Matt Tait's KU football notebook

Sunday, September 4, 2011

KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger comments on the uncertain future of the Big 12

KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger comments on the uncertain future of the Big 12 during halftime of KU's game against McNeese State on Sept. 3, 2011, at Memorial Stadium.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Turner Gill

Kansas coach Turner Gill talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 42-24 victory over McNeese State on Sept. 3, 2011.

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Gill speaks of Fam

Preoccupied with preparing for his team’s 42-24, season-opening victory against McNeese State for most of the day Saturday, Kansas University football coach Turner Gill took time out after the game to comment on the passing of legendary KU coach and supporter Don Fambrough, who died Saturday at the age of 88.

“I want to give my condolences to the Fambrough family,” Gill said. “As I go into my second year here, I appreciate Don Fambrough and getting the chance to know him a little bit. I know he is well respected among former players, fans and people throughout the KU community.”

Gill said he talked about Fambrough’s passing with just a handful of his players prior to kickoff. Tim Biere, a senior who had been around Fambrough plenty during his time in Lawrence, remembered the KU icon well.

“That guy had so much passion for KU, and he hated Missouri,” Biere said. “I’m sure people in Missouri can sleep well tonight knowing that he’s not around. He was a great man.”

Defensive leaders

Earlier this week, senior linebacker Steven Johnson revealed that one of his goals was to lead the nation in tackles. He’s off to a great start. Johnson led all defenders with 15 tackles on Saturday, including nine solo and two for loss.

Not to be outdone, junior defensive end/linebacker Toben Opurum also had a big night, finishing with 11 tackles, including 3.5 for loss, and one of KU’s two sacks on the night. Sophomore D-End Keba Agostinho was credited with KU’s other sack.

Patterson doubtful for Week 2

Gill said senior wide receiver Daymond Patterson, who left Saturday’s game and did not return after injuring his groin on a first-down catch in the second quarter, likely would be listed as doubtful for next week’s game against Northern Illinois.

Webb gem

Although the Jayhawks threw just 10 passes all night, starting quarterback Jordan Webb sure made the most of them. The second-year starter completed all but three passes he threw and finished with 146 yards, three TDs and no interceptions.

“What you saw today was what we’ve been seeing all along,” Gill said of his QB. “We definitely saw that we’ve got quite a few running backs who can do some things with the football, so (Webb) just needs to go ahead and manage the offense, make the throw that he has to make and I thought he did that. I thought he played extremely well.”

This and that...

The Jayhawks won Saturday’s opening coin toss and elected to receive... Attendance was announced at 41,068... Temperature at kickoff was 82 degrees, under mostly cloudy skies with winds of 8 mph out of the northeast... A pre-game extreme weather delay pushed the opening kickoff back to just after 6:15 p.m... Kickoff was preceded by a moment of silence for Fambrough.