Thursday, September 15, 2011

Freshman WR Marquis Jackson set to play vs. Georgia Tech

KU receivers coach David Beaty says true freshman receiver Marquis Jackson should get a chance to play in Saturday's game against Georgia Tech. Beaty talked to reporters on Wednesday, Sept. 14.


'Hawks hit the road

The Kansas football team will be tested on the road for the first time in 2011 when it travels to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011.

With two wide receivers out for this week’s game at Georgia Tech and a couple more coming back from suspension, the Kansas University football team is in need of a spark in the pass-catching department.

Enter true freshman Marquis Jackson.

“There’s a possibility he might get some playing time,” KU receivers coach David Beaty said after Wednesday’s practice. “He’s progressing well. He’s making a move. So we’re gonna take him with us this week. He’s traveling and he’s preparing to play.”

Like many in this year’s freshman class, Jackson, a 6-foot, 205-pound outside receiver from Fort Worth, Texas, arrived in Lawrence this summer ready to do whatever it took to earn playing time. He hasn’t stopped working since. Senior Daymond Patterson and fellow freshman JaCorey Shepherd are both out with groin injuries, which has cleared the way for Jackson to earn more reps in practice. But that’s not the only reason he’s slated to travel and prepared to play this weekend.

“You start getting guys nicked up and you start moving guys up and he’s certainly fallen in that category,” Beaty said of Jackson. “But he also has earned it. He’s busted his rear end. He’s a guy that’s a tireless student and I like those guys. I know I can trust him when I put him in the game.”

In terms of skill set, Jackson possesses similar traits to the other receivers the Jayhawks will put on the field on Saturday. Ultra-athletic, with good speed and good hands, Jackson is exactly the type of receiver the KU coaching staff wants to play. But it doesn’t stop there for the man who averaged 27 yards per catch his senior year of high school.

“The thing that he brings that might (give him) a little bit of an edge on just about everybody in that room is he’s got an unbelievable passion,” Beaty said. “He really wants to know the nuances of everything that goes on with that position. He asks questions all the time. He’s very intuitive about things. He really wants to know how he can get better on every play. So much so, that every now and then I have to say, ‘Let’s finish and we’ll get in the video room. I can show you better than I can tell you.’ I’m excited about him getting an opportunity.”

Johnson praises Jayhawks

When asked this week to identify the major differences between KU’s team in 2010 and the team the Jayhawks will take to Atlanta this weekend, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson pointed to sophomore quarterback Jordan Webb.

“Their quarterback is remarkably better than he was a year ago, as you would imagine (he would be) after playing,” Johnson said of Webb.

That wasn’t the only part of KU’s team that Johnson complimented. Some of them he remembered from last year’s 28-25 loss in Lawrence.

“There is some different personnel,” he said. “But I think they’re bigger and probably more physical and stronger. They’ve got a bevy of running backs, with some new guys there, and they’re a little bit more physical. They’ve given up some junk yardage on defense at the end of the first game like we did with some of the reserves and skewed their stats a little bit. They’ll hit you and they run around so they’re a very formidable opponent.”

Yellow Jackets more balanced

During last season’s upset victory in Lawrence, the KU defense dictated how, when and where Georgia Tech ran its offense, the rarely seen triple-option attack that opposing teams have a tough time tackling.

This time around, Gill expects things to be different.

“They actually seem like they’re more explosive on offense because of their passing game,” Gill said. “I think they’re averaging over 200 yards passing (per game). They obviously do a great job running the football, but when they start passing like that, they have a tremendous thing going right now.”

Quarterback Tevin Washington leads Georgia Tech’s attack with 513 yards of total offense and seven TDs. In all, the Yellow Jackets have racked up 1,258 yards of offense, and scored 112 points, in two games this season.

Tech’s offensive explosion has been historic. In the last 30 years, GT’s offense has topped the 590-yard mark in just seven games. Two of those came this season, with the Yellow Jackets gaining 596 yards in a 49-21 victory against Middle Tennessee State last week and 662 yards in a 63-21 pasting of Western Carolina in the season opener.

“We’re going to be going up against a very different scheme than what we have seen over the last two weeks,” Gill said. “Just from the speed aspect of our defense, I think that will help us. We did a pretty good job with (GT) last year. They’re going to do some tweaking so we need to do some tweaking on our sideline and try and keep them off guard. The main thing is our defense needs to tackle well.”

Defensive line shuffle

With junior defensive tackle John Williams out for the season, senior Richard Johnson Jr. slides into his spot as the starting tackle on KU’s defense.

Gill said Tuesday that Johnson, 6-foot-3, 283 pounds, and sophomore Shane Smith, 6-5, 278, would fill most of the void left by Williams’ absence.

Gill also said that red-shirt freshman Pat Lewandowski, 6-6, 248, would remain at defensive end, despite Lewandowski playing D-tackle all spring and being one of the team’s top performers.


johnnyhrdwd 8 years, 6 months ago

Tech runs the option so we want Lewandowski at end. Its the end who covers the qb on the option.

100 8 years, 6 months ago




Michael Maris 8 years, 6 months ago

Jayhawks, stick to the game plan, execute your assignments (as instructed) and keep your heads up.

Believe and Compete at your highest level (each and every game).


100 8 years, 6 months ago




Ben Kane 8 years, 6 months ago

Can't wait to shock the world, both by beating GT and starting 3-0!

100 8 years, 6 months ago




justinryman 8 years, 6 months ago

Gill knows a thing or two about the option. To defend it, it's almost like kickoff coverage. Stay in your lanes, know your assignment and execute.

The DE can't wait for the ball to be pitched, he just needs to hit the QB every time.

Lets just hope KU plays this game with a chip on their shoulder as they have in the first 2 games and take this one too.

Rock Chalk Shock the WORLD!!!!!!!

Tony Bandle 8 years, 6 months ago

As An All-State defensive end, I loved the option, for the very reason you just gave.

The key point however is not only hit the quarterback every time but penetrate and hit him as early as possbile. Four things can happen and three of those four are not good for him.

1] You tackle him for a loss. 2] You tackle him and he fumbles the ball. 3] You tackle him and he muffs the pitchout. 4] He executes the play.

No matter what, the quarterback must hit the ground every time!!!!

Rivethead 8 years, 6 months ago

I'm not so sure the DE is responsible for the QB. Remember, we run a 3-4. Typically the 3 d-lineman's job is to tie up the o-linemen so that the LBs can make plays.

I would imagine that in our 3-4 a LB would spy the QB. Probably Opurum or Bakare.

Robert Brock 8 years, 6 months ago

My guess is that GT wises up and goes to the short passing game. KU cannot defend that stuff.

John Boyle 8 years, 6 months ago

After watching the NIU game, it appears the Jayhawks can't defend anything.

wheatman82 8 years, 6 months ago

Agree to some extent, but the NIU QB has NFL talent, so some credit goes to their offense and not just that our defense was terrible.

KGphoto 8 years, 6 months ago

Almost. Landry may be the best QB in the country, and RG3 is a menace. But I agree, this guy Harnish is legit.

Dyrk Dugan 8 years, 6 months ago

it will be another shootout game...if we expect to win, we'll have to outscore 'em again. no 28-25.....41-38 or higher probably.

Yes, we could get burned more if they pass the football....on the flip side, the option offense does have a higher tendency to produce TOs. if we get 3 TOs, and the offense can grind it out again with 400 plus yards....we'll win the ball game.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 6 months ago

Way to go out on a limb...3 Turnovers and 400 yards and we will win. I think there are very few teams that lose, when they get those kind of numbers.

I would agree turnovers will be key, but also stopping the run on 1st and 2nd downs, forcing a third and long. Those long pass plays will be easier to defend.

Garrett Pounds 8 years, 6 months ago

Defenses that are okay so I am saying 48 to 41 ku picks up a big w. It will come down to one last drive.

road_to_nowhere 8 years, 6 months ago

This isn't your standard 3-yards and a cloud of dust offense Tech is running. Georgia Tech has five plays of more than 70 yards on the year...this is more than any other conference has. Kansas won a fluke game last year in Lawrence, no way Georgia Tech rushes for less than 300 yards in this game and doesn't beat Kansas by at 20.

gardenjay 8 years, 6 months ago

Boy, as a KU fan you sure know how to enjoy our boys winning record. Personally, I'm voting for a big KU victory on Saturday - RCJHGKU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

road_to_nowhere 8 years, 6 months ago

Who said anything about being a KU fan? There's a reason I went to Georgia Tech instead of staying home to go to Kansas. Go Jackets!

tical523 8 years, 6 months ago

wow, that is awesome, your name is fitting

Lance Cheney 8 years, 6 months ago

Most people that hang out on a KU Sports website are usually KU fans. Go troll a GT site. Retard.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 6 months ago

This is really the game that will show how good we are and whether we are ready for Big XII play. With a win here, I've been saying that ISU/KSU,TTU all become in play games and potential wins. Texas is struggling with QBs, so who knows what they will bring. TAM, OSU, OU I don't think we can talk about yet. Baylor is just interesting after their first game, we need to see how consistent they are after playing another game.

Six wins would be winning all of the ones we should win, but not so sure yet how that will fair.

troutsee 8 years, 6 months ago

Guys, don't be surprised if we win this game on Sat. We are a much, much better team than we were last year. This is GT's first real test with a new QB. Let's see how they and him fair against an improved KU team. I know our defense has yet to step up. However, this QB we played against last Sat night will be a high draft choice in the NFL.

Dillon Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

What does he have against Pat at DT? Cuz he's a little undersized?

justanotherfan 8 years, 6 months ago

It could be that Lewandowski is better on one side or the other. Defensive ends typically line up on either the right or left all the time. Maybe Pat is just better on the right (or left) and loses that advantage when he's in the middle and has a blocker on each shoulder, rather than having the right (or left) shoulder free to rip or swim.

Joseph Kuebel 8 years, 6 months ago

We need a quick start. If we can focus on smashing em early, and make them know we be a challenge I think we can do this. Our offense really started clicking the 2nd half and hopefully we can carry that momentum.

Turnovers will be necessary too, but if we can get off to a nice start I really think this game will be a possibility.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk! Smack em in the mouth!

Randy Bombardier 8 years, 6 months ago

We are going to destroy Tech to the amazement of many. I was kind of hoping though that we could just get by them and so we could lower the boom on TTech next game. Unfortunately, I think we are really anxious to start showing what we can really do.

Why haven't we seen Pierson on kickoff returns? We are holding back. That's why. We have barely used some of our new weapons. I mean how many passes have we tossed to Shepherd? And tomorrow we showcase another weapon. We have more secret weapons that we will unleash upon our unsuspecting opponents as the season goes along. Gill and company want to milk this underdog thing till the last game of the season when we are still undefeated, if it were possible. We would be the luckiest team in the country beating teams who just happened to have a day of bad luck.

But since last week was a close call, we will not be playing so close to our vest.

roosey 8 years, 6 months ago

People can say whatever they want about KU being a basketball school, but this thread is a prime example of how much KU fans both know and care about their football team.

kellerman411 8 years, 6 months ago

GT is not going to change their offense just because KU shows poor pass defense. They will stick with the run and gun, putting us to sleep with stretch, iso and option, then going over the top.

If the KU secondary can't play any man coverage, forget about beating GT. They will just expose the corners with a few short passes and force us into pass defense. Then, torch the ever living hell out of us on the ground. If Barfield and the rest of them can find a way to deal with those receivers by themselves, that will allow KU to load the box and shut the running game down. REMEMBER VIC! HE WHO PROTECTS ALL, PROTECTS NOTHING.

Do you think Georgia Tech has forgotten what happened last year? No. To beat them, will take an effort unlike anything we Jayhawk football fans have seen since the Orange bowl victory.

  • Concerned Jayhawk

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