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West Virginia defeats Kansas, 59-10

  • 1:30 p.m., Dec. 1, 2012
  • Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, WV

Originally published December 1, 2012 at 08:23p.m., updated December 1, 2012 at 09:27p.m.

Final goodbye: West Virginia ‘gross mismatch’ for KU in seniors’ last game

KU seniors Bradley McDougald (24) and Toben Opurum (35) wave to KU fans as they leave the field following KU's 59-10 loss Saturday against West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va.

KU seniors Bradley McDougald (24) and Toben Opurum (35) wave to KU fans as they leave the field following KU's 59-10 loss Saturday against West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Charlie Weis talks following loss to WVU

Kansas coach Charlie Weis talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 59-10 loss to West Virginia on Dec. 1, 2012.

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Box score

KU-WVU

— On the final snap of his Kansas University football career, senior safety Bradley McDougald never moved.

With the Jayhawks seconds away from a long afternoon officially becoming a 59-10 loss to West Virginia, and with WVU back-up quarterback Paul Millard prepared to take a knee on the game's final play, McDougald stood frozen in his spot in the KU secondary.

"I was just kind of taking it all in, just taking my last breaths on the field," McDougald said. "I don't want to say I was enjoying it, but I was moving around in my pads, looking around at the guys in front of me, the guys I've been banging with and going to war with week in and week out, one final time."

West Virginia rolled to 647 yards of offense, and WVU quarterback Geno Smith completed 23 of 24 passes (the lone miss was intercepted by KU junior Tyler Patmon) for 407 yards and three touchdowns. The stats, the season and, in many ways, McDougald's entire KU career will go down for everyone else as moments to be forgotten. But as McDougald stood and watched both teams converge around him and meet at midfield for postgame handshakes, he made sure to hook up with senior defensive end Toben Opurum. Together, the two leaders and familiar faces took their time walking off the West Virginia turf. As they walked slowly, and side by side, into the tunnel for what likely was their final time as teammates, the two Jayhawks who have been through three head coaches and 37 losses during the past four years stood tall.

"When we came in, we were great friends," McDougald said. "We stayed right down the hall from each other and we made promises to each other: Don't fall off, man; just keep working. We saw the success that guys ahead of us had, and we wanted that success. We wanted to be (Darrell) Stuckey, we wanted to be to be Kerry (Meier) and (Dezmon) Briscoe, and we wanted to carry the program just as they did. It didn't work out that way, but that's why I was happy just to walk off with him. It was like, 'Man, there's nobody else I would rather walk off the field with than my homie, Toben.'"

The moment was just as special for Opurum, who came to Kansas as a highly recruited running back and left by recording a sack and three tackles in his final game at his third position.

"We kept our heads held high because we were talking out there and we said, 'A lot of people can't handle this,'" Opurum shared. "It takes really strong people to be able to go through four years of college football itself, but especially when things aren't going your way. You gotta be mentally tough and physically tough to be able to handle it, and I think me and him handled it the best we could."

There was plenty to handle on Saturday for the Jayhawks (1-11 overall, 0-9 Big 12). West Virginia's trio of explosive offensive playmakers ran away from KU's defense throughout the afternoon. Smith triggered it all, but wide receivers Stedman Bailey (159 yards and two TDs on 11 receptions) and Tavon Austin (197 total yards and one TD) accounted for most of the damage.

"In the games we've struggled on defense, we've given up a bunch of big plays, and today was just another one of those days," KU coach Charlie Weis said. "You saw a gross mismatch when you looked out there. It didn't take a brain surgeon to figure out whose players were exposing the other team's players."

Offensively, the Jayhawks did not fare much better. KU finished with just 274 yards of total offense, and, after cutting the WVU lead to 21-7 on a James Sims touchdown run with 7:05 to play in the first half, watched the Mountaineers (7-5, 4-5) rip off 31 straight points before KU cracked the scoreboard again with a 32-yard field goal from Nick Prolago with 9:01 to play.

Smith set a school record with 21 straight completions. The Mountaineers' 35 first-half points matched their highest scoring half of the season, a feat they recorded in each half of a 70-63 shootout win over Baylor early in the season. Austin and Bailey both struck Heisman poses after touchdowns. And the bulk of the crowd of 51,112 that showed up for WVU's senior sendoff stayed and partied to the end as John Denver's "Country Roads" blared over the public address system.

"If I hear John Denver one more time I might get sick to my stomach," Weis said. "Although I love the song, to have to be serenaded by it walking off after a blowout loss doesn't exactly fire me up too much."

Weis gave senior quarterback Dayne Crist the start in the final game of his college career Saturday, and like so many of Crist's starts during a disappointing and injury-riddled five-year career at KU and Notre Dame, things ended badly and with the former five-star QB prospect sitting on the bench.

"We felt that we were gonna come out in the first couple of series and throw dropback passes because we knew that they were gonna spend the week loading up the box against us," Weis said.

Asked why things went wrong even though KU appeared to have some openings in the passing game, Weis pointed to a total team collapse.

"If you saw what I saw, you might see it a little differently," he explained. "Sometimes receivers can't stop running when the ball's being thrown. There's more to it than that, but I wasn't really happy with any of the first few passes and how they turned out."

Crist was relieved by red-shirt freshman Michael Cummings on KU's third offensive series of the day and, with or without him, the passing game never clicked. As a team, the Jayhawks completed just 7 of 16 passes for 117 yards and one interception.

"It's disappointing, obviously," Crist said. "No one's happy with where we're at or how we finished, but there's something to be learned from every experience, and this season needs to be something this team builds on."

The only bright spot for KU on Saturday came from Sims, who passed the 1,000-yard mark for the season despite playing in just nine games. Sims finished with a season-low 57 yards on 18 carries and ended the season with 1,013 yards.

The loss, KU's 11th straight after opening the season with a victory against FCS foe South Dakota State, secured KU's lowest win total in a season since finishing 1-10 in 1988. Earlier in the week, when talking about WVU's potent offense, Weis explained that if his team did not show up ready to fight it could lose 100-0.

"This is about what that is," Weis said. "One-hundred-0, 59-10, they're pretty close. ... I was concerned with the match-up, and my concerns came true. Let's just say that."

Comments

VaJay 1 year, 4 months ago

We all need to take a step back, let the dust settle from this season & give the coach a chance to recruit some speed, size, & talent. Give him a couple more seasons - at least - before you all bring in the judge, jury, & executioner.

Am I disappointed with the results? Absolutely

Was I hoping that somehow this coaching staff could "coach up" the existing set of players into performing better than they did in the past? Yes. (and they did improve to some extent, just not as much as we all hoped)

Did this team compete better through 4 quarters, and appear better organized, make fewer boneheaded mistakes? Yes

Are we hearing "coachspeak" and mindless drivel when the coach is telling us what happened (which was the case for the two previous years)? No

Given the above, let's support the program and look forward to a better year next year.

Rock Chalk.

1

mikehawk 1 year, 4 months ago

For goodness sakes. This is what happens to a D-1 program when you have three coaches in 4 years, regardless who is that coach may be. Like it or not, right or wrong, good choice or bad, we are, and need (YES, NEED TO BE) to be married to Charlie Weis. No matter how good of a coach you are, you have to have players. And as good as many of these young men are as people, many are not talented enough to be week in, week out, Big 12 type players. Players are recruited not in one year, but in relationships built over several years. Any time a program is as unsettled as we are at a traditionally bad football school known for its basketball team, with a track around the field in a stadium 3/4 filled with students who leave at half time, then this is a tough job. Folks, I hate to tell you this, we are fortunate to have a coach with a brand name. I have no idea, and neither do the other blog geniuses know if he is a good coach or not. Our AD is supposed to know these things. Let him do his job. The program needs continuity, good recruiting, solid coaching, and better players. I just went to the Conference USA championship game here in Tulsa between Tulsa University and Univ of Central Florida. KU couldn't stay on the field with either team. And TU is made up of players passed over by OU, OSU , KSU, and Arkansas, or who have transferred to Tulsa from bigger schools when they recognized they wouldn't play much at bigger schools. Surely, in a couple of years, with some stability in the program, KU can field a team who can compete with and beat those two teams I watched play some darn good football yesterday. The University of Tulsa has one of the premier names in all of college basketball (KU fans of heard of him) they have called upon to rebuild their once proud basketball program. It will take him some time for hims to do so. By the way, the TU football program that went winless back in the late 90's, is coached by a former local high school coach. Yes...we need stability and we need The Old Ball Coach Charlie Weis.

2

Kontum1972 1 year, 4 months ago

it's all about the "CHICKS"....not the sports....!

0

troutsee 1 year, 4 months ago

Chalie Weis, if you are going to be the head coach, then be the head coach. Go hire and offensive coordinator. Our offense was offensive. Second advice for Charlie. Hold your position coaches accountable and if there are consistent failures,then it is time to replace.

Next year, I hope the QB situation is better than this year. Our passing "attack" this year consisted of 5 yd or less hitches or fly patterns. Seldom saw crossing routes. Except for Trazelli and maybe Mundine, I saw very little speed or determination at the receiver position. However, the inaccuracies of our QBs could have played a role in that.

Very worried about next year. Not a whole lot of improvement between last year and this year. We need some more Jimmies and Joes. That is obvious.

0

Robert Brown 1 year, 4 months ago

Sayers is right. There are a lot of cheerleaders and the local media is doing its best to sell improvement. For some reason, we are expected to believe that 1-11 is an improvement from 2-10. To hear everyone talk, Gill's staff was so inept that anyone could come in and get a couple of extra wins. This team was blown as much this tear as they were last year. By virtue of the fact the team was more experienced than last year, there should have been measurable improvement. I'm glad Gill is out, and I don't advocate a coaching change. The same apologists for this year's team saying we need more time were ready fire Gill after one year.

There is clearly more structure on this team. I know the coaches are working hard. We did not have pay $10m for the next five years to get these results.

By the way, saying we were only a few points from six is a loser's mentality. It's settling for moral victories. There were several of those games where we needed to get a late first down or make a defensive stop and we didn't do it. I look at these situations and do not see a large talent discrepancy, I see problems in play calling and execution which is related to coaching.

0

JakeBarnes 1 year, 4 months ago

KU's football season can be summed up in two words, "it stunk!"

I don't know about the coaches and the players, but I am glad the misery has ended.

0

Benjamin Piehler 1 year, 4 months ago

Was so excited watching Toben play RB in 2009... I was looking forward to watching him improve. I cant help but feel a little bitter that it has to end like this for him.

1

Sayers44 1 year, 4 months ago

I have never seen so many KU Cheerleaders...

It took Wies 6 games to finally figure out that Crist could not play. He then said Cummings had a cannon of an arm. Wrong again.

Wies play calling was horrific. No quick passes to tight end, no swing passes to backs, no reverses to slow down pursuit.

You guys keep on cheerleading and paying Wies $3 million per year. What a nice gig Wies has going,

$3 million for 1 - 10 record, and most of you people think KU has improved, only in America.

1

90sHawk 1 year, 4 months ago

I think we've all learned we need to temper our expectations going into next season. No more listening to the media, and/or head coach, talk about how great someone looks in practice and how that should translate into an effective passing game, and ultimately some wins (i.e. the Crist experiment). Practice play alone doesn't translate into wins on the field; pressure to perform in practice isn't the same as in a game. And that's what I saw a lot of this season, mental breakdowns during games and players who just aren't gamers and go out and make plays. Set aside the overall lack of talent, this team still has a ways to go to be 100% mentally prepared game after game. I think they're getting there, b/c this team fought harder (last couple of games aside) and made fewer mistakes than Gill's teams. I definitely look forward to next season, but I want the team to prove to me they can start winning. Preseason predictions don't mean squat, and never will.

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troutsee 1 year, 4 months ago

Horribly, horribly woeful year again. When will it end? When will be cease to be the laughing stock of college football? Us fans are restless and embarrassed but I guess the Husker fans are a little angry and embarassed this morning too.

0

Darius80 1 year, 4 months ago

I am Done attending games and tuning in until the team figures out how to win decisively and consistently, which could be a while. The tackling, the QB, the HC, all an embarrassment. Thank God for Bill Self.

0

troutsee 1 year, 4 months ago

Marcus-Jenkins Moore, a juco LB committment to us, visited KSU last night. What a good deal. I would say his commttment to KU is tenuous at best.

0

Robert Brown 1 year, 4 months ago

So we are using the strength of schedule to 'justify' our bad season? Really? We lost at home to Rice. I know they are bowl eligible. So what, they play in Conference USA which isn't that good. NIU? Good story, but look their non conference games. They barely beat n Iowa team that won four games this year and gave up over 40 points to Army. They a So play in weak conference. The Big 12. They are balanced but most of the teams are above average, not great. It is possible that UT falls out of Top 25 and only two teams from the Big 12 are ranked at the end of the regular season. One could make a case that the conference was tougher last year.

0

troutsee 1 year, 4 months ago

Thud!!

Splat!!

So ends another in a long run of embarrassing and inglorious losses for KU football. And, really, an end to another all-too-familiar embarrassing season for one of the most hapless programs in college football.

And, if I hear another person say, "Oh well, we are a basketball school," I will scream!!!

0

Kevin Crook 1 year, 4 months ago

We knew heading into the season that this team could be greatly improved over last year's and not have the record to show it. I think we need to give this staff a real chance, and see where we might be after three seasons. We may not show a great deal of improvement next near with our record again, but we will be better. It's amazing how good a team can look with a really solid QB and a great kicking game, just look at KSU. They have had recruiting classes rated in the 70s the last four years or so. But they did little things well, didn't turn it over, and won the field position battle. We have great running backs and some potential stars at linebacker, as well as a couple of receivers who could turn out to be great play makers if they have a QB who can actually pass the ball TO them, and with a better kicking game and adding more depth at the defensive line, we have a nice start for the future.

0

jayhawkeratheart 1 year, 4 months ago

Simply put, they come and go, some with wins some with woe

Players cry and players smile, while all the fans love games worth while

You never know, on a given day, who comes to watch and who comes to play

The final score, though be it rough, has proven this year, we didn’t score enough

We fought the fight, we complained a lot, but in the end we just played like snot

So looking ahead, as we always do, our hopes and our dreams are set on you

On you big guy, the one that will win. So sign on the line and come on in,

To the game that you love, and the fans oh so dear, hey we scored a touchdown, I’ll have a beer

Next year is the place, we put our hopes, and I’’m sure Charlie will jump the ropes,

Maybe loose ten pounds and be a coach, selecting good plays and restoring our hopes.

So on to next year, with tears in our eyes, we know we can do it, cause we got the guys

Put points on the board, and stop the pass, cause from this day on we’re gonna kick some ass.

0

gongs4ku 1 year, 4 months ago

So glad this season is over. As a loyal fan, I watch every game, but sometimes during the last 4 years it hasn't been much fun. Luckily basketball is never far off.

0

LAJayhawk 1 year, 4 months ago

Just in case anyone cares, we had the number 1 ranked schedule... that would be the HARDEST schedule... in ALL of college football according to the Sagarin ratings... You know, for those who want to compare this to Paul Chryst at Pitt (who had the 64th ranked schedule)....

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/fbt12.htm

But, wait, you say, "Meh, screw the Sagarin ratings." Fine. How about the Congrove Computer rankings, which has us with the SECOND HARDEST schedule in ALL OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL... (Pitt, BTW, was 61st in those rankings as well)...

http://www.collegefootballpoll.com/current_congrove_rankings.html

Or there's Mark Schlabach at ESPN who said we had the 4th hardest schedule...

http://espn.go.com/college-football/preview12/story/_/id/8308377/college-football-notre-dame-faces-toughest-schedule

Now, does any of that make us feel better or make it acceptable that we finished 1-11? No, of course not. But calm the eff down. We weren't going to be bowl eligible with the talent we had and the schedule we had to face. Was Crist a disappointment? OF COURSE. But even if he could have stopped overthrowing every receiver that he ever looked in the direction of, he still had basically NO ONE to throw the ball to. And he didn't play defense.

If we played the 2007 schedule, we probably would have had 4 or 5 wins. Easily. This team will be remarkably better next year. Will we make a bowl? Who knows. The schedule is still brutal, and we aren't going to have Heisman talent. But we will be much better. And we WILL win more games.

So stop talking about Paul Freakin' Chryst at Pitt, and give it at least another year before you want to chuck out Charlie Weis. This WILL be a better team next year. I guarantee it.

4

Eric TheCapn 1 year, 4 months ago

I'm disappointed in the reaction to a column, which was primarily a touching story of two seniors who made it through the most difficult, ridiculous time I could imagine in KU football history. As fans and alumni, we should be both proud of these gentlemen and embarrassed by what the KU athletic department and the business of college sports put them through.

McDougald and Opurum's story should remind us of how difficult it is to be a student-athlete, and how much administrations and money can affect their lives, stress levels and careers. Personally, it also reminds me of how the greed in college sports (see: realignment) is so harmful to not only our traditions, but to the livelihoods and mental states of students around the country. In essence, making kids travel more and study less because of conference realignment could harm our nation's education as a whole. Look into that, Science.

I'm proud of these guys, that they had the guts, loyalty and strength to remain Jayhawk athletes despite the insanity surrounding them. Rock Chalk, men.

4

Jeff Kilgore 1 year, 4 months ago

There's no doubt that KU was more competitive earlier this year, but when you don't win, kids don't play as hard. That's just how it is. It doesn't mean that Weis is a bad coach. I'm not really encouraged about next year either. It takes longer. We were really bad late, and you'd have to give Weis at the very least two more years and probably three before we get back to .500.

0

hawkmaster 1 year, 4 months ago

KU laid down the last 2 games and so did Charlie....ugh! I understand they are playing with one hand tied behind their back having to run the ball every down. But Weis' play calling is so predictable, he is NOT an offensive genius or wizard, PLEASE stop using that word. He always threatened to open it up the last 3 or 4 games of the year, but never did.

And hard to believe KU does not have a QB that can pass a ball accurately for 5 to 10 yards, Weis does not even trust Cummings or Crist to throw a screen, shovel pass, or flare pass to the wide receiver. Just pathetic.

Most high schools have QBs that can do that, and how does a QB like Cummings spend a year in the system and nobody figures out he can't throw a 10 yard pass...oh yea, he practices against the KU secondary, sorry! Ditto for Crist.

I sure hope all of Weis huffing and puffing about how great Crist was going to be does not carry over to the Jake Heaps "Mormon Cannon"....What are we to believe after Crist?

I never thought KU would win 5 to 6 games like a lot of KU fans, I thought maybe 2 to 3 would be the maximum. I just thought they would get better instead of worse as the season concluded!

0

Emery 1 year, 4 months ago

Oh how I long for the days when KU won 5 or 6 games. Those were the days my friend.

0

otjhawk 1 year, 4 months ago

If you think that this team wasn't 10x better then last year you need to quit watching football because obviously you don't know anything. If you thought a new coach was going to all of sudden get us wins I feel sorry for you. This team will be close to bowl eligible next year with the improvements at the QB and Kicking game alone.

2

Boouk 1 year, 4 months ago

People, it's not Weis's fault Crist turned out to be so bad (not that Crist had any good WR's to throw to though). Turner screwed us over so bad it's gonna take a little time to turn things around. Don't forget about Mangino's first season at KU. You can't jump to conclusions based solely on KU's record when Cummings is your starting QB, Omigie your starting WR and a horrible kicking game in the deepest conference in college football.

2

Mike Bratisax 1 year, 4 months ago

I am in no hurry for next year... I bought into this team after they had 3 hard fought losses but they proved themselves as on of the worst D1 teams in the NCAA. I don't see much to build on to make believe we will be any better next year,

I'm just glad the season is over and want to thank all the graduating players for their efforts. They deserved a better send off.

0

Geekinout 1 year, 4 months ago

Thank you to the players that stuck it out through this mess!! People running the football side of the KU athletic department, you still aren't doing a very good job.

1

Boouk 1 year, 4 months ago

Fellow fans, don't overreact to this terrible season. Jake Heaps can be as good as Todd Reesing. 6'3 280 pound JUCO DE Andrew Bolton chose KU over offers from LSU (yes, LSU, if you think I'm kidding go check jayhawkslant.com), Iowa, and Mississippi State, and received interest from Alabama, Ohio State, and Oklahoma. JUCO DT's Ty McKinney (310 pounds) and Tedarian Johnson (chose KU over Mississippi State and TTU) will add more depth and talent to the DT spot, where we return Young, Tavai, Stowers, John Williams, Tyler Holmes, and Agostino (that's 8 deep at DT).

Offensively, Heaps will have several reliable options to throw to in the passing game. We'll be drastically improved at TE with Charles Brooks, Jordan Smith (6'5 and runs a 4.5 40), and Mundine returning. JUCO WR Mark Thomas is 6'2 210 and runs a 4.4 40. Justin McCay could be really good. And finally, we return our top 5 RB's in Sims, Pierson, Cox, Bourbon, and Marquis Jackson.

4

Robert Brown 1 year, 4 months ago

We are 1-32 in conference play. That's pathetic. It's hard to realistically make a case that significant progress was made this year. Comparing conference games from last year to this year. Last year: 5 blow out losses; 2 games that weren't blow out but were never in doubt by the time the fourth quarter started and two games where we had a shot in the 4th quarter.

This year: 5 blow out losses; 1 game that was not a blow out but decided by 4 th quarter and three games where we had a shot in the 4th quarter. Is that really progress?

I don't think the conference is that much stronger this year. It's possible if KSU beats UT that the Big 12 will have only two ranked teams next week.

1

VaJay 1 year, 4 months ago

OK. I just got back home & was planning to watch (read: speed through) the recording. Can someone tell me if there is ANY point in watching any of the debacle (highlights, amusing lowlights)??

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Jayhawk470 1 year, 4 months ago

To put things in perspective, the last time Kansas went winless through the conference in back-to-back years was in 1986 and 1987, when Bob Valesente's teams went 0-7 and 0-6-1 through the Big Eight. Or, in other words, not since I was in diapers have the Jayhawks been this bad for this long. And given the whirlwind of conference realignment, we cannot afford to be this bad any longer. Bill Self & Co., as good as they are, are not enough to convince another league commissioner to take us in. Coach Weis and company need to start piling up wins next season, or we can start making plans for a place in Conference USA or the Missouri Valley.

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wsjayhawk1 1 year, 4 months ago

Poor coaching, poor player performance, no progress at the end of the year. Fire Charlie Tuna and find a "Snyder" somewhere in the assistant coaching ranks where a program is successful.When is KU going to learn???

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Janet Scott 1 year, 4 months ago

Time to move on to next year. I feel badly for both McDougald and Opurum, and the other seniors who toiled over four years under difficult circumstances.

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Phil Leister 1 year, 4 months ago

And KU is the only Big 12 team to not be bowl eligible. Sheesh. What a long season. Can't wait 'til next August though.

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