Friday, September 30, 2011

Kansas receivers motivated by … Snickers?

Kansas receiver D.J. Beshears leaves a Northern Illinois defender in the dust as he charges up the sideline for yardage during the Jayhawks' final drive of the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011 at Kivisto Field.

Kansas receiver D.J. Beshears leaves a Northern Illinois defender in the dust as he charges up the sideline for yardage during the Jayhawks' final drive of the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011 at Kivisto Field.


Kansas prepares for Texas Tech

The Jayhawks will face a pass-heavy offense when they take on the Red Raiders.

Kansas assistant coach David Beaty has given his receivers two additional reasons to block hard this season: competition and chocolate.

Beaty has kept track of his receivers’ knockdowns — the times when a player completely puts his opponent on the ground — on the dry-erase board in the receivers’ meeting room.

When a receiver gets a knockdown that leads to a scoring play, Beaty awards that player a king-sized candy bar at the position group’s meeting Sunday.

“You take pride in that,” KU sophomore Christian Matthews said, “and try to get the most candy.”

The prizes include Kit-Kats, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Snickers.

So far, KU junior D.J. Beshears is winning the knockdown battle, increasing his lead over second-place junior Kale Pick.

“Every knockdown we get recorded, we’ll say something to one another, or he’ll get excited and yell,” Pick said. “But it gets pretty competitive with all of us, too.”

Pick says receivers have become so interested in their spot on the list, a few have begun to lobby with Beaty, trying to convince him that a few more of their blocks were knockdowns.

There’s a bit of controversy at the top of the list, too.

Because of KU’s injuries, Pick moved to inside receiver in the team’s last game against Georgia Tech.

That gives Pick fewer opportunities to get a defender on the ground. Many times, as an outside receiver, Beshears is able to blindside a safety, whereas Pick is forced to knock over the guy directly in front of him.

“I’m going to say that definitely benefits D.J.,” Pick said with a smile. “I’ve got to talk to coach Beaty about that. I should definitely try to get a curve in there.”

For now, every knockdown is given one point. And Beshears isn’t listening to excuses.

“I wouldn’t say that I have the upper hand just because I play outside receiver,” Beshears said. “He’s inside with a lot more people in the box.”

There’s also another way for a receiver to get a knockdown: by juking a defender so badly that he falls to the ground.

The friendly knockdown competition — and the increased focus on outside blocking — seems to have benefited KU’s offense.

The Jayhawks are averaging 4.5 yards per rush while running on 70 percent of their plays.

Last season, KU averaged just 3.0 yards per carry in its first three games.

KU also has 21 rushes of 10 yards or more. Last year, the Jayhawks had only 45 rushes of 10-plus yards all season.

“It just gives us an extra drive to be more physical and be better blockers,” Beshears said.


ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 12 months ago

I thought it was because they are "playing like Betty White out there"

johnnyhrdwd 8 years, 12 months ago

We'll do better this week, option offenses are difficult to defend.

NebraskaJayhawk 8 years, 12 months ago

Really? Because I'm pretty sure we defended the option well last year, but not the pass. They have shown nothing in their first three games that convinces me they will be able to stop Texas Tech's air assault. If anything, they looked decent against the run their first two games. Of course that was with Williams. We better plan on scoring every time we get the ball. It's going to be another long game to watch when we're on defense. I hope I am wrong.

texashawk10 8 years, 12 months ago

Kale, be a man and blindside some LB's. Those are a lot more impressive than blindsiding a safety anyway.

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 12 months ago

ahperse should have LOTS of candy to donate to them,

He got fired from his quality assurance job at the M & M factory for taking home all the " W "s.

Ethan Berger 8 years, 12 months ago

It worked last year. Come on your telling me if someone offered you free candy, that you would say no? Crazy

Ludwig Supraphonic 8 years, 12 months ago

I suppose some coach would rather have a Snickers.

Joseph Kuebel 8 years, 12 months ago

They tried to use this same motivation when Mangino was here... Of course Mangino then tried to get physical with own players and thought he would be tops on this list.

Phoghorn 8 years, 12 months ago

Apparently not. A good WR should be able to find a GF on his own merits.

Brak 8 years, 12 months ago

I heard Mangino was going to implement a program similar to this, however it didn't last very long due to the fact that the candy bars never made it to the players.

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 12 months ago

Brak - that was just wrong.

Because I wanted to come up with it!

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 12 months ago

Hey - K-State offers Eko-Cats................

Phoghorn 8 years, 12 months ago

Yes, but do NCAA regulations allow KSU to provide them with hairspray?

kupride4u 8 years, 12 months ago

Surprised with all the stupid NCAA rules that this isn't a violation.

Jayhawk1116 8 years, 12 months ago

They would definitely take 3 months to investigate it if it was an incoming KU basketball player ;)

Dennis Mahorney 8 years, 12 months ago

Clearly, our offence is playing on a sugar high...

NebraskaJayhawk 8 years, 12 months ago

Only way we stop TT defensively is if our coaches offer the TT players the same deal. Only this time they are laced with ex-lax. Hopefully by the second half they are all in the locker room stalls pulling a Dumb & Dumber bathroom scene.

MartyrMangino 8 years, 12 months ago

As long as our fans treat our football team like a "slow child" and our basketball team like a prodigy, we will never see any development in our football program. We shouldn't give football a pass because they aren't the same caliber athletes that we have in our basketball program. They are division 1 athletes, and when their work level cuts no ice, we shouldn't make excuses for them. Everybody who has ever been around KU basketball knows when Kansas loses two games in a row, that is an uncomfortable time around the whole city of Lawrence. Our basketball team is great because of that, and we should start holding the football team to a higher standard.

Phoghorn 8 years, 12 months ago

Okay, on a serious note, let us look at this reward system. Clearly the real honor is having a knockdown. I can guarantee that is the honor to which the players primarily respond. The candy is just the icing on the cake - the symbolism.

The real treat is the scoring play. The player can take pride that his block allowed the touchdown. The tasty treat is more or less a way of saying good job for staying with your assigment.

Marcia Parsons 8 years, 12 months ago

Agreed. It makes it more of a competition with the knockdown being the object, and the candy bar just a way of stressing the importance and keeping score. Try thinking of it as a prize and not a candy bar. I think what was meant as a funny story was made into something way too serious.

justinryman 8 years, 12 months ago

Can a Snickers bar be determined as an extra benefit to a player if it is given by a coach, as seen by the eyes of the NCAA?

Or will the players just have to pay the cost of all Snickers earned back to the university to stay eligible????

Dan Pawlowski 8 years, 12 months ago

Hmm. Recruiting fast kids and then giving them candy. Are we seeing a significant drop in their 40 times? Not an expert but that seems to go against most nutritionists recommendations.

JHawkFOREVER 8 years, 12 months ago

I highly doubt that the players at OU need a dam snickers bar to work hard. C'mon this is embarrassing. How about guys get knockdowns, sacks, and scoring return you become a winning football team and go to a bowl game and get free watches, electronics, apparel, and all the dam snickers you want

nwhawk 8 years, 12 months ago

Here are the snickers most likely to be received by the KU football team:

snick·er   [snik-er] verb (used without object) 1. to laugh in a half-suppressed, indecorous or disrespectful manner.

Kc Ticketguy 8 years, 12 months ago

All I'm thinking is that giving a player a candy bar sounds a lot like giving him a $20 in the NCAA's eyes...

Phoghorn 8 years, 12 months ago

Just got the official word from the NCAA. Snickers is okay, but Payday gets you probation.

Phoghorn 8 years, 12 months ago

Nice one! Whoever actually gets the ball in the endzone deserves a Skor.

Phoggin_Loud 8 years, 12 months ago

Well, since we won't be throwing oranges on the field this season I guess throwing Snickers will have to do.

Beat Texas Tech!!!!!!

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