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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Jayhawks turn up turnover margin

Kansas linebacker Steven Johnson drags down Baylor receiver Kendall Wright with the help of safety Bradley McDougald, left, during the first quarter on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 at Kivisto Field.

Kansas linebacker Steven Johnson drags down Baylor receiver Kendall Wright with the help of safety Bradley McDougald, left, during the first quarter on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 at Kivisto Field.

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Webb confident in decision making

Kansas quarterback Jordan Webb remains confident in his ability to lead the team heading in to College Station, Texas to take on the Aggies.

With Kansas University’s football team losing eight straight since starting the season 2-0, finding tangible evidence of improvement has been difficult.

However, in the past few games, the Jayhawks have shown growth in the area of creating turnovers.

After forcing just one turnover in the first five games, KU has recorded nine turnovers in the past three games and 12 in the past five.

“I think if you go back and look at us from Oklahoma on, I think we have made more plays defensively,” defensive coordinator Vic Shealy said. “And I think you’re seeing more what you would call defensive ball plays, which gives you a chance to get turnovers and get off the field on third down.”

Junior safety Bradley McDougald (two takeaways, three pass break-ups and 32 tackles in the past three games) has done a lot of the heavy lifting for the KU defense in the turnover department, but he went the unselfish route when asked about his contribution.

“It gives our offense more momentum,” McDougald said. “It can totally swing the momentum of the game. Even if we don’t score, we take away clock so it’s a win-win situation for our defense.”

Gill said Tuesday he thought the encouragement to look past the yardage totals and hone in on takeaways helped turn things around.

“As I told them, the offense is going to move the football in the Big 12 Conference, but we have to find a way to create turnovers,” Gill said. “When you create turnovers, your players, both offensively and defensively, get excited. They’re going to run around with more enthusiasm when you cause some fumbles and get interceptions. It brings some energy to your football team.”

Defense shifting back to 4-3?

A lot was made this offseason about the KU defense switching to a 3-4 set in order to get more speed and linebackers on the field. Now it seems as if the Jayhawks have shifted back to the 4-3 look that employs four defensive linemen and three linebackers.

“Yeah, we’ve been in the 4-3 the majority of the time now,” senior defensive tackle Patrick Dorsey said.

Asked why he thought the team had made the change, Dorsey spoke about winning the war in the trenches.

“For me, it’s just about protecting the line of scrimmage,” he said. “The 4-3 lets us protect the line of scrimmage more and shed blocks and make plays.”

KU’s official depth chart still lists three linemen and four linebackers, although junior Toben Opurum’s “Buck” position is more of a hybrid between the two positions.

Kicking game up in the air

Asked Tuesday if the Jayhawks would stick with the plan of having sophomore kicker Ron Doherty handle field goals and freshman kicker Alex Mueller handle extra points, Gill was noncommittal.

“We’ll talk more about it (Tuesday night),” Gill said. “Coach (Aaron) Stamn and I usually get together on Tuesday nights and kind of see where we are at with those things. It could be the same as last week, with Mueller handling PATs and Doherty with field goals, or Ron could handle both.”

Berglund update

At Tuesday’s meeting with the media, offensive coordinator Chuck Long was asked about the status of Brock Berglund, the Class of 2011 quarterback from Highlands Ranch, Colo., who was expected to join the Jayhawks last spring but had his plans derailed because of legal troubles.

Long said Berglund, 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, was still a member of the team.

“We’re anticipating that he’s gonna be here in the spring,” Long said. “Let’s get him through the school part first. We stay in touch, and he stays in touch with his academic advisers. That’s been the big focus right now.”

A July statement released by Berglund’s attorneys said the dual-threat QB would stand trial Dec. 13-14 in Colorado for misdemeanor assault charges. Berglund has adamantly denied that he committed the assault.

Comments

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 1 month ago

I wonder if Brock and Brandon will be a "package deal" when they transfer?

justinryman 3 years, 1 month ago

Love your enthusiasm for not having any facts.

SCJayhawker 3 years, 1 month ago

We need just one more turnover: The turnover of our defensive coaching staff.

BillSelf4Prez 3 years, 1 month ago

i thought this was about basketball when i clicked on it.....

Jayhawker111 3 years, 1 month ago

I find it hard to believe that folks are not screaming for a quarterback change.

Webb has had his chance.

There is no offensive spark.

Time to see what the 2nd and 3rd teamers can do

ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 1 month ago

Or former quarterbacks that were moved to receiver.

741hawk 3 years, 1 month ago

Meacham (sp?) is a senior they've never trusted. Too late for him. So who IS #3 QB? It points out the tragic irony that Gill / Long could not recruit QBs.

KUMC81Hawk 3 years, 1 month ago

In the Baylor game we used Christian Matthews several times in the Jayhawk formation. Since Matthews bio reads like he was a very good High school QB, why not use him as the Jayhawk and throw some play-action passes? How about Matthews at Jayhawl, Sizemore at FB and Miller or Pierson at RB and run the option or option/pass? As to the new DC, is Randy Shannon available?

AzNHawk 3 years, 1 month ago

I think shannon may be available, but that might depend on if he is still receiving his buyout from the U (University of Miami)

If he is in fact still receiving his buyout then for him to get a DC job here at KU i would think that he'd have to forfeit some of that buyout money. I think he had a 1.5 mil buyout after Miami fired him.

I also read that he turned down the Maryland DC job when Edsall got on there because he was still receiving buyout money from Miami.

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