Monday, November 14, 2011

KU, A&M football coming off OT losses

Kansas offensive lineman Tanner Hawkinson is slow to get up from the turf as the Baylor Bears rush the field in celebration of 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 is slow to get up from the turf as the Baylor Bears rush the field in celebration of their overtime win after a failed two-point conversion by the Jayhawks on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 at Kivisto Field.


Each week, there are different elements that go into preparing a game plan for a college football game.

This week, healing figures to be near to the top of the list for both Kansas University and Texas A&M.

When the Jayhawks and Aggies square off at 11 a.m. Saturday in College Station, Texas, it figures to be business as usual.

What KU coach Turner Gill and A&M coach Mike Sherman do during the week leading up to the game, however, might be a departure from the norm.

Last week, both teams lost overtime games, with Kansas falling, 31-30, to Baylor, and A&M falling, 53-50 in four OTs, at Kansas State. Bouncing back after losses has been challenging for both programs this season, but doing so after coming so close the week before figures to make the mental hurdle higher.

“Since the (K-State) game ended to this moment, I’ve been thinking about that part of it,” said Sherman on Monday morning’s Big 12 coaches teleconference. “There’s so much of the game that’s mental. We had different opportunities during the course of that game to win it, and we didn’t. Certainly in overtime, it’s an even ballgame, and you have as good a chance to win it as they do. We didn’t get that done. That carries over into this week.”

The Aggies (5-5 overall, 3-4 Big 12) enter this weekend needing one victory in their final two games to become bowl-eligible. With a home game against Texas on the docket in A&M’s regular-season finale, the Aggies figure to put plenty of emphasis on this week’s golden opportunity against Kansas (2-8, 0-7), and Sherman said getting his players’ minds right before kickoff would be as important as game-planning for the Jayhawks.

“I think, as a coach, you have to walk a fine line,” Sherman said. “(Players) have to be held accountable, we have to be held accountable for the predicament that we’re in but, at the same time, (we have to) build up their confidence, as well. We’ve been close too many times to not have won those games. It’s inexcusable.”

Four of A&M’s five losses have come by a combined 14 points, making the fragile mental state of the Aggies’ players and coaches something that has lingered.

“I’ve never, as an assistant or head coach, been through a situation like this,” Sherman said. “This is certainly a first in my career and something I don’t wish on anybody. I think every coach will go back after his season and say, ‘Could’ve, would’ve, should’ve done this.’ But not with the frequency that I’m gonna have to do at the end of this season.”

For Gill, rebuilding confidence after such a close defeat isn’t as daunting. In fact, in many ways just being close against Baylor was a confidence boost for the Jayhawks, who have dropped five games by 30 or more points. Still, Gill said he recognized the importance of refocusing after the emotional loss on Senior Day.

“That’s gonna be our challenge,” Gill said. “We know these 18- to 22-year-old young men, in most cases, are pretty resilient. More of us adults may hold on to it a little bit longer than the young men.”

Gill said he would continue to focus on the future.

“You talk about the good things, improvement,” he said. “In the Iowa State game, we played four quarters and just came up short. Last week, we played four quarters and got a chance to play in overtime and came up close. So now, we’re getting closer. Earlier in the year we were not close. And now we’re in a situation where we have a chance to win. So if we continue to close that gap, which we have, hopefully this week is when we’ll be able to finish a football game and get a W.”


squawkhawk 2 years, 5 months ago

Snyder won 5 games at KSU in year 2 with 1/4 of the talent that Gill has right now and did so for about 1/4 of the salary. Why is Gill exempt?


JhawkalumJB 2 years, 5 months ago

Solid examples Jayhawker111, the only trouble is all of those coaches did show some improvement in year two.

I think in Gill's case year 3 will be his make or break year.

He will have mostly 'his' players, and his recruited players will have experience in his system.

Trust me, I wanna win now too and patience is hard to come by, but I don't see SZ pulling the Gill plug this year (unless we finish the year in two blow-outs).

I am curious to see what Gill does this off-season. It will be telling about him. If he is soft and too nice he will not fire anyone and give it another shot next year. If he is serious about winning and competing he will be tough, a competitor, and make needed coaching changes. Stay tuned.

Also, if we beat MU no way he gets fired.


Jayhawker111 2 years, 5 months ago

Coaches that were given a chance and were not fired too quickly. This is why Coach Gill needs 4 years...

.Mike Gundy, Bill Synder, Jim Harbaugh

1 Mike Gundy - Okie State

His first two years - below 500.....Since then every year above 500.

Head coaching record Oklahoma State Cowboys (Big 12 Conference) (2005–present) 2005 Oklahoma State 4–7 1–7 5th (South)
2006 Oklahoma State 7–6 3–5 T–5th (South) W Independence
2007 Oklahoma State 7–6 4–4 T–3rd (South) W Insight
2008 Oklahoma State 9–4 5–3 4th (South) L Holiday 18 16 2009 Oklahoma State 9–4 6–2 2nd (South) L Cotton 25
2010 Oklahoma State 11–2 6–2 T–1st (South) W Alamo 10 13 2011 Oklahoma State 10–0 7–0

  1. Bill Synder Kansas State Kansas State Wildcats (Big Eight Conference) (1989–1995) 1989 Kansas State 1–10 0–7 8th
    1990 Kansas State 5–6 2–5 6th
    1991 Kansas State 7–4 4–3 4th
    1992 Kansas State 5–6 2–5 T–6th
    1993 Kansas State 9–2–1 4–2–1 3rd W Copper 18 20 1994 Kansas State 9–3 5–2 3rd L Aloha 16 19 1995 Kansas State 10–2 5–2 T–2nd W Holiday 6 7

  2. Jim Harbaugh Stanford Cardinal (Pacific-10 Conference) (2007–2010) 2007 Stanford 4–8 3–6 T–7th
    2008 Stanford 5–7 4–5 T–6th
    2009 Stanford 8–5 6–3 T–2nd L Sun
    2010 Stanford 12–1 8–1 2nd W Orange † 4 4

Are these examples enough?


Jayhawker111 2 years, 5 months ago

Coach Gill deserves four years....

To get a fair shot a coach needs four years.

Anything less is bad business.....

On another note -- Here is hoping that Coach Gill will switch quarterbacks this week.

Try a new guy for some spark.


hihawk 2 years, 5 months ago

jaykan7, you are right about KU not having anything in sports, mens basketball is the only thing giving this school any recognition and that has come under question with the lastest recruiting classes as many baskeball experts have questioned. gill's football coaching was questioned when they hired him and it has proven that he is not a coach and a person wonders what in the world is going on there at KU with all the problems, Perking's payout, Mangino's payout, staff payout, ticket scandal, hiring of gill and the basketball recruiting class falling off the map as the experts have said. No wonder the other conferences really don't want KU in their league. They want Texas, Texas A&M, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma ST. Some said they would prefer Kansas ST. over KU due to the excellent sports programs, mens and womens. Zenger has his hands full and it's going to take a lot of money to get it corrected.


Lucas Town 2 years, 5 months ago

We are setting ourselves up for failure. Next year first year coach, young inexperienced players, in our league, spells another grimacing year of football. I say our players are inexperienced because obviously they will have to be taught to play correctly, and to play winning football. I hate to say it but K-State will serve up an even worse beating in Manhattan next year. If Paul Rhoads remians in Ames, going to Baylor and playing all the other Big 12 teams I see another 2 to 3 win season next year.

Let's look around at our other sports. I hate to say it but if we didn't have mens basketball what would we have? Just frustrated, someone other than Gill lift my spirits. Anyways, Rock Chalk Jayhawk! Go KU!


Kirk 2 years, 5 months ago

"...So if we continue to close that gap, which we have, hopefully this week is when we’ll be able to finish a football game and get a W.”

The only gap I'm looking forward to seeing closed is Gill's mouth. Take that gap back to Buffalo.

Unlike ISU and Baylor immediately prior to playing us, A&M is not coming off a big win against a superior opponent. They will not be complacent; they will be fighting for their lives (and for a bowl berth.)

So, while A&M will desperately be trying to win the game, KU will be trying to improve, to generate handsome statistics and keep it "close".


boknowssports 2 years, 5 months ago

"bouncing back after losses has been challenging for both" far Gill has not met that challenge.....


ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 5 months ago


Tanner Hawkinson "tebowing" while two Baylor plays recreate the Vancouver Riot Kiss picture.


jhawkrulz 2 years, 5 months ago

The loser of this game is for sure canned at the end of the season. As bad as TG has been, Sherman has been worse, he had a Top-10 program and is playing .500 ball.

One thing I disagree with TG in his comments is that they played 4 quarters against Baylor.


Cmill1221 2 years, 5 months ago

I was told by a Kansas City Sports personality and Kansas alum that the university has secured the funds for the Buy Out of Turner Gills contract. And come December he will no longer be the head football coach. Any one else hear anything like this?


texashawk10 2 years, 5 months ago

At least Gill didn't use Modern Warfare 3 as the excuse to why KU failed against Baylor like Charlie Strong did for Louisville against Pitt.


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