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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jayhawks hopeful for Big 12 football schedule

KU players speak of lofty expectations

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With the start of Big 12 Conference play looming, the Kansas University football team is not hiding its intentions.

KU football boasts sixth-best pass defense in country

The Jayhawks have held their opponents to less than 60 percent completed passes so far this season.

“It’s like a new season is starting,” junior wide receiver Daymond Patterson said. “You get a chance to fight for that Big 12 North title and try and make it to that Big 12 championship. I think when conference comes, you turn it up a level.”

So, then, is it accurate to say that the Jayhawks, who had their ups and downs during the non-conference schedule, actually believe they can win the North in 2010?

“Definitely. Definitely,” senior safety Olaitan Oguntodu said. “Playing in the Big 12, you take care of the North and that’s the opportunity you have. We don’t believe in selling ourselves short. That’s not the plan that coach (Turner) Gill has laid before us. We believe in striving for excellence.”

Some coaches drive that goal home every day. Others use gimmicks and off-the-wall motivational tactics to remind their players what they’re playing for. Not Gill.

“I’m not going to say we talk about it every day or every week, but we talked about it in the beginning of the year,” Gill said. “We’re just like everybody else, (winning the Big 12 is) a goal of ours and this is the first step.”

Said freshman quarterback Jordan Webb, who will start the first Big 12 game of his career on Saturday: “It’s definitely exciting, because these games are what matter the most. Every game is important, but when you get to conference play those games take a little more meaning.”

Though KU’s 2-2 start was not exactly what many had hoped for, Oguntodu said all that the Jayhawks endured during their first four games made them a stronger team.

“I think we are ready,” Oguntodu said. “We have prepared. We have faced some trials in our non-conference games. They have helped us come to expect to have ups and downs within the game and be able to bounce back. That is something that we have been pleased with this season. That is a sign of our defense maturing and our team maturing and getting better.”

The buzz word Oguntodu used when describing where his team was at was “identity.”

“I think we have an identity, surely as a defense we have an identity,” Oguntodu said. “I love the fact that I can run up to a pile and our linebackers have already made the play. That’s awesome. That’s awesome.”

Gill agreed and said improvement should be easier to come by now that the groundwork is in place.

“After four ballgames, I think everybody has a better understanding of who we are, what we are, and what we’re trying to do,” Gill said.

Comments

KU_FanSince75 3 years, 10 months ago

I had a K-State alum told me that they couldn't wait for the game in Lawrence. I don't want to look ahead but if somehow we can win that Baylor game, I say bring on the kitty kats. With a week off before the game, the Jayhawks will go bonkers with the type of atmosphere in Memorial Stadium. Rock Chalk!

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Carter Patterson 3 years, 10 months ago

I had a K-State fan, excited over their win last week, tell me that if they beat Nebraska on Saturday, they win the North...at 1-0. Ridiculous. They are smoking what they are growing in Farmville.

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Robert Brock 3 years, 10 months ago

Smoking alfalfa makes you high?

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Brian Leiker 3 years, 10 months ago

Does their drug elicit time travel? I'm pretty sure they play each other next Thursday night.

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Andy Hess 3 years, 10 months ago

good thing they don't stand a snowball's chance in hell of winning that game. i'm no NU fan, but I can't wait for Crick to snap Carson Coffman in half.

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NebraskaJayhawk 3 years, 10 months ago

I actually think they have a chance.

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2008KUGrad 3 years, 10 months ago

Nebraska will win the North, and has a good chance of winning the Big XII. In the next couple weeks, KU & KSU will both be 4-2. We will win against BU & KSU, and KSU will lose to NU & KU.

It so happens that NU plays worse at home than on the road, under Pelini. Wishful thinking, but let's get Gill a W in Lincoln! His players will be fired up that game and will want to secure a win for him. Oh, how sweet that would be.

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khummel60 3 years, 10 months ago

I have to admit I share mulaza's sentiments about this Baylor game. Lets not get ahead of ourselves. A win at Baylor would simply mean we aren't the worst team in the Big-12, little more. Lets take this one game at a time.

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KU_FanSince75 3 years, 10 months ago

I am a true KU fan all the way to the bone but I am hoping for a K-State victory over Pelini and company. That way the kitty kats can come to Lawrence all cocky and such. However, I think Nebraska will win the game.

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KU_FanSince75 3 years, 10 months ago

BTW, I don't want to jinx the situation, but I have not seen any posts from "mulaza" lately---did that (beep)___ finally get banned?

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Rick Arnoldy 3 years, 10 months ago

Junior high is finally in session.

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100 3 years, 10 months ago

In case you missed it there's a great 10 minute GridIron film about last week's game on www.kuathletics.com

Almost as good as the GT film, week 2.

What's great in week 4 is seeing Gill really fire the guys up & the team to respond & believe/play with passion.

As for week 2 (still the best film so far), the speech by (I think 44) deserves an Oscar.

Better than anything I've ever seen in a sports film; check out how number 54 responds as the pep talk from 44 goes on....

Oh and the numbers without names replaced by the Jayhawk...

After watching these films, it just makes sense. Great to see our bird on the back as our boys streak down the sidelines....

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KU_FanSince75 3 years, 10 months ago

@ khummel60--- My bad!

Good thing that my work place has banned "youtube" videos!

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khummel60 3 years, 10 months ago

It's a clip from Waterboy - evidently one of his favorite movies.

Always consider it an honor anytime I get called out by mulaza.

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KU_FanSince75 3 years, 10 months ago

Hey, I guess that's a plus--good way to think about it---thanks Khummel60!

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2008KUGrad 3 years, 10 months ago

Nebraska will win the North, and has a good chance of winning the Big XII. In the next couple weeks, KU & KSU will both be 4-2. We will win against BU & KSU, and KSU will lose to NU & KU.

It so happens that NU plays worse at home than on the road, under Pelini. Wishful thinking, but let's get Gill a W in Lincoln! His players will be fired up that game and will want to secure a win for him. Oh, how sweet that would be.

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khummel60 3 years, 10 months ago

I hope your right.

I'll say this - Gill will have the team jacked for that NU game. For us long-time KU fans the KSU and MU games are the biggies, but for Gill - this year - it's gotta be NU. He will say it's just another game and all that nonsense, but I think he will see it as the most important game of his life so far. I think he wants to prove to his mentor, Dr. Tom, and his throngs of fans in Nebraska that he's for real. For that reason, as much as any, I think we may have a shot at knocking off the Cornhuskers.

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jhawkrulz 3 years, 10 months ago

I'm a KU fan, and want them to win, but has anyone noticed that we are a 10 point dog to Baylor.

I'm all about being optimistic, but right now I would settle for a win against Baylor. A win at Nebraska happened only when we had the big guy with us, oh how sweet was seeing that 38 year slide end.

The truth will be that Nebraska and Oklahoma will be undefeated playing in the Big 12 tournament. All of us will want OU to win, so that Nebraska doesn't take the trophy with them. And finally, the winner of that game will play for the national championship.

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bad_dog 3 years, 10 months ago

I don't believe the "big guy" or the teams he coached ever got a win AT Nebraska did they? We came close a couple of times, but I don't believe the Hawks have won in Lincoln since?????

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trueblue68 3 years, 10 months ago

We have NOT WON at NU since 1968---42 years ago. Also that isthe last year we ever have won the conference in Football--tied with Oklahoma that year as Co-Big 8 Champs.

Bobby Douglas last KU QB to win at NU.

Also John Zook & the Riggins boys on that 1968 team.

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Randy Bombardier 3 years, 10 months ago

I think KSU has a decent chance to beat Nebraska and I agree that it would set KU up beautifully if they did. Before the season began I thought Carson Coffman would be better than he is and did not think we had a chance against the Cats, but after we smacked Ga Tech I think we can stop that running game. Get him to audibalize on every first down away from the run and into his mostly ineffective arm will end well for us. I like what Snyder has done, but you can only go so far with the hand you are dealt. I think we have a lot more talent. Webb will surely outplay Coffman and I think they will be surprised by the athleticism of our receivers. I think it is possible if our guys can focus, believe, and listen to what they are being taught that if NU has a bad day against us we can win. I think we can beat anybody if we get better and better are consistent and give it all.

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stravinsky 3 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, I don't see KSU having a chance against Nebraska.

Before the season, I thought Nebraska was a bit overrated. You go into the season with an offense that wasn't particularly great last year and also lose your quarterback, it generally takes some time to recover and gain an offensive identity (ask Kansas).

Granted, UNL has a serious case of not having played anybody so far (their best opponent is a bottom-of-the-barrel PAC 10 team), but the offense has been clicking and their defense is pretty dang good. We'll see wither the South Dakota State was an outlier or not soon.

As for KSU, Coffman is absolutely beatable, and Thomas hasn't looked quite as ridiculous as he often has in the past (okay, 6 ypc isn't exactly shabby). He's certainly one of the better backs in the conference (probably the best), but if you don't have balance, that can cause problems. I feel like a top notch QB without a running game can carry an offense much more effectively than a top notch RB without a passing game.

I'm historically a pretty big optimist when it comes to this football team, but I just can't see us winning the north this year with how well Nebraska is playing.

And definitely can't see KSU winning the north.

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grandpa 3 years, 10 months ago

We will be on the road in the morning headed to Waco. I hope our defense gets fired up , especially the special teams. If that happens and I think it will, we will win the Baylor game. See you in Waco!!! I can hardley wait!!!

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troutsee 3 years, 10 months ago

With each game, we learn a little more about our team. Waco has been a snake pit for us in the past. Hopefully, our special teams will not have any breakdowns and our defense can contain Griffin. If so, we can win this game, barring TO's.

As for NU, it has been too easy for them this year. SDSU exposed them. Believe me, Snyder and company did not miss what SDSU did. NU will have a tough time winning the north this year and Manhatten poses a definite risk.. SDSU showed that if you shut down Martinez, you shut down the NU offense.Yes, they are favored to win the North, but I need convincing.

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claytonln 3 years, 10 months ago

the last time the Jayhawks won in Lincoln was the year before they went to the orange bowl with John Riggins, I think the score was 10-0 or it might have been the year after, pretty sure it was in that time frame.

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trueblue68 3 years, 10 months ago

It was 1968 & we went to the Orange Bowl that year in the infamous 12 man game with Penn State.

!0-0 was KU over NU in 1967 at home.

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trueblue68 3 years, 10 months ago

We also had Junior Riggins(John;s older brother), John Zook, & Bobby Douglas on that team.

Both Zook & Douglas Concensus AA that year too.

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colohawk2814 3 years, 10 months ago

It was 1968, we won 23-13, Tommy Ball, Orville Turgeon, Emory Hicks, Vernon Venoy, John Zook, the Riggins brothers, John Mosier, Bobby Douglas, etc. I was 10 years old and was fortunate to be there, my dad was a fanatical JayHawk football fan.

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justanotherfan 3 years, 10 months ago

Outside of Thomas, KSU doesn't have much offensively. NU's corners will be locked up one on one all day because NU will put 8-9 in the box to stop the run, but NU's corners are among the nation's best.

If Coffman can't get the ball downfield (he's been very shaky this year) then I don't see KSU moving the ball against Nebraska, much like last season.

Honestly, KSU will be in a struggle through the rest of conference season for that reason. Everybody in the Big XII knows they are very one dimensional. Not saying KSU won't win conference games, because they will. But there's as good a chance that KSU wins 3 conference games as there is they win 6 because their margin is so small.

KU has the same problem. Their inconsistency on both sides of the ball makes them just as likely to go 2-6 in conference as 6-2. They should be in every game, but could play themselves out of any game.

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grandpa 3 years, 10 months ago

Ok everybody, get your TV tuned on the A & M and Oklahoma state game that is on at this moment. We will see what they both have. You have an opld man to keep you on your toes. I will be wearingt a T shirt with #81 on the back at WACO. We are going to win that game.

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