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Baylor defeats Kansas, 31-30

  • 1 p.m., Nov. 12, 2011
  • Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, KS

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Senior sadness: KU collapses in fourth quarter, blows 21-point lead in 31-30 overtime loss to Baylor

Kansas offensive lineman Tanner Hawkinson finds himself in the middle of a rush of Baylor Bears as they celebrate their overtime win after a failed two-point conversion by the Jayhawks on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 at Kivisto Field.

Kansas offensive lineman Tanner Hawkinson finds himself in the middle of a rush of Baylor Bears as they celebrate their overtime win after a failed two-point conversion by the Jayhawks on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 at Kivisto Field.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Turner Gill

Kansas coach Turner Gill talks after his team's 31-30 overtime loss to Baylor on Nov. 12, 2011.

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The Kansas University football team played well for three quarters, fell apart for a fourth and, somehow, still had a chance to win Saturday afternoon against the No. 25 team in the BCS standings in front of 35,188 fans at Memorial Stadium.

After the game, none of that mattered. All anyone wanted to talk about was the final play in KU's latest loss, a failed two-point conversion attempt that helped Baylor survive with a 31-30 overtime victory.

"I'm gonna say this and I want everybody to understand," said senior lineman Jeff Spikes, one of 15 seniors who played the final home game of their careers on Saturday. "I support and I appreciate (KU coach Turner Gill) calling that two-point conversion because we could've easily come out and kicked the (extra point) and, to me, that showed that we are not no punks. We are not gonna sit down and let anyone run over us. You're gonna have to work for it. You're gonna have to beat me. I commend him and I appreciate that he gave us the opportunity to go out and take that victory. Even though we came up on the losing end, I appreciate it and I support it and I'm glad he did it."

That the Jayhawks (2-8 overall, 0-7 in Big 12 play) were even in that position in the first place seemed both right and wrong.

For starters, the Jayhawks — who entered Saturday as 20-point underdogs and ranked last in the country in total defense — were facing the nation's No. 2 offense. The fact that KU led, 24-3, going into the fourth quarter was somewhat surprising to say the least.

Once the final quarter began, everything that people are used to seeing from this team slowly started to creep back into play. Missed reads, dropped balls, blown assignments and a lack of confidence each reared its ugly head once again, as Baylor scored 28 straight points in a little more than 12 minutes to turn a 24-3 deficit into a 31-24 lead in overtime.

The play that sparked it all was a 49-yard touchdown run from BU quarterback Robert Griffin III which cut KU's lead to 24-10 with 11:45 to play in the fourth.

"I think our guys were still competing," KU defensive coordinator Vic Shealy said. "I don't think they got to the point where they were dysfunctional. I think they got to the point where maybe they weren't playing as confident because they were bracing for a mistake."

Gill, who spoke to the media with tears in his eyes following his team's eighth straight loss — and Gill's 17th setback in 22 tries at KU — said Griffin's ability to run changed the game.

Griffin, who came in averaging 396 yards of total offense, had just 49 yards rushing, 99 yards passing and no touchdowns through three quarters. He finished the game with 103 yards on the ground, 312 through the air and four touchdowns.

"That's the thing that's always scary," Gill said. "You kind of can hold him and contain him, but every time he took off running, that's when they got momentum, that's when they started making some plays."

Added KU defensive coordinator Vic Shealy: "These are good offenses. What happens is, you make a mistake, they make you look almost embarrassingly bad."

Not only was Griffin's natural play-making ability tough to handle, the Jayhawks also had to battle a batch of nerves once things got tight after Griffin's TD run.

"They changed the tempo," Shealy said. "They got really fast. We've seen fast tempo before, but they went from fast to really fast, and I don't know that we got settled back down after that."

Defensively, it didn't look like it. With the Bears' defense playing more energized every minute, the Jayhawks' defense reverted to bad habits. In a span of 4:36, Griffin tossed two long touchdowns that tied the game.

"That shouldn't happen," Gill said.

Despite the meltdown, KU still had two chances to win the game. The first came with the Jayhawks driving late in the fourth quarter. After starting at its own 39-yard line, KU, which ran for 296 yards in the loss, picked up a couple of first downs and reached the Baylor 39-yard line before disaster struck. A second-down pass from quarterback Jordan Webb intended for JaCorey Shepherd was knocked away by Baylor's Mike Hicks and fell into the arms of linebacker Elliot Coffey for an interception. Several Jayhawks said they thought Hicks hit Shepherd early, including Gill, who went wild on the sideline pleading with the refs.

"The referee makes the call," said Gill when asked about the possible pass interference. "I see it one way, but they have to make the call. That's the way it goes. Sometimes you get the call, sometimes you don't."

That set up the overtime, and after watching Baylor score first in just three plays, the Jayhawks answered with a TD strike from Webb to senior tight end Tim Biere on their first play of OT. That's when Gill called timeout and decided to go for two.

"I just felt the momentum," he said. "On that first-down call, we hit it real quick and I just thought that that would be the time to go for it. I just had an instinct at that particular time to go for it."

Gill said the Jayhawks had two plays called — both passes — and checked to throwing a fade to Biere in the corner of the end zone that was knocked away.

"They ended up playing a zone coverage," Gill said. "We thought they were gonna play man, and the corner who fell off on the outside receiver, that's the guy who made the play."

Asked if he thought about calling a running play considering the Jayhawks' success on the ground throughout the game, KU offensive coordinator Chuck Long was honest.

"I was thinking about it, but the passing game gives you so many more answers," he said. "(If you run it), they can bottle that thing up and then it takes a great play from the running back to get in there. It's not fourth-and-goal on the one. I'll go home tonight and think, 'Well, maybe I shoulda ran that, shoulda run that, shoulda called that. I'll do a coulda, shoulda, woulda tonight, for sure."

Although the final stretch of their latest loss allowed the Jayhawks to leave the field encouraged, the setback seemed to take a toll on this team like no other.

Shealy said the scene in the locker room was the lowest he'd seen during his time at Kansas. Several players agreed.

"Nobody said a word after the game," said senior linebacker Steven Johnson. "Usually you hear a little bit of whispers and stuff but it was just completely silent in there. It was even hard for coach Gill to even talk to us after the game."

Asked to relay Gill's message, Johnson smiled.

"He said he was proud of us," the co-captain said. "We played hard and played with passion and energy and gave effort all the time. Sometimes, it's like, I don't know, we're cursed or something. Sometimes calls just don't go our way. And it's just hard, we feel like we had a game and then it's like, 'What in the world is going on?'"

Added Spikes: "Our mood was just down. Silence. Nobody had anything to say because defeat hurts so bad."

Perhaps the reason this loss hurt so much was because nobody in crimson and blue could believe it happened. How could a team playing one of its best all-around games in years have a 24-3 lead with 12 minutes to play and lose?

"You gotta give credit to them," Spikes said. "They're the No. 2 offense in the country. Some things happen and you do think, 'Did that really happen?' It was kind of surreal."

Added Long: "We ran 91 plays and had the ball for 43 minutes. You can't ask for anything better than that. That's usually a winning formula."

Comments

Patrickulating 2 years, 5 months ago

I have no problem with the decision to go for two there, but why wasn't June Henley on the field for the play?

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mustlehustle 2 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for the "catch" on the word "allude" used instead of "elude." Meanwhile, back on the field. I understand Gill is born in Texas. However, I am speaking to someone that has the strong relationships forged and pipelines established out of the Texas high schools. Other than knowing to take "I-35 W" at Denton to get to Fort Worth, I am not certain what if any success Gill had luring the top tier Texas high school athletes to the University of Buffalo.

In order to get Kansas "caught-up" with the schools in the Big 12 Conference, they have to hire a coach that can produce now.

Now more than ever, a head coach that has deep recruiting roots in Texas is required.

Kansas has a rare opportunity, normally not afforded to anyone, to step-up and fill the void of the departure of Missouri and Texas A&M. Both schools have recruited very successfully out of Texas. Athletes being recruited to Kansas will still provide their family and friends the ability to see them on regionally televised games, and also be able to travel to many of the Jayhawks away games during the season. This won't be the case with moving to the SEC.

Chad Morris, in his first year as OC at Clemson, has taken them to a 9-1 record and has put Clemson football back on the map. He did the very same thing at Tulsa in an equally short time. Morris has also won "3" Texas High School Football State Championships, and was the "Coach of the Year 11 times, and took Lake Travis High School (alma mater of Todd Reesing) to being ranked 8th and 9th nationally by Rivals.

Morris is on the very short list of coaching candidates and the school that hires him first, will get a player's coach, and every available assistant coach knows what this guy will brng to a program. Morris "is" Texas High School football and could turn around a very fractured football program.

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hiphopsux 2 years, 5 months ago

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texashawk10 2 years, 5 months ago

Enough with the pass interference call being what cost KU the game. Let's say KU did get the PI call and have the ball on the 25 yard line, what guarantee is there that KU gains any more yards before trying to kick the field goal and what guarantee is there that Doherty makes the potential game winning field goal. KU's defense took their foot off the gas after they went up 21 and that's what lost them the game.

As for the decision to go for two, that was 100% the right call at the time. Considering the season KU has had, what risk was there in going for two? They were in position to win a game in which they had no business even being competitive in. A win over Baylor would've given KU some hope about beating an A&M team on the road and let them know that they are capable of beating good teams. Now we get the the 2 point conversion itself, KU had rushed for almost 300 yards so why in the hell would you not give the ball to Miller or Pierson? That's what ticked me off about the end of the game. That 25 yard pass to Biere was almost 1/4 of Webb's yards and he already had thrown 3 picks so what in the world gave Long any confidence that Webb is capable of making the right read and on the chance he does, what has Webb done to gain any confidence that he can make the right read?

One thing I will say that is impressing me about the defense of late is that they are starting to force turnovers at a pretty good clip. 3 against OU, 2 against UT, 3 against ISU, and 4 yesterday. I'm not saying the defense is any kind of good yet because they are still giving up way too many yards and points, but being able to create turnovers is a great way to mask deficiencies in a defense. If KU can keep up the pace of 2-3 turnovers a game next year as well, KU could have the possibility of reaching a bowl game depending on other situations like the QB and coaching. I know being ranked 92 in turnovers forced doesn't sound great, but keep in mind that prior to the OU game, KU had only forced 2 turnovers in the first 5 games so KU was on pace to force 5 or so TO's for the entire season. If KU had been on their current pace over the past 5 games all season long, they would be in the top 10-15 nationally in turnovers gained so the defense has been one of the most productive at forcing TO's over the past month. If KU has a defense that can allow an average of 24 points while forcing 2-3 TO's a game, that's something I can live with because that will give KU a good chance to win most of their games. Chuck Heater for DC!

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arizonahawk 2 years, 5 months ago

Does this mean we're mathematically eliminated from the playoffs?

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mahkmood 2 years, 5 months ago

MM has a 5-7 year, fans are complaining that we need a coach that can "take us to the next level". Lew does his dirty work and gets rid of MM. Now - it seems to me - the fan base would be proud and patting Gill on the back for producing a 5-7 season (something that MM produced on a fan considered down year). What is wrong with so many KU football fans!? They seem schizophrenic to me - maybe just bad football IQ. Gill's problem is not what MM left behind or bad officiating. I don't want to hear any more lame excuses. I think we should re-hire Mark Mangino, and leave the true problems for KU football out of our memory, 1) Lew Perkins, 2) Turner Gill's lack of BCS coaching ability. Boo-hoo, cry, cry, cry, MM was a "meany" to players and rude to parking-ticket employees. He weighed too much. These "reasons" for why MM needed to go were overblown by Lew so he could get rid of MM at a discount rate. Bring back Mangino! Bring back Mangino! Bring back Mangino! Do it NOW!

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Doug Fogleman 2 years, 5 months ago

Going for two was without a doubt the right decison. But I hated the play call. That should be a run pass option. The fade is a hard pass to throw and we had dropped so many passes throught the game.

As far as officating. There was two huge no calls the pass interference and a Baylor hold in the endzone the should of resulted in a Baylor safety. No one has mentions the seven offical reviews in 13 minutes of game time. Just horrible and so dishearting.

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westernkshawk 2 years, 5 months ago

The next coach is going to look like a genius because KU is definitely on the way up. Too bad Coach Gill won't be there to reap the benefits of the improvement.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 5 months ago

ok, are you ready for this? you might want to sit down because i'm about to say something that may make you pass out. . .

Don't fire Turner! Give him 1-2 more years.

Ok now here me out. If you had to have turner for 2 more years but it ment upgrading memorial stadium (ie removing the track and lowering the field) would you do it? If we have the money to fire Turner then we have the money to make memorial look like an actual college football stadium.
I'm sure there would be construction and cash flow concerns that somebody smarter than me could figure out. But let's say for a year KU had to play every game on the road. Would it really matter? Would you miss it? Or maybe had to play some games at Arrowhead, The K, or whatever that soccer stadium is(the novelty of that alone would sell some tickets). During these two years Turner either turns us around or drives futher into a hole. Either way is fine. If he turnes it around then the new stadium is packed from day one. If he drives us futher into it and we have to replace him with a new, better, heck, maybe even big time coach based on our newly shown commitment to football then memorial is packed based on people wanting to come and see the stadium for two years while the new coach builds the program.

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Jayhawker111 2 years, 5 months ago

Needed a quarterback change about 4 games ago..

Another 3 interceptions this week.

QB has not got it done.....

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Jayhawk444 2 years, 5 months ago

You have one play. One play that will win this game, erase (at least for a week) the struggles of a long, disappointing season, and maybe even save your coaching career. One play. One special play that you practice every week, but keep in your back pocket and never reveal in a game until this situation arises and you need it. One play. And the best you come up with is a poor-percentage fade pass to the corner? Pathetic. Now you're gone.

Thank you Seniors. Because it is the players that are everything that is good about this program right now.

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hihawk 2 years, 5 months ago

Yes, find the money and fire gill. That should have been done earlier. But, with the way KU likes to throw money away I expect another year with gill. Gosh, could KU really do that!!!!!!

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Robert Brock 2 years, 5 months ago

Find the money. Fire Gill. Hire a competent coach. Secure good staff. Stop being a laughing stock.

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mustlehustle 2 years, 5 months ago

The point that continues to allude the posters here, Gill should never have been hired in the first place. It was obviously Perkins doing somebody back on the East Coast one last favor as he scurried out the door to avoid jail time (possibly his greatest feat in his career)

You can continue to rationalize and make all attempts to "silk purse a sow's ear" but bottom line, you have a coach with no ties in recruiting in this part of the country, much less Texas, clearly not ready to coach at this level, and who's coaching antics are antiquated and delusional both off and on the field.

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jhox 2 years, 5 months ago

I had a great view of the no call pass interference, and how all of those officials could have missed something so obvious is beyond me. If that call is made, we're in field goal range, and the win is at our backs for the kick. So, yes, we got screwed big time by another Big 12 officiating crew. It was the worst blown call since the Texas game several years ago when Vince Young was there.

As for the decision to go for two, I had no problem with that. I would have done the same, having watched our defense perform all season. The call was horrible...that type of pass maybe works one in 20 times.

What's the deal with Miller sitting on the sideline half of our plays? He's far and away our best offensive player, yet this coaching staff seems blind to that fact. We're trying to get too cute, running the wildcat formation and such. Put Miller in, leave him in, and feed him the ball, mixing in the occassional pass. Our play calling was was too conservative in the 4th quarter. We played not to lose, rather than playing to win. Why were we running the wildcat on first and second down? Keep the defense honest by at least making them think we might pass the ball. With the wildcat, all they have to worry about is the run. I really want this coaching staff to succeed because they are a bunch of genuinely good guys, but it's hard to support them when they make the decisions they're making. Unfortunately, they're digging their own graves.

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Michael Maris 2 years, 5 months ago

I think when the football season is over, Zenger will have the end of the season dialogue with Coach Gill. I do think that Zenger will talk to members of the team as well (in his own time). I think that Zenger will take into account all of the collected information and his personal beliefs of whether he thinks that Gill is the right guy or not for this job. In the end, all of us that post on here might have a small amount of say that is taken into consideration by Zenger. No matter what Zenger's final decision is, it will be Zenger that makes the final decision to give (or not to give) Coach Gill a third season (not Ahperse, Mangin00holtz, 100, Kleave or my decision).

Coach Gill will always be on the record for being a coach at Kansas. Nothing, that any of us can do about it at all.

RockChalk.

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yates33333 2 years, 5 months ago

Gill made the right decision, the first really good one this season. His team had collapsed defensively. He was correct to go for broke. It just failed.

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Chris Condren 2 years, 5 months ago

Gill is a loser. He does not have a clue about how to run a Division I program. All he can do is cash his gigantic check and give us excuses. Even the paper is tired of writing articles about this loser. Give him his contactual payoff and send him packing.

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hawkster007 2 years, 5 months ago

I feel bad for the Senior players, but they almost pulled it off in spite of TG, Long and Shealy's coaching this year. I don't mind going for two in that situation. However, I hate calling the "fade" rout, horrible call. The fade rout is probably the toughest pass to make and the least successful, it has a slim margin for success, and requires that almost everything goes perfect. Combine that with Webb is not a passer with a good "touch" and you really reduce the window of opportunity for winning. Sad, but its almost predictable that KU would have a chance to win it only to be let down by their coaches again. KU has not had any red zone offense all year, the play calling is always the same as it is when KU is 80 yards from the end zone. Sorry Seniors, you deserved better.....

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Jayhawk1116 2 years, 5 months ago

Okay, did anyone else notice we got the ball first in both the first and second half?!? Has that ever happened before? Didn't even know that was possible... Did Baylor decide that, or what?

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okiedave 2 years, 5 months ago

Gill should have a chance to recruit and see what he can do with his recruits.. K.U. has always been too quick to pull the trigger -- KU needs to build a history of staying the course when you have a coach that the players believe in and support. KU needs to put aside its coaching revolving door history. I think Gill will eventually get the job done.

Case in Point: OSU is 10-0 this year and ranked 3rd and blew out Tech 66-6 in Lubbock today. OSU fans were calling for Gundy's head during his first few miserable years as head coach. But OSU stayed the course and felt Gundy would eventually do the job. Perseverance paid off.

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Hammertoe 2 years, 5 months ago

There is great football in Kansas and it is at K-State. I was at the A & M game today game today and it was electric.

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BaylorGuy 2 years, 5 months ago

FWIW, I was unable to be at the game personally, and since it wasn't televised, I had to rely on my computer. Regarding the possible pass interference call in the 4th quarter, I have to agree that it appeared the defender got there before the ball did, so a PI should have been called. Of course, my vantage point wasn't very good, and the picture on the computer screen isn't exactly HD.

On the season, no school understands football irrelevance better than Baylor. We are just coming out of what we are calling "the lost years." You guys are in the 2nd year of bad seasons. I completely understand the feelings, and know all too well the frustrations, and looking for an answer. I don't know if Coach Gil is the answer. I do know he is a very good man. His playing career is undeniable. But, his coaching career is suspect. If I recall, KU hired him, after he took the University of Buffalo to a bowl game. He is young, and perhaps he is what KU needs. Or maybe he is in over his head as someone mentioned earlier. I can offer this. It doesn't last forever, though it seems it will. KU is a fantastic school with great academics and athletics. I've got nothing but respect for Jayhawks. I can assure you, there is light at the end of the tunnel. It appears that KU is turning a corner. The last few games have been competitive. You guys gave ISU, and us all we could handle. Gave Tech a good scare. The next hump is to get a W. I do see improvement, though it's not showing in the W/L column yet. But it will. Good luck the rest of the season, and stay healthy!

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gardenjay 2 years, 5 months ago

THank you for such a wonderful game - it thoroughly made my Saturday to have KU hang in there to the last moment. IMHO we could have won the Iowa State game as well, and frankly considering who we've been playing this season I couldn't be more proud with my Kansas Jayhawks at this point in the season.

You watch - the season is still not over, and they played like this against #25, without tremendous fan support, so I think we have a chance against Missouri.

You can't come back from adversity without adversity, that's my university right there. Always giving people a chance and hope if they work hard. Sad yes, but beak'em next time and bring on the recruits who must have been thinking about KU today.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 5 months ago

In good news, daddy got paid again. 5-1

Northern Ill Va Tech K State WKU Oregon (if they hold on)

UT is the only disappointment.

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boknowssports 2 years, 5 months ago

when you are at home against a fairly equal team, you ALWAYS kick the PAT and got to round two. this was not a miracle chance to beat Oklahoma! just another example of a poor coaching decision.

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kesmithstl1 2 years, 5 months ago

Just a sad day thrown into the middle of a sad season! Still regret taking the pledge to be drug and alcohol free at the last 2 spring games. Watching KU football the last 2 years has made me a liar!

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Andy Tweedy 2 years, 5 months ago

It was a much better performance today, but as someone who attended the game, the only two complaints I had were: 1) the pass to Biere in OT was great, but where was that play for the first 60+ minutes? 2) our secondary had two of the worst blown coverages I've ever seen in a D1 game! The long pass down the goal line and the long TD throw were to receivers that were clear of the last defender by 15+ yards. I just don't understand how someone can get that wide open. I would have to think the last thing the coaches would say in that situation was "don't let him get behind you!" Am I missing something???

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 5 months ago

Save it Spikes! Kick the mother effing extra point and live to keep fighting. Who knows what could happen. An interception, a fumble, a stop (ok, that last one was a long shot) were all possible.

You can tell me you liked the call because we wern't stopping them, but guess what? We scored on the first play! They went really stopping us either. What we saw with that play call was a desperate call from a desperate man that is trying to save his job.

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blackhawkjayhawk 2 years, 5 months ago

Pin this one on Chuck Long. And not for a nonsensical fade call for the two-point conversion (going go for it was definitely the right call).

Early in the 4th quarter, up by 21, we continued to snap the ball with 16, 17 or more seconds on the play clock. Then, on third down, we'd throw an incomplete pass and stop the clock again. We could have easily sucked another 4 to 5 minutes out of that quarter with a non-stop dose of Darian Miller and clock management.

If Long slows the pace, runs the ball and methodically eats up that quarter, then KU wins. This one's on him.

(Does Jordan know that throwing the ball away is allowed?)

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jaybate 2 years, 5 months ago

Trend line up.

And whaddya expect when he's rebuilding the offense first?

Of course they are going to blow leads.

But the trend line is unmistakably up.

The guys have just got to buckle their chin straps, put a little Atomic Balm in their jocks and get after them Aggies.

Go Turner Go!

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babyjay1 2 years, 5 months ago

Don't know if players actually read this stuff... But just wanted to say "thank you" to the Seniors! You've had a tough go of it and hung there, played with heart and will always be Jayhawks. As a fan, I wish the last couple of years would have been better but I know my thoughts on that are nothing compared to the disappointment of the Seniors, who have no more chances.

And by the way, although I didn't see it, the "no call" on the pass interference sucks but stuff like that has happened all year on our home field. I did notice that 3 times I could count, KState GOT the interference call at critical times....

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rcjallday 2 years, 5 months ago

This loss hurts more than the others, but the last 2 weeks have at least shown progress. We've been in both games and had the opportunity to win. To hold RG3 down for 3 quarters was impressive, but it was a matter of time before he found his groove. I saw some fight today, and that is something to be proud of. As for the Seniors, it always hurts to lose your last game at home, but the only thing you can ask of them is to give all they had, and I truly believe they did that.

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Chris1955 2 years, 5 months ago

Turner, it's over. Please leave.

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jhwkfan162515 2 years, 5 months ago

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Dan Pawlowski 2 years, 5 months ago

Actually you did let them run all over you in the fourth quarter.

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WilburNether 2 years, 5 months ago

Regardless of all of the other factors, the no-call on what everyone in the stadium could see was an obvious, blatant case of pass interference was crucial. No, it wasn't the only thing; there were indeed blown coverages, inept and stupid plays by our defensive backs (the face mask penalty that gave Baylor the field goal at the end of the first half, the completion of a long floater that should have been at least knocked down if not intercepted, some bad decisions and throws by our quarterback, etc., etc., etc.), but that pass interference no-call was one of the most horrible pieces of officiating I've ever seen in a Division I football game. Coach Gill was livid, and with good reason. That alleged Big 12 officiating crew should be sent down to Division III.

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