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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

KSseahawk 3 years, 5 months ago

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

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steamboat 3 years, 5 months 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.

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steamboat 3 years, 5 months 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?

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DocBean 3 years, 5 months 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).

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caribhawk 3 years, 5 months 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.

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steamboat 3 years, 5 months 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

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Andy Tweedy 3 years, 5 months 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!

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Geekinout 3 years, 5 months 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.

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Matt Gauntt 3 years, 5 months 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

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Cody Stumma 3 years, 5 months 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.

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pigballin 3 years, 5 months ago

Hey tait,.,,i will be calling the editor about your constant removal posts fro shwom not only me , but of others that show no cause to be removed.

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KSseahawk 3 years, 5 months 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.

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troutsee 3 years, 5 months 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.

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fabio 3 years, 5 months 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.

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caribhawk 3 years, 5 months 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!

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siltom 3 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for the words of encouragement Jaylah.

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fabio 3 years, 5 months 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.

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duanep5ku 3 years, 5 months 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.

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Jaylah 3 years, 5 months 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.

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