Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gill’s message remains the same to Jayhawks


Three weeks into the 2010 season, fans of Kansas University’s football program have seen three vastly different KU teams take the field.

Injuries plague KU football team

After last week's game against Southern Miss, three more Jayhawks have been added to the injury list.

That’s not surprising, according to KU coach Turner Gill, who continues to preach patience and discipline as the Jayhawks (1-2) prepare for their final nonconference game of the season, at 6 p.m. Saturday against New Mexico State (0-2).

“Every game I’ve spoken to them about the same thing,” Gill said. “We’re trying to improve on every phase of our game. My talk hasn’t changed. It doesn’t depend on the quality of the opponent. We’ve just gotta get better as a football team. That’s what they heard (last weekend), and that’s what they’ll continue to hear.”

For the second time in three weeks, Gill and his coaching staff have entered game preparation on the heels of a loss. Although there are several negatives that come with carrying a loss through the weekend — particularly during a week such as last week, when the Jayhawks played on a Friday — Gill said it also can be easier to get a team to focus.

“There’s probably some truth to that,” Gill said. “I think that’s in most cases of any human being, particularly if you’re a competitor. When you didn’t perform as well as you had hoped for, you are going to come back with a lot more sense of urgency.”

Sims further cements spot

Freshman running back James Sims played well enough during Friday’s 31-16 loss to Southern Miss to earn the trust of the KU coaching staff. During the preseason, Gill and offensive coordinator Chuck Long said they hoped to find one back capable of getting 20-25 carries per game. With 17 carries against Georgia Tech and 20 more against Southern Miss, Sims appears to be that guy.

“At this point in time, we would say that James Sims is the back,” Gill said. “I’d say Sims and (Deshaun) Sands would be the guys that would get the majority of the time. I think (Sims is) going to get better and better as he continues to play here at this level. I think he has done some good things and, obviously, still has some improvement (to make). But I like what he’s doing.”

Through three games — only two of which he has played in — Sims has recorded 175 yards on 37 carries and added one touchdown. The record for rushing yards in a season by a freshman belongs to June Henley, who gained 1,127 yards in 1993.

Gill talks Bourbon, red-shirt

After hinting at it last week, Gill talked more specifically about the current status of freshman running back Brandon Bourbon and his potential to red-shirt this season.

Bourbon has yet to appear in a game this season and, therefore, could decide to red-shirt, which would allow him to retain his four seasons of eligibility. Bourbon, or any other player, loses the option to red-shirt as soon as he appears in a game.

“Right now, we kind of got him on a hold,” Gill said. “(If) somebody gets hurt, then we would play him. So, right now, he’s kind of on a hold as far as the red shirt. Particularly here in the next game or two. If it stays the way it is and no injuries occur, then we’ll definitely probably have him on a red-shirt path at this point in time.”

KU-Baylor set for 11 a.m.

KU officials announced Monday that the game between the Jayhawks and Baylor University on Oct. 2, in Waco, Texas, will kick off at 11 a.m. and be televised by Fox Sports Net.

The game, which is the Big 12 Conference opener for both squads, will mark the Jayhawks’ 20th straight television appearance.


clorox 11 years, 1 month ago

My message is the same. KU is not a good team. Time to admit that and think about getting beat in basketball after being over hyped again. Remember you are no Northern Iowa.

Ben Kliewer 11 years, 1 month ago

I said it before, and I'll say it again. I don't take the time to register accounts on other teams' websites so I can talk trash, and that is for two reasons. One, I don't have time to waste on trivial teenage BS. And two, I'm not a dick... Apparently these two concepts escape clorox

Craig Lang 11 years, 1 month ago

Is it any coincidence that a guy named "clorox" is bashing a team with an African-American coach? Seems inappropriate to me.

Robert Brock 11 years, 1 month ago

I would like to see Bourbon play NOW. This team is short on talent; red-shirting is a luxury.

Rivethead 11 years, 1 month ago

Where would you like to see him play?

He's not a better runnng back than Sims or Sands. If he was, he'd be playing. So where do you want to see him play at NOW? LB?

KGphoto 11 years, 1 month ago

Whoa there! The whole, "If he were better than them, he'd be playing" routine is out the window. I tried it. It doesn't work with Gill. His first choice has been wrong on two occasions already in this young season. The fact is, nobody knows until they get a chance in a game. This team needs to know who can play, and they need to know NOW.

It would still appear that Bourbon is KU's best home run threat, given a couple nice blocks. No reason to look 4 years down the road if he can help the team win now. Besides there will be many other RBs in Lawrence by then. Even next year we might have a RB better than either of these guys. Play BB.

DevilHawk 11 years, 1 month ago

I think that the reason isn't the 4 years down the road; rather I think that it is next year.

The team was not expected to have a winning season this season, and the o-line has sustained multiple injuries.

Bourbon will be able to do substantially better next year than he can this year, and that is a team issue not a personal issue.

Next year we should have: A stronger o-line Better QB-play * An offense tuned to the team

If Bourbon redshirts then we know that we should have a healthy running back next season, and we don't want to risk both Sims and Bourbon getting injured this season if we can help it.

Robert Brock 11 years, 1 month ago

I think that he is a better running back than Sands and Quigley NOW. I cannot speculate as to why he has not seen action. But this staff is not afraid to make mistakes or errors in judgment.

khummel60 11 years, 1 month ago

This article almost seems like a setup for the anti-Gill crowd. It will be entertaining to watch the comments here today.

Glad to see Sims is our official featured back. He is clearly going to be something special. Like "Brock" above I'm a little nervous about red-shirting Bourbon, but we do have a pretty good running back playing backup linebacker right now, if we need him.

Pbbut 11 years, 1 month ago

"... continues to preach patience and discipline."

When are we going to see some discipline by the staff, ie., getting the correct substitutions made timely, getting plays to the field...?

troutsee 11 years, 1 month ago

Red-shirting Bourbon is the right thing to do unless we get a running back injured. We all must be patient with this team and the coaching staff.

troutsee 11 years, 1 month ago

That is the only road game I am going to miss.

KGphoto 11 years, 1 month ago

I'm less in favor of red-shirting and more in favor of best-man-wins on the field. Gill has proven practice looks different than games, and he has already shown his ability to bring in lots of talent at RB. There will be a line of guys to try out.

2011 projected stable. James Sims Brandon Bourbon Deshean Sands Rell Lewis Dreamius Smith Darrian Miller (hopefully)

... did I miss anybody?

I say let them all play, and let the cream rise to the top. The guys who don't make it? Red-shirt them next year. TG will have more in 2012, etc. But until KU is to the point of having established starters, keep 'em coming. Then, when you know what you've got, start red-shirting potential.

I also don't know why Angus isn't still in the mix. What has he done wrong?

DevilHawk 11 years, 1 month ago

Quigley got injured, and it seems that he has been outplayed so far.

Kenneth Hillman 11 years, 1 month ago

Yes, it is a setup for critical comments... Although I am not anti-Gill. I want to see our team succeed, so in turn I want to see Gill succeed.

Nice answer TG: "we’ll definitely probably have him on a red-shirt path at this point in time.”

I'm sorry but this sounds unorganized to me, it actually doesn't even make sense (if it's quoted correctly). I'm confused if we're trying to get the best players out there or not. This is just such a frustrating transition. We keep trying to point a finger but even the direction of that seems to change week to week. If you watched MNF last night you saw what not being organized does to you, it loses games!

If we're not using Angus at running back, why not move him back to linebacker and TO back to running back? Put TO at running back and see what happens Gill. Then Bourbon could maybe probably for surely be 60% on a possible path to red-shirting.

Would really like to see an organized/disciplined team play this weekend so we can see our players PLAY! That is what I saw against GT, I know we can do it, let's see it again.

khummel60 11 years, 1 month ago

Agree. The disorganization and confusion, the blown assignments and lack of execution, the inconsistent effort - these things are starting to get worrisome. We need to give Gill and staff some time to work it out (what other choice do we have anyway), but they should get some of these problems ironed out soon I think. I don't expect this team to have a winning season this year, but I do expect them to cut out the silly mistakes at some point.

jaymar74 11 years, 1 month ago

Why in the heck would you not be excited to continue to see Sims at RB full time and what he can do. His move at the point of the hole and then downfield capability is beyond TO. Give the coaching staff credit, they saw early on that Sims was better than Opurum and made the move. Running backs for balance of year should be Sims, Sands and Quigley. Save Bourbon for 4 more years starting next year.

63Jayhawk 11 years, 1 month ago

It is great to know that we have so many expert coaches reading and commenting on this site. With this many experts on our side, how can we lose?

kvskubball 11 years, 1 month ago

I was thinking the same thing...

So many know so much about so little about coaching...

From above... "3 games into the season and I'm really starting to get concerned..."

I guess this guy comes from a highschool where they haven't changed coaches in 20 years and have always won???

New coach, young team...could mean a bumpy ride...heck even a long-time coaching staff that has a young team could see the same ups and downs...

To answer the question "Why is TO now a LB?" ...well to try to get more talent in that unit, obviously...

CatsEatBirds 11 years, 1 month ago

The game, which is the Big 12 Conference opener for both squads, will mark the Jayhawks’ 20th straight television appearance.

Am I reading this correctly? In football? Twenty straight (non-ppv) tv appearances, including the non-cons?

If so, that is pretty darn impressive. Other teams including the great Nebraska go on ppv vs weak non-cons at least.

What gives? And you have to admit, as fans that's a pretty good deal for you.

jayhawkintx73 11 years, 1 month ago

It isn't anything like KU Basketball yet. If it ever gets there, Kansas State fans should convert.

ilikestuff 11 years, 1 month ago

I wish the UNL folk would quit paying for that crap too, it would probably put an end to it. By the same token they're the only one's fanatical enough about their team to spend $50 on UNL v.SDSU.

jayhawkintx73 11 years, 1 month ago

I don't like the idea of red shirting Bourbon. In the seasons to come depth is going to be, or should be a strength, but it won't be without getting the guys some PT. The coaches will have four years of Bourbon, Sims, and Sands if they all three played this year. That is plenty of time to recruit running backs. I remember Levin/Henley. If Henley didn't get the ball Levin ran all over people. Didn't June Henley and Lt. Levin go back to back with 1000 yards each and Henley over 2000 on of those years?

jaymar74 11 years, 1 month ago

What do you suggest?, each game we give Sims 5 carries, Sands 5 carries, Quigley 5 carries, Bourbon 5 carries, Webb 5 carries and Beshears 5 carries?

kranny 11 years, 1 month ago


100 11 years, 1 month ago

Let's all keep in mind, and I really supported Mangino & appreciated what he did for our program, but....

Last year's pass defense was horrid.

Each & every play a team could nearly guarantee a wide receiver to catch it for a ten yard gain. No more, not much less.

Ten yards.

We are bring taught to attack.

This will bring in athletes.

Gill will bring in speed like we've never seen before.

It might take a few games to see some consistency with "what we're doing", but really, do you want conservative clamps on this team so we can never grow into something legendary in a few years?

Of course not.

We will be very good in the near future.

It's the Jimmy & Joe's in the end.

With a huge offensive line....

steamboat 11 years, 1 month ago

Hey all those people wanting Gill fired. One question who would replace him? Probably Chuck 3rd and Long?? no way. this year is far from over. We have some winnable home gamesso we just need to suck it up and cheer our guts out. Gill will get us better, the season isn't even a month old yet.

Tony Bandle 11 years, 1 month ago

Saturday is a very winnable game that would put us at 2-2. Isn't that about what everyone expected at this stage?

Kit Duncan 11 years, 1 month ago

I think that was the expected record, but folks were hoping for 3-1, with the one loss being Ga Tech (go figure). Few things ever go as expected in a new coaching regime, except that the idiots on these boards will either call the new coach a genius and should be nominated for Sainthood or he is a total incompetent and should be run out of town on a rail.

Any new coach should be given at least a season (preferably two) to get settled in. Of course the fourth season is when it truly becomes his team with almost all players having been recruited by him or his staff.

HawkInAL 11 years, 1 month ago

Couldn't agree with you more. If anyone would like an honest assessment of our team, look to the fact that Gill recruited quite a few O-Linemen. He's not going to call out the guys he already has, but he knows what the deal is.

Keegan predicted 4-8, which is very do-able for this squad. 5-7 is a distinct possibility. 6-6 and bowl eligibility is actually not out of the question.

If you watched Farmageddon @ Arrowhead, you didn't come away awe-struck by either of those squads. Colorado is a mess. Baylor got handled by TCU. Neither Oklahoma St or Texas A&M has proven anything really. Kansas St and Missouri are rivalry games that could go either way.

The only two locks left on the schedule that I see, are New Mexico St (Win) and Nebraska (Loss). The rest look like toss ups...

Slim_Pickens 11 years, 1 month ago

So what are we suppose to take from Gill's comments? Absolutely nothing other than praise jesus and hallelujah! He can pray all he wants to God/ Allah/ Buddha/ John Smith/ El Ron Hubbard or whatever hocus pocus he associates himself with...can I get an amen!!! The only thing he can count on is a lot more losses this year and that for the time being he gets his paycheck every Thursday. As it stands right now he has a better chance of making the KU nation believe that he can heal crippled kids with terminal cancer then make this team win on a consistent basis.

Randy Bombardier 11 years, 1 month ago

Would nice to redshirt some linemen. Would like to see us keep recruiting in this area and redshirting as many as possible. And, yeah, would not hurt to redshirt Bourbon.
It is going to take some time folks. Look at about any program in the country that is now having success and I don't know of a one that did not have a lot of pain at first.

minnhawk84 11 years, 1 month ago

KSTP in Minneapolis just announced that some guy named Mangino has been hired as a consultant to HC Tim Brewster at the UofMinnesota. Hmmmmmmm.......can it get any worse for the Gophers?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.