Originally published September 12, 2011 at 12:00a.m., updated September 12, 2011 at 01:59a.m.

KU football loses D-lineman John Williams

Kansas defensive tackles John Williams, center, and Kevin Young square up against the upright as they warm up before kickoff against Northern Illinois on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011 outside Memorial Stadium.

Kansas defensive tackles John Williams, center, and Kevin Young square up against the upright as they warm up before kickoff against Northern Illinois on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011 outside Memorial Stadium.


Reader poll

Who was KU's most valuable player against Northern Illinois?

  • D.J. Beshears: 7 receptions, 70 yds, 2 TDs; 197 kick-return yards 35% 663 votes
  • Jordan Webb: 21/30, 281 yds, 3 TDs 50% 953 votes
  • James Sims: 26 runs for 110 yds, 2 TDs 10% 191 votes
  • Darrian Miller: 10 runs for 57 yds, TD 0% 9 votes
  • Kale Pick: 3 receptions, 55 yds, TD 1% 34 votes
  • Other 1% 35 votes

1885 total votes.

Kansas University football coach Turner Gill announced Sunday night that defensive tackle John Williams would miss the remainder of the season because of a torn ACL.

Williams, a 6-foot-3, 305-pound junior from Tulsa, Okla., injured his knee during Saturday’s 45-42 victory against Northern Illinois.

The loss deals a serious blow to an already-thin defensive line, which will be without senior and projected starter Pat Dorsey for at least two more weeks.

“That’s not what you want to hear,” Gill said. “He was playing well. But we’ll just have to get the next guy (ready). He’s got an opportunity to come in and make plays for us.”

Who that might be remains to be seen, but one possibility is red-shirt freshman Pat Lewandowski, a defensive end who played D-tackle all spring.

“We’ll consider (what to do) today and tomorrow and probably, by Tuesday, we’ll know what we’re gonna do,” Gill said.

In other injury news, Gill said wide receivers JaCorey Shepherd and Daymond Patterson, as well as linebacker Tunde Bakare, all were questionable for Saturday’s game at Georgia Tech.

Blocking spectacular

It was just a one-yard touchdown run in a game full of fireworks, but it demonstrated everything you needed to know about the KU offense. These guys like to block. Scratch that: They love to block.

Late in the third quarter Saturday night, KU sophomore James Sims scored from a yard out to give the Jayhawks their first lead — 35-28 — since the 7-0 mark. And it never would’ve been possible without a monster effort from red-shirt freshman Trent Smiley, a reserve tight end who absolutely dominated his man while paving way for Sims to walk in untouched.

Not only did Smiley seal the edge and knock his man backward, he didn’t stop until both players were three yards into the end zone and the NIU defender was on his back.

“I saw him push the dude, and he just annihilated him,” Sims said with a smile. “My job was to stretch it to the pylon, and that’s what I did. He sealed the edge.”

While the KU offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage for the second straight week — through two games, the Jayhawks are averaging 277 yards rushing — guys like Smiley down the field turned KU’s rushing attack from solid to spectacular.

“I think everyone did a great job,” said freshman tailback Darrian Miller, who finished with 57 yards and a TD on 10 carries. “Chris Omigie is a great downfield blocker. D.J. (Beshears) is one of the better guys, Kale (Pick) has really good technique down the field, Tim Biere is great down the field. Whenever we get through the line, they’re helping us get to the second level, and we really need that.”

Sims, who topped the 100-yard mark (110 yards on 26 carries) for the fifth time in 13 career games, said the O-line set the tone early Saturday.

“The offensive line told me at the beginning of the game that they were gonna get the knockdowns and just to follow them,” he said. “That’s what I did.”

Of course, KU’s super sophomore made sure to point out that the real tone was set in training camp.

“We started this at the beginning of the week,” Sims said of the emphasis on physical blocking. “We try to go 80-for-80 on knockdowns, and we were over that tonight.”

Points, points and more points

KU has racked up 87 points during its first two games of the 2011 season. Last year, the Jayhawks did not reach that point total until the fourth game of the season. In fact, through the first six games last season, KU had scored just 103 points.


55jayhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

Thanks funhawk, I will try it but intend to ask someone at KU who made the deal with CBS sports why we cannot hear or see the games we were told we could on the all access network. Getting back to our defensive problem, I think we will get some Freshman lineman this week and the defensive backs will start recognizing the sets GA Tech will show us. They are young and will mature very quickly or someone will take their place. Go Hawks!


Billy Derringer 2 years, 7 months ago

wow.....way off subject an sports an team but got to share this with my brothers....BUBBA STARLING the new royals 1st rd draft pick...millionaire went to a restrount in gardner ks an didnt tip his server at all......what a piece of crap.. hey Bubba got millions an cant drop a dime to your damm server, you are a joke man!!!!!!


55jayhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

Does anyone know how to listen to the KU Georgia Tech game on radio in NE Texas and has anyone figured out how to watch the game on FSN this Saturday. I doubt if there is a station anywhere that does not have TX, A&M, Tech, or Okla. I paid to get the CBS access to all and so far cannot even get a radio link and you cannot talk to anyone but by computer and that doesn't work either. Anyone a guru at this stuff?


Robert Murphy 2 years, 7 months ago

Football is truly one of the worlds most ignorant sports. Something like cage fighting. More players are injured for life playing football than most all other sports, I think. Eric Berry will be hobbling in his old age along with all the other injured chumps who play this stupid sport. Watching sports is like constant instant replays seeing the same boring plays over and over. You'd think it was a high religion to listen to all the chatter on this sight and all the millions of hours on sports talk radio. Any new discoveries in science? Who cares? All we want to hear about is sports. I'm sorry, I get on here once in a while and I am amazed at what read. Who needs to beat anybody?


Randy Bombardier 2 years, 7 months ago

We will beat GaTech. We will win every home game. We will also beat Texas. There are only four Q marks, OU, OSU, TAMU and Baylor. We will win all the rest.


Tony Bandle 2 years, 7 months ago

It's early, it's just a feeling, it's unsubstantiated but the 1-11 record could possibly, and I emphasize possibly, turn into this:

MacState------------WIN No.ILL-----------------WIN @GATech-----------LOSS TT----------------------WIN @OkieST.-----------LOSS OU---------------------LOSS KSU-------------------WIN @UT-------------------LOSS @ISU------------------WIN Baylor-----------------LOSS @TAM-----------------LOSS MU[Arrowhead]-----WIN

I know I'm drinking the Kool-Aid but it tastes a lot better than unsweetened lemon juice.


vd 2 years, 7 months ago

If the staff is having trouble recruiting the D line, they should medical redshirt Dorsey. Big John will probably also be eligible for a med red shirt. Depends upon Dorsey also. He might not want to play next year.


justanotherfan 2 years, 7 months ago

It was obvious last year that we were very deficient talent wise on the offensive side of the ball, thin on the line and very few playmakers. Gill addressed those two things in recruiting.

We never really got to see what we had defensively last year because our linebacking corps and d-line were wiped out by injuries and attrition basically before the season even started. Many, myself included, thought the defense would improve simply because we would have some guys back healthy this year, most notably Huldon Tharp, who looked great as a freshman.

However, it is becoming apparent that we had a lot more holes defensively than we initially thought. Our LBs are improved, but not enough to cover for the fact that we still don't generate much pressure without blitzing, and our DB's are solid, but not lockdown type cover guys.

It's time now to find out, as Maxhawk said, if some of the newcomers can come in and contribute. Even if it means that Reynolds or Goodman comes in as a rush end on 2nd and 3rd and long to see if we can get a pass rush without blitzing, or using Saunders and Simmons in the nickel or dime to see if they can shut down the slot guys so we can blitz on passing downs, we need something to happen, and I think the newcomers are our only option.

We've seen what the new guys have done for the offense. Let's hope the defense can get the same boost.


Randy Maxwell 2 years, 7 months ago

It's time to see if some of these young defensive players like Garrett, Goodman, Reynolds, Saunders and Simmons can play. The guys that are there now have proven they can't play.


Randy Maxwell 2 years, 7 months ago

He is recruiting well but it seems to be all on the offensive side of the ball. The defense has not improved much at all from last season. He must upgrade the talent on defense like he has done on offense.


Bill Kackley 2 years, 7 months ago

Typical of Kansas football is all of the neasayers sitting on the sideline with their glasses half empty. I don't know what the coach has to do to make believers out of you. I am sure he is interested in finding D-linemen but we needed the speed first and he went out and got it. I was a Mangino fan and thought the way he was treated was horrible but that is water under the bridge, Turner Gill is the new coach and he is doing an outstanding job. The team is playing hard and is improving. There wasn't a sports talking head in the country who thought we could win 4 games this year and we are half way to it.


fromthatstandpoint 2 years, 7 months ago

Injuries are a part of the game. If you want to be a great team, you have to learn how to deal with it. This is why depth is so important (to quote captain obvious).


longtimehawk 2 years, 7 months ago

I have to question this coaching staff.


Randy Maxwell 2 years, 7 months ago

Typical of KU football. We can't feel good about anything for 24 hours without something punching u in the gut. This news sucks


KGphoto 2 years, 7 months ago

Time for Gill and Co. to pull out the strange ideas and stick Kolumber in the middle. It's not like he's never hit anybody, and it ain't brain surgery. Get the big fella in there. Plug a gap and knock down some passes! What's to lose?

This is the time to take a chance.


Mark Lindrud 2 years, 7 months ago

I really hope this shows the urgency Gill needs to recruit more defensive tackles. We need about 2-3 in this years class. Couldn't hurt to get more DB's also. Living in Denver I miss the opportunity to go see the Hawks play CU even if it is every other year.


ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 7 months ago

New pitch.

Mario and Sherron driving in a car. Hydros jumping and N2Deep's "back to the hotel" blasting out the speakers. Mario is smoking something while Sherron is munching on fast food. The two arrive at a hotel, knock on the door, and a smoking hot black and white girls open the door. Sherron and Mario look at each other just as N2Deep sings "you got the black party I got the white one." and the two look at each other and smile. Sherron and Mario walk past the girls to the bed where a black and white pair of "Mario's Miricle Socks" are sitting on the bed. Fade to miracle sock information screen.

Other news: 14 point dog. Small lean for the hawks to cover. Going to be hard for teams that run and eat so much clock to find time to get up by more than 2 touchdowns.


Scut Farkus 2 years, 7 months ago

I really think Gill should look at the 3-4 defense. He has the speed and LB's to make to make it work. I could even see something like the Packer's Psycho package (1 D-lineman, 5 LB's and 5 DB's).That said, if he didn't expose the team to it during pre-season it's probably too late to install now.


onlylookin2score 2 years, 7 months ago

This would totaly figure... The first game I get to attend in 10 years and half of our team is out with injuries.... I can't believe I'm about to drive 7 hours to Atlanta to almost certainly see us lose. This sucks..


Keith Hummel 2 years, 7 months ago

Man this hurts. We desperately needed some consistency at that position. Makes me wonder how much we will actually see that 3-4 defense now. I would like to think someone will seize the opportunity and do an even better job than Williams, but that would be the Homer in me talking. Realistically we are going to struggle even more on defense now.

On another depressing note, it sounds like we may not have Hatch this weekend against Ga Tech. If so, that will have a huge impact on our ability to run the ball. There's just no way you replace him in the middle.

Hopefully we have enough raw talent in our reserves to overcome these injuries, but realistically this is why we are another year or so from truly competing in the Big-12. We have so little depth at most positions that we can't recover from the inevitable injuries.


Fortesque Beagleton 2 years, 7 months ago

Can we reword the headline so it doesn't sound like he's dead?


johnnyhrdwd 2 years, 7 months ago

We're gonna have to outscore them. A kick return and a couple of defensive take aways would help. I wonder if we picked up any juco D lineman last year.


willie_fu_fu 2 years, 7 months ago

Ga Tech has had just as much success running the ball as we have had though tech's opponents have been MUCH weaker than ours.


Ferd Magellan 2 years, 7 months ago

The injury list is growing at a faster pace than what we saw last year. We can't afford to lose too many more starters, even for a few weeks. I hope Johnson Jr or Dent can play out of their minds against a powerful GT rushing attack.

“My job was to stretch it to the pile-on"

Not to pile-on, but you may want to edit that before folks start reading this in the morning.


Dirk Medema 2 years, 7 months ago

Are we still missing 2 suspended WR's? It was great to have DJ step up big time Saturday. Gonna need more from him, Pick, and a few others to step up. Fortunately, Pick is spreading the ball around (8 receivers with catches?). What is the chance of Pierson going out wide? It would be great to get him on the field more, and even more so with the ball in space.

Does 2 weeks mean that Dorsey will be back for TT? That could be really tough for him to return in a big way right away, tho it would be good if he had TT as a warm up for the Okie's.

Matt - Any chance of an article about how the team/individuals are ranking in the different stats for the conference? It's still early, but it sure is encouraging, and in a few instance quite surprising.


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