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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Keegan

Dayne Crist solid, not spectacular — yet

Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist gives last-minute instructions to his teammates trying to move the Hawks down field on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist gives last-minute instructions to his teammates trying to move the Hawks down field on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Charlie Weis

Kansas coach Charlie Weis talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 31-17 victory over South Dakota State on Sept. 1, 2012.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU players talk following win over SDSU

KU players talk following their 31-17 win over SDSU on Sept. 1, 2012.

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Box score

KU 31, SDSU 17

For so much of Dayne Crist’s debut as Kansas University’s quarterback, Peggy Lee, a late singer from a bygone era, came to mind. You could almost hear her singing, “Is that all there is?”

Landing Crist, the big, bright, thick, strong-armed born leader who spent four years at Notre Dame, sparked so much excitement among a fan base that had been bored stiff the past two years.

One game into his KU career, Crist remains the most compelling figure on the football team, but for a different reason. Now intrigue has entered the picture. Just how good is the quarterback who suffered a pair of serious knee injuries, spent four years at Notre Dame and was benched for good part-way through the first game of his junior season?

Crist, he knows it ain’t easy. He knows how hard it can be. He also knows he’s much better than he showed Saturday night in front of 46,601 spectators in Memorial Stadium.

“I’m very disappointed with how I played, left a ton of throws out on the field,” Crist said. “More than anything, I’m just happy that we got a win, couldn’t be more happy for my teammates, and at the end of the day, that’s the most important thing.”

Showing a symptom common with pitchers too amped up for the big start, Crist missed wild high with a number of throws. He overthrew his targets at other times, most notably when senior receiver Daymond Patterson had broken free in the back of the end zone.

Crist didn’t keep anyone in suspense as to the strength of his arm. He hit Kale Pick with a 43-yard bomb on the game’s first play from scrimmage. By the night’s end, he had completed just 17 of 36 passes for 169 yards with one touchdown, one interception and an average of 4.7 yards per pass attempt.

Crist said he never had been as excited waiting for a game to arrive.

“There is a ton of anxiousness going into any game, but waiting a full calendar year to get back was something that’s exciting, something I couldn’t wait for, but at the end of the day I tried to do too much, was a bit too antsy,” he said. “It’s not characteristic of me or how I want to play, but I’m excited to get the win and come back next week improved.”

Kansas coach Charlie Weis, the man who recruited Crist to Notre Dame and coached him for two years when he was a reserve, didn’t look the least bit worried.

“In the passing game, all the focus goes on the quarterback, but remember, this is a kid who hasn’t played in a year, gets pulled at halftime of the first game and really didn’t play again,” Weis said. “I think this was a good game for him to get out of the way, and he’ll just get better and better.”

So too, Weis said, will the fit between Crist and some of his receivers improve.

“When you look at it, you think it’s all the quarterback’s fault, but you don’t realize it when somebody’s not running the right route,” he said. “We had a screen pass called one time where one of our young men was running the wrong play. He came off the field after the play, and I said, ‘What were you doing?’ He honestly told me he was running a different play because the two plays sound alike.”

Nothing about KU’s off-target passing game dulled the enthusiasm Patterson has for his battery-mate.

“I think it’s just Week 1,” Patterson said. “Everybody’s anxious, hyped up to go. You see that all around the nation. It’s Week 1. You’re not going to connect on every pass that you want to just from being a little hyped up. The ball might get off the quarterback’s hand, the receiver’s trying too hard to run the route and might slip. From Week 1 to Week 2 should be the biggest jump because you’ve got one out of the way.”

Seeing if that’s the case makes the one-year Crist stay in Lawrence can’t-miss theater.

Comments

Dale Stringer 1 year, 7 months ago

I managed to make it to the game and proud our football team Won. Did it win convincingly... Yes, but over SDSU. Did it play bad like the last two years... No.

And Yes - Crist was off some, the recievers dropped a few, and 80% (it seems) of our running plays go to the left. These do not worry me yet. The players will get better.

There are two things that do cause me a great deal of concern: Cornerback play and the kicking game. For CB, I have to say that I only really paid attention to Brown. He started play usually 7 yards of the reciever and started running backward as soon as the play started. The 5 yard hook pattern was open on nearly every play until they did it 3 times in a row and Brown caught on before regressing back to normal. If SDSU ran it every other play, I think they could have scored a lot more. Brown did play good when he was in close man-to-man and did knock down the pass at the goal line.

For the kicking game, Doherty did great in the punting and field goal game. I blame the miss on first attempt of the year jitters. What hurts us is inabilty to kick it into the endzone on kickoffs. He can barely get it to the ten and our coverage just couldn't get down field until the returner was passed the 25. The SDSU kicker, if he didn't kick it out of the endzone, always put it 5 yards deep. We took a touch back every time which hurt our starting field position. It also didn't help that our coverage looked sub par. It seemed that our guys all took the wrong intercept angle and got to their tackling point a second after the returner did.

Overall, I'm happy for the team and the way we played. We were ahead at the half... Oklahoma can't say that.

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REHawk 1 year, 7 months ago

Hey, ralster, the usage gestapo has been mighty rough on your posts, both here and in the hoops section this weekend....

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Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

Not worried about Dayne Crist. He now gets the QB-mentoring he needs from Weis, in the offense Weis originally recruited him for--and there is less pressure, as he has some offensive weapons. He should come along very quickly. (Turner Gill wouldnt have known what to do with Dayne Crist).

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Ted White 1 year, 7 months ago

Mr. Keegan, Have you really been saving the John and Yoko reference since "Crist" came to Lawrence?

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troutsee 1 year, 7 months ago

I have never liked playing D2 schools. It is hard to get up emotionally for the game as a fan and probably is just as hard for a player. I fail to see the advantage of playing D2 schools.

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troutsee 1 year, 7 months ago

I was very happy to see Gill go. But a Gill coached team, Liberty, came within whisker of upsetting Wake Forest yesterday. It will be interesting to follow Liberty throughout the season.

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danmoore 1 year, 7 months ago

I'm oppossed to scheduling D2 schools but yesterdays game makes a good argument for playing cupcakes.

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Sparko 1 year, 7 months ago

There were three or four bad decisions on passes that Crist simply cannot afford to repeat after last night. He was late on his check-downs a few times and telegraphed his target. There were two possible pick-sixes. That much said, Kansas also dropped some pick-sixes, and should have shut the door to an easy win if that one ridiculous pass interference call had not been made. Officiating was not great last night, it was very uneven and the spots of the ball were wrong many times.

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Fototherapist 1 year, 7 months ago

It was interesting to see how Weis kept switching out the right side of the line. I imagine Sterling got pretty winded several times, so Dent came in. I also saw the left side block much more consistently than the right. I hope Sterling can continue to get in better shape.

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yates33333 1 year, 7 months ago

Just as one robin doesn't make a spring, one game doesn't make or break a QB. Crist will do all right.

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Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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phogphan2000 1 year, 7 months ago

Bottom line for me is he's got the tools to be a good QB. Sounds like he threw the deep ball fairly well, needs to work on shorter passes, needs to keep working with his receivers, tough to get great chemistry with them over 1 offseason. If the running game is nearly as good as the numbers suggest Weis has some options and weapons to work with on offense, and he's a good enough coach to make that a dangerous combination. Chances are even with an improved defense KU will need some great offensive efforts to stay in Big12 games. Have to perform against Rice, but I expect the home game against TCU will set the tone for the season. I think it's safe to say fans are going to be excited about this staff, even with a rough season this year. But get off to a 3-1 start with a good showing against TCU and fans should get excited about this season.

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Andy Tweedy 1 year, 7 months ago

I don't understand why multiple posts have talked about the importance of Sims coming back. I like Sims, but we had two guys bust 100 yards, and a third looked effective when he was in the game. Running back was not the problem last night. Sims can't hurt, but I don't see that as making much difference.

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Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

Not worried about Crist, as he can make all the throws. The poster above missed the bullet pass on a sideline out-pattern, right on the money, when the score was 24-17 and SDSU had just scored, and Weis&Crist&Co. got serious. I could already recognize plays/formations from the Weis playbook, same as I saw him use with KC 3yrs ago. Crist has weapons. Its not all on him. When Sims comes back, there is another weapon...Crist was a bit amped-up, but then so was everyone in that stadium. Just keep him healthy for him to finally show the world what he can do. It could be his last chance to do so, and he knows it...so a case of "jitters" is entirely understandable, and with a W, it is even forgivable. I would take my cue squarely from Charlie Weis regarding his own QB. That aspect of football is exactly where his genius is. Add another 4points if that naked bootleg pass on the goalline was a completion. The TD pass to the TE was a very pro-poised looking play--lots going on in the endzone, and Crist saw the TE stick his hand up (very cool replay!). I saw Crist go thru his reads pretty well at times (better than Cassel), but then lock-on a few times also. One thing I love is play-fakes, and the opening play faked me clean out of the stadium. Chin still sore from that jaw-dropper.

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Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

"We shall build a winning football program, through Crist..."

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OakvilleJaybateNightmare 1 year, 7 months ago

KU wins this season:

SDSU, Rice, NI, TTU, ISU and an upset (TCU, KSU or Baylor)

Bet the house on it.

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JJHAWK 1 year, 7 months ago

We win by 14 points.

People use terms such as barely mediocre (no offense nuleaf I think you summed things pretty accurately).

Even our team emotes frustration at their performance.

Wow - things have changed with KU football! RCJH

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BPSkelly 1 year, 7 months ago

I think after all the hype about Dayne Christ coming in we expected him to be damn near a Heisman candidate. The reality is he isnt, and what we saw yesterday was a Jordan Webb performance.

That said, I think the difference is that Christ will get better. The question is, how much? If he plays like that in Big 12 games we're going to be lucky to win one. Just reality folks. While we're still dishing out 'benefit of the doubt' here Im willing to bank on him being better. My guess is as well that regardless of how things play out, he'll have at least one or two games where his play wins us the game. Lets hope he doesnt have one or two where he loses us the game.

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nuleafjhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

I'm not sure I agree with the headline - 17/36, 169 and a pick isn't "solid" in my book. It's barely mediocre. If K-State (or just about anyone else) hyped their QB as much as DC has been hyped and came out with numbers like that, we'd all be having some fun.

Actually, I'm glad the game played out the way it did. If he had gone 34/37 for 425 and 6 TD's, we'd be setting ourselves up for some real disappointment down the road. This way, we all know there's some work to be done and some room for improvement.

It's a "W" and that's really all that matters.

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ND69 1 year, 7 months ago

Several times the receivers got " knocked off " their routes . That was apparent to anyone with knowledge of the game . Dayne did have some high throws which is totally uncharacteristic for him but he should have had at least seven more completions that I counted that weren't his fault .

No excuses , it's in the can but the good thing is that no one has seen what he can do yet unless they have you tubed him .

We need McKinney fast and the O line needs to pick up the blitz better .Anthony will help on D when he gets healthy .

I like Taylor Cox . Charlie says James Sims is real . That is a good thing

Rock Chalk Irish !

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99yard_run 1 year, 7 months ago

Will be a long season indeed. Crist threw 3-4 pick sixes if this was TCU et al.

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biggunz 1 year, 7 months ago

Perhaps if everyone stopped acting like the guy is God, and constantly reminding him of how the entire KU universe depends on him, maybe he could settle down and play his game. In other words, get off his n*ts!

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rtwngr 1 year, 7 months ago

You know it ain't easy. You know how hard it can be. The way things are going, they're going to crucify me.

The Beatles

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Robert Brock 1 year, 7 months ago

The smart play was to forget the pass and just take the snap and hand the ball to Pierson or Cox.

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OakvilleJaybateNightmare 1 year, 7 months ago

One thing I noticed was how much better of tacklers we are. Not nearly as many missed tackles, that was nice to see. On the flip side, the pressure we were able to get on the quarterback was average and it only got worse as the game went on. I would expect a little more against SDSU but hopefully when Mckinney is ready he can come in and make an impact.

Another realization is that Huldon and Ben simply aren't big enough to be able to stop a Big 12 running game. They are really fast and dynamic but can you imagine them defending I formation with a big lead blocker? No. That transfer linebacker from ND is supposed to be a between the tackles bruiser. He will be absolutely key this year. If we're that scared of his lack of speed, put him on the short side of the field and let him fill.

As for the subject of this article, Dayne Crist, he'll be fine and so will the receivers. Look for the offense to look a little cleaner and crisper next week and hopefully they will keep improving from there. If Charlie can make every defense respect our passing game, Tony and the rest of the RBs are going to blow it up this year. That dude is lightening in a bottle. Oh and as for Taylor Cox on that 50 yard run, thats how a man carries the football. Thats the type of effort it takes to turn a team around.

Rice played UCLA pretty tough for most of their game so they should be a solid step up from SDSU. If we have the loose ends tied up, we should walk away with another win.

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doolindalton 1 year, 7 months ago

I hope Crist and his receivers get better, but yesterday it was the return of Bobby Douglass. Same size, same number and Douglass also had a big arm and no touch. The difference is that Douglass was an option quarterback who could run like Tim Tebow.

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JHWKDW 1 year, 7 months ago

A win is a win for now.Do we need to improve? Yeah absolutely. This will take a bit of time, but I have faith in Weis and this coaching staff. Trust me if it were the previous regime we probably lose this game.This is still a rebuilding team. Plus you got to realize the depth is not to good yet. It will in time. Hang in there.

Well folks the game you failed to mention was the Northern Illinois Vs Iowa game!

Man it took everything Iowa had to beat them. Wow. Had to beat them at the last second. We need improvement I know that, but Iowa got all they could handle with UNI. Iowa is no rebuilding team and their coach Kirk Ferentz has been there for a while.

Do not want to look too far ahead, one game at a time, but UNI looked good. We better get our act together before that game.

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Steven Gaudreau 1 year, 7 months ago

The way I see it, a win is a win. Gil would have lost this game by a couple of touchdowns. Great way to start the season and build from. If the Hawks can get 4 wins this year, it would be like winning the Orange Bowl for this program in it's current state. Keep it up!

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johnkelso 1 year, 7 months ago

I watched 5 games today with top 20 teams and not one top 20 team really played as well as you'd expect. I noticed there was tons of offense and very little defense other than Oklahoma State's shut out of Savannah State ( which I've never heard of ). It's going to take time for Dayne Crist and the KU offense to work as one. Practice is one thing but games expose your weakness and I have no doubt CW and the KU offense will work on routes and continue to fine tune their offensive attack. I'm happy Dayne Crist picked KU to finish his career and I have all the faith in the world he will live up to the hype. This football team just needs believers filling those stands on Saturday.....

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riverdrifter 1 year, 7 months ago

"Improvement each week is what I want to see" That's the size of it. If the Jayhawks do NOT improve from today, 2 more wins, max.
That was one BAD football team I watched tonight.

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Mark Lindrud 1 year, 7 months ago

Possible it was nerves. Maybe he was trying too hard to show why he was good before getting pulled. For now I'll chalk it up to that. Improvement each week is what I want to see.

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