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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Driving force: Jayhawks wary of OSU RB Joseph Randle

Oklahoma State running back Joseph Randle (1) runs past Texas cornerback Josh Turner during their game Sept. 29 in Stillwater, Okla. Randle, the Big 12’s leading rusher, and the Cowboys will face Kansas University on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Oklahoma State running back Joseph Randle (1) runs past Texas cornerback Josh Turner during their game Sept. 29 in Stillwater, Okla. Randle, the Big 12’s leading rusher, and the Cowboys will face Kansas University on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

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All season, Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis has gushed about KU sophomore Tony Pierson and his ability to score from anywhere on the field at any time.

Saturday, when the Jayhawks play host to Oklahoma State at 2:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium, they’ll face a similar back: Wichita native Joseph Randle.

“He kind of reminds me of a grown Pierson,” KU safety Bradley McDougald said, “because he’s just so fast, and he can take it to the house any play.”

While Pierson, KU’s speed back from East St. Louis, Ill., stands 5-foot-11 and weighs 178 pounds, the 6-1, 200-pound Randle — younger brother of former KU running back John Randle (2003-04) — weighs and plays a few pounds heavier.

“Tony is a home run hitter,” Weis said. “But when you are 30 pounds bigger, it makes a big difference. Look, I love Tony, and I would not trade him for anybody, but it is easy to recognize a really good football player, and this kid is a really good football player.”

So good, in fact, that Randle currently leads the Big 12 in rushing with 534 yards on 75 attempts, good for averages of 7.1 yards per carry and 133.5 yards per game. Those numbers, which include six touchdowns in four games, have anchored the best offense in the country, as the Cowboys’ up-tempo attack has averaged a nation’s-best 659 yards per contest.

“It all starts with Joseph Randle,” Weis said. “Somebody told me that KU offered him (a scholarship) in fourth grade. Well, they should have offered him in third grade. He’s a really, really good running back.”

Pierson expected to play

KU’s starting running back wore a bulky brace on his left elbow during Wednesday’s practice but said it was more of a precaution than a sign of any lingering injury.

“Everything’s good,” said Pierson, who said he was 90-95 percent healthy. “I’m planning on playing.”

Pierson said it was devastating to be forced to sit on the sideline unable to help his team against Kansas State.

“I just tried to brace myself when I fell, and my arm went a weird way,” he said. “Scary. First time something happened to me like that, and I didn’t know what was gonna happen in the future.”

Pierson tried to talk his way back onto the field, but when he was asked how Weis and the trainers reacted to his pleas, Pierson simply smiled and shook his head.

Comments

Mr_C 1 year, 6 months ago

because Weis said Crist was better and we didn't need him anymore, and we all sat there starry-eyed & said "ok".

I don't think Webb is better than Crist in most categories, but at least when he can't figure out where to throw the ball, he's athletic enough to try to run for something. Crist is a statue.

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Justin Daniel 1 year, 6 months ago

Why the hell did we encourage Jordan Webb to leave? He would be a definite upgrade over Dayne Crist.

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kureader 1 year, 6 months ago

Joseph Randle should be wearing a Jayhawk uniform on Saturday. He's a Kansas kid, and his older brother, John, played at KU ... and we still lost him. That just can't happen.

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edmondjayhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Bowman wasted away in the CFL...had drug issues....the first of three straight O-State receivers that can't seem to stay out of trouble.

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wildjayhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

It will take time for Weis to get this team going as it did Mangino. Ku will be sick when Snyder retires as we will see a familar face across the way, Mark Mangino.

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Micky Baker 1 year, 6 months ago

I bet that we see Sheperd getting some PT Saturday, but one of the things that I saw in an earlier article is one of the younger guys at Center and moving the Center to Right Guard to fix that mess on that side. This also means that we might have to bring in a full back and maybe instead of throwing it to Sims, misdirect and throw it to the full back and get some yards that way and make them have to cover everyone.

Having Pierson in the game is huge, but we have to understand that the offensive package isn't fully installed yet but Pierson, Sims and Cox are going to know the whole thing next year as well as Turzilli, Omigie, McKay and Parmalee. This is a solid foundation. Heaps will also know the whole offense next season, and the execution will be better. Execution is our offense's biggest problem right now.

On defense, we will continue to improve, and we'll have some newer, fresh people that didn't have three separate college coaches this coming season.

Weis's approach is far better than Gill's. Weis says it how it is, and I respect that. At least one of the recruits we have coming in next year is one that both LSU and Alabama recruited heavily.

The tackling is better, but one thing that really needs improved is shedding blocks. It is about effort and confidence.

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edmondjayhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

With all due respect, I have to disagree with a couple of earlier posts. First to okiedave...You said that when Gundy took over the O-state program that he had "two very terrible years and two very mediocre years". Yes, his first year was not good. (4-7)... His second year he went 7-6 and beat Alabama in the Independence Bowl. Another 7-6 record with an Insight Bowl win followed that and in his fourth year he went 9-4 and lost to Oregon in the Holiday Bowl. Three bowl games in four is not terrible or mediocre. Having lived in Oklahoma the past 15 years, I NEVER heard any O-State fans "calling for his head". Secondly to Frankenhawk, the wide receivers that O-State has recently sent to the NFL were hardly top flight recruits. Dez Bryant was a great talent coming out of Lufkin, but most schools backed off of him because he was and still is a punk. Justin Blackmon was from a small school in southern Oklahoma (Plainview) and was only a three-star recruit. Oklahoma State was the only Big 12 school that offered him. I do agree that the facilities are a big factor, but Gundy deserves some big time credit...especially after losing two very good offensive coordinators in Fedora and Holgerson.

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troutsee 1 year, 6 months ago

27 mph wind for Sat. will mean that Crist will get the start even though his performances have been shakey. We better make hay when we have the wind. Hopefully we will defense the run better against OSU than we did against KSU.

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troutsee 1 year, 6 months ago

Mangino will never be hired as the head coach of K-State.

It is going to be terrible weather on Sat. My daughter and I will be there. I hope the stadium will be full but doubt that it will be, as KU FB fans are nortoriously fair weather fans in more ways than one.

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jayhawkrob 1 year, 6 months ago

yea but what happens when snyder retires and they hire mangino...its possible. and id be pissed.

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Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 6 months ago

okiedave,

Completely different sitution in my opinion, but I truly appreciate the sentiment.

You're a class act, Dave.

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Jason Keller 1 year, 6 months ago

Maybe you guys have known this for a while now but I guess Jake Heaps is reaching out to recruits to try and sway them to come to KU. Marcus Jenkins-Moore is probably the best linebacker recruit KU has had in several years and I only say that because he has prooved himself at the juco level, not the highschool level. The problem is he still has a visit scheduled to K-State and all of the K-State fans are all over his Twitter page begging him to come but there is someone else on there, Jake Heaps.

jtheaps9 I guess is Jake and he is recruting this kid hard. Do these two know eachother some how other than when Marcus visited for the TCU game? I'm excited that Jake is going after kids like this, that is what we need. Anyone got any other info about this?

Again, Marcus is a game changer at outside linebacker. Watch his mix tape, he is a grown man. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8I9NP16agM

Jake, don't know if you read this man but keep going, bud. Get the word out that what you want to do next year has nothing to do with whats going on this year. We're behind you bud and looking forward to having you under center. Lets get a win on Saturday.

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Terran Woolley 1 year, 6 months ago

Wish thinkgs would've ended differently with John Randle here....think his brother would've come had Mangino not been undercut by Lew and the whole Derp abortion of the program occuring.

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Jason Keller 1 year, 6 months ago

This will be a great test for this defense. If they don't completely have their way with us, that should be considered a sign of progress. I think a really ambitious goal would be to hold them under 40. Gonna need some turnovers....

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nuleafjhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Look, I love Tony, and I would not trade him for anybody, but it is easy to recognize a really good football player, and this kid is a really good football player.”

Translation - I'd trade his butt for Randle in a nano-second.

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Jim Erickson 1 year, 6 months ago

Completely agree with Frankenhawk above. Gundy has done a great job but the difference in OSU is the investment. A lackluster set of facilities had a massive upgrade and now we are seeing OSU as a top program. I know it's difficult to raise that kind of money (I'm guessing $50 Million minimum) to get Memorial Stadium to a Big 12 level stadium, but it has to be a top priority.

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Frankenhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

I agree with you about Gundy, however, the turnaround would not have happened if T. Boone Pickens hadn't dropped $90 Million on renovating their stadium. They have struck gold with a few diamonds in the rough but the wide receivers they have recently sent to the NFL for example, were top flight recruits that they lured with their shiny new digs.

The good news is that unlike Mangino, Weis is starting his tenure off at KU with shiny digs of his own to sell and (allegedly) more stadium renovations on the way. oSu took a "build it and they will come approach" and it has worked beautifully for them.

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okiedave 1 year, 6 months ago

When Gundy took over the OSU program, he had two very terrible years and a couple of mediocre years. Most of the fans were calling for his head. But OSU stuck with him and he gradually built the program by recruiting diamond in the rough players. KU needs to stick with Weis for at least four years and let him build this program. I would love to see KU give OSU a surprise defeat, but if not, just remember OSU was just a few years ago in the same building mode were KU is now.

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