North Dakota State. A 12 point loss is progress. I guess.

Geekinout 4 years ago

A) Funny how Gene Chizik struggled his first few years at Iowa St. and is now undefeated with Auburn. It does show the difference it makes when you have the talent to work with. Iowa St fans didn't really want him there much the same way some KU fans don't want Gill. This was also after they ran off Dan McCarney for going 4-8 and taking them to the most bowl games for an Iowa St. coach. (Thanks Wiki).

B) Funny how T. Gill was one of the potential candidates for that Auburn H.C. position (Remember Auburn alum Charles "Chuck" Barkley was even mad Chizik got the nod over Gill).

C) Funny how T. Gill could and will probably one day use KU football as a stepping-stone/holding pattern for a more prominent football program, much like Gene Chizik did to Iowa St.

I'm not 100% sold on Gill, but KU could learn a lot from ISU. Again, if KU is going to change anything they should gut the athletic administration to find competent people to run the show. Also, finish the stadium so our endzone doesn't look like some type of bad carnival going on during a football game.

Andy Tweedy 4 years ago

I was pretty sure I'd see a slew of posts that criticized Gill for in game decisions and went on to say "if we only showed some progress we'd be behind him." Okay, so we outplayed a team (for a half) that almost beat K-State and DID beat Texas (in Austin) and Texas Tech, but still it isn't good enough. It may not be good enough in the big picture, but if this didn't at least show some progress, it underlines the fact there were people who didn't like Gill when he was hired and nothing will change that. This game did at least show some progress, and Gill seems to be building a respectable recruiting class, so maybe things will start looking up in the next 5 games and going into next year. Shouldn't it be obvious that Mangino left Gill with nothing when you look at the depth chart and see so few upper classmen at the most important positions? Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was the 2007 Orange Bowl team!

khummel60 4 years ago

Thank You! My thoughts exactly.

steamboat 4 years ago

Gee why aren't all you KU whiners bashing Meachem like you did Pick and Webb. The talent isn't there but those kids are playing there damn guts out. How would any of you like to battle someone that out weighs you by 50-60 pounds for an entire game with 50000 fans cheering for the bigger guy. We need more size and more speed. There is not a kid out there that doesn't want to win. We just gotta see changes on our roster in terms of size and talent. We'll get there

DocBean 4 years ago

Oh Yeah! Those ISU kids are GIANTS!!! Look out for them! Just look at all that NFL talent they run out on the field game in and game out.

Aren't you one of the ones saying we should beat ISU or Colorado? How in the world could you think that if you think that the ISU kids are so physically imposing?

Stop trying to cover up bad coaching. This staff is making millions, they cashed the checks and should be doing more with what they've got.

steamboat 4 years ago

yeah you're an idiot!!!!!!!! I'm referring to all the other teams that have outsized and outmanned our boys. I ain't covering up anything, hell look at what used to be a perrenial power at Tennessee? they're 2 and 5 and 0 fer in there league. I doubt if there fan base has turned on there team like a pack of wolves like you ALL have. USC is down too so before any of you believe that success in school sports is a given look throughout the country to see all the changing going on. Look at Texas!!! they have there choice of any kid in the world and there 4 and 4. I hate to think what Jayhawk nation will be like when KU is expected to win and they don't. Chill out

DocBean 4 years ago

At what point did you say you were referring to other teams? I was pointing out how idiotic your above statement was when you blamed the ISU loss on our kids being out weighed by 50-60 pounds. You said we need more speed and size, and I agree completely, and hope Gill will get us there. But I was pointing out that ISU is a team we should have been competitive with. We weren't.

steamboat 4 years ago

I hope your post name does not mean you are a doctor cause if it does I pity the patients. Except for NDSU all the other teams were huge. So you think we can go to Ames and expect to compete against a team that went to Austin and beat Texas and took K-suck to the wire and will be bowling as well? Not this year!!! Yep you're still an idiot and quit trying to be a KU fan because deep down I'm sure you are only if we win and our teams deserve more than your type.

caribhawk 4 years ago

Shows how much rockchalk1990 knows, KU did not win the Orange Bowl in 2007, it was 2008! Also, KU is not building a decent recruiting class yet, check the facts rockchalk, KU is ranked 8th out of the Big 12 in recruiting at rivals.com (even K-State is ranked 6th)....an objective source. You been paying too much attention to KU press releases. Gill can't carry Mangino's jock (OK, so maybe a lot of people couldn't do that literally). Mangino turned 2 and 3 star recruits into winners, Gill takes a 4-star recruit, KU's best running back, (Opurum) and sits him on the bench much of the season and then turns him into a rush defensive end! TG still hasn't figured out where the best players should play or who should be on the field this late in the season. Maybe our best line-up is still on the bench.

GridironHawk 4 years ago

Any time you are in the top 50 your first full year of recruiting (especially at KU), I would consider that a victory. Recruiting is one of the biggest hits that a program takes when a new coach is hired (Look at many of Mangino's early classes). You usually don't see returns for 2-3 years. Mangino did have a special way of finding diamonds in the rough, though it's not fair to say this early that Gill also doesn't have that talent. Who knows, Opurum might turn out to be an all-american DE (although I would still like to see him get some short yardage carries). I'm not completely sold on Gill either but I'm also not ready to throw him under the bus. If he wasn't the right hire than the damage is already done and throwing him out now won't help. The only option KU has is to ride it out for a couple years and hope Gill is the RIGHT choice... I still believe he will turn some heads with recruiting and hopefully that starts sooner than later.

DocBean 4 years ago

I'm sick of people saying we don't have the talent level needed to compete. ISU is as close to us on talent level as any other team in the Big XII. The difference is they have a very good coach that's putting his system in place, and knows how to get kids to buy in, and play smart.

This game was a clear example of coaching making a difference. ISU was looking past us in the first half, but made the necessary adjustments at halftime. We did not. Lack of talent isn't to blame for this one.

I'm hoping this staff is just one-dimensional. They obviously don't know how to alter their system to fit the talent they have. I'm hoping they know how to find talent to fit their system (and that their system can work at this level).

GridironHawk 4 years ago

Most coaches don't have the ability or want-to (most are stubborn) to alter their system to fit the talent they have. Thus why it usually takes 3-4 years before progress is seen. Bill Self struggled with Roy Williams recruits (though not on the level Gill is struggling but they were also a lot more talented and you only have to worry about 5 guys at one time in basketball) and he is one of the best coaches in the country. Gill will get the players he wants/needs to fit his style of football...

steamboat 4 years ago

That last post from Doc doesn't even deserve a reply. I hope you Doc can "alter" your comments to cover up your ignorance. KU does not deserve so-called fans like you. Geez!!!!!! 8 games in and you want 'em to find talent that you and nobody else have been saying we don't have. What are you smoking?

DocBean 4 years ago

hmm, steamboat, why are you changing your tune? Here are some of your own quotes:

"Lew put KU on solid ground. They have big shoes to fill." - Steamboat on the new AD [Gill] will never succeed in the Big 12...The Baylor game is evidence we are going backwards." "Even though last year was a downer, KU FB was making progress." "[Gill] DOES NOT belong in the Big12-2 as a head coach...Enough is enough. Very Sad." I can't even count how many times you've said Bill Self is a failure, and Roy was better for KU, even though Bill Self did in 5 years something that Roy could not do in 15 at KU. Come on, don't call others ignorant if that's the kind of crap that you spit out.

steamboat 4 years ago

I don't have to call anyone ignorant!!! They prove there own fate on the articles they post. Like I said I truly hope you ARE NOT a doctor.
I did change my tune on Gill as I believe everybody deserves a chance even you, regardless of anything you do or say. It's obvious you are a KU fairweather fan. So MAN UP and suffer through all this like we all are. It'll get better.
As for Roy, I'd take him back tomorow.

steamboat 4 years ago

I liked Mangino there was a reason why KU lost there last 7 games last year. First of all the first 5 games were the easy part of the schedule and secondly the competition got better except for the MU game. Does anyone remember how we lost that game? So this is where we are, the cry-baby players got Mangino fired. The ones that stayed are playing for a new coach, a new system, with injuries and with youth. Did anyone expect anything other than what we have? Give TG a chance for pete's sake.

DocBean 4 years ago

"Even though last year was a downer, KU FB was making progress." - yet you say no coach could compete with Mangino's players. "Lew put KU on solid ground. They have big shoes to fill." - Steamboat on the new AD "I hope Perkins is pleased with his hire. Lew and Gill both should be run out of town.........and take Self with 'em." - Steamboat

so which is it steamboat? Give him a chance or run him out of town? Lew put KU on solid ground, or was a complete idiot?

steamboat 4 years ago

Ok Einstein you appear to be so smart. How would you handle things with the FB program? I'm curious to hear some more of your wonderful advice.

KSseahawk 4 years ago

...and take Self with them. Really??? What rationale could there possibly be???

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