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Texas defeats Kansas, 35-13

  • 2:30 p.m., Nov. 2, 2013
  • Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Familiar story: KU fades late again in 35-13 loss to Texas

Texas players celebrate in the endzone with defensive tackle Chris Whaley after Whaley recovered a fumble by Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps and ran it back for a touchdown during the third quarter on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 at Darrell K. Royal Stadium in Austin, Texas.

Texas players celebrate in the endzone with defensive tackle Chris Whaley after Whaley recovered a fumble by Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps and ran it back for a touchdown during the third quarter on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 at Darrell K. Royal Stadium in Austin, Texas.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Charlie Weis

Kansas coach Charlie Weis talks to reporters after the Jayhawks' 35-13 loss to Texas on Nov. 2, 2013.

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Box score

KU-UT

— The formula is starting to look the same, but that does not make it any less painful.

As has been the case throughout the season, Saturday's 35-13 loss to Texas at Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium unfolded in an eerily similar way. The Kansas University football team started fast but not fast enough to run away. The defense did most of the heavy lifting and made as many stands and stops as it could until it inevitably broke. And the offense, which now has scored in the teens for seven consecutive weeks, sprinkled a few good moments in with mostly bad ones and just could not find a way to put enough points on the board to prevent the Jayhawks from adding a game, a week, a source of frustration to its streak of 26 consecutive Big 12 setbacks.

Yep. That all happened again on Saturday against the Longhorns, who won for the fifth straight time after starting the season 1-2. But the most maddening part for the players, the coaches and, undoubtedly, the fans, was that, even with that scenario playing out week after week, the Jayhawks were in this one and, at one point, looked like they might choose to make this the week that things end differently.

Thanks to two short field goals from senior kicker Ron Doherty, who replaced starter Matthew Wyman after the hero of the Louisiana Tech game missed a 31-yard attempt on KU's opening possession, the Jayhawks trailed 14-6 midway through the third quarter, but were on a 6-0 run and had momentum firmly on their side following one of three three-and-out stops by the KU defense. What's more, KU's struggling offense, which finished the day with 306 yards (compared with 418 for UT) had possession at the Texas 46 and had its eyes on a game-tying score. But on the first play of the would-be drive, KU's offensive line was blown up and quarterback Jake Heaps, who did all he could to avoid the rush, fumbled under a tidal wave of burnt orange and then watched defensive tackle Chris Whaley rumble, untouched, 40 yards to the end zone to give Texas (6-2 overall, 5-0 Big 12) a 21-6 lead and complete control.

“The strip-sack fumble was, obviously, the key play of the game,” KU coach Charlie Weis said after the loss. “All the momentum in the game changed in one play, and that was it.”

Feeling that the sack was inevitable because of the breakdown up front, Weis said he simply told Heaps as he came off the field that the only thing he could've done was hold onto the ball. After the game, with aches and pains popping up in places he'd never felt them, Heaps took the blame for coughing up the ball and described the play in greater detail.

“(Texas defensive end Jackson) Jeffcoat, who's a great player, came running free and I tried to get out of there and I just didn't secure the ball,” Heaps said. “I didn't have two hands on the ball and you can't do that versus a good team like that because things like that will happen.”

Neither Weis nor Heaps wanted to pinpoint which KU lineman failed to impede Jeffcoat's progress. But it hardly mattered. The pocket collapsed so quickly that Heaps had very little time to react, let alone think about securing the ball. Still, the quarterback who finished 11-of-21 passing for 160 yards and showed signs of life for the second week in a row, said he should have done better.

“Of course,” Heaps said. “It's my job to secure the football. It's something I'll learn from, but, at the same time, it could've been the difference between us winning and losing the football game, so, yeah, I put that on myself. One play can change the course of the game. We hung in there and I think it was closer than the score says. We missed an opportunity for sure. And it's unfortunate because we really had them on the ropes for a while.”

Credit the KU defense for that. Safety Isaiah Johnson picked up a pair of interceptions. Linebacker Ben Heeney returned to the field after a two-week absence and Jake Love, Heeney's partner in crime in the middle, continued to play like a Heeney mini-me. They finished with nine tackles apiece to lead Kansas, but could do only so much to slow down a Texas offense that got four touchdowns from running back Malcolm Brown and really took off after Whaley's fumble return.

“It just turned everything around,” said Whaley, crediting UT's defensive ends for jarring the ball loose. “It lit sparks (for us) on both sides of the ball.”

KU (2-6, 0-5) was not without its opportunities. But the offense continued to run into far too many obstacles, be them penalties, poor pass protection or a lack of rhythm. The screen game to James Sims (51 yards on five receptions) worked well early; true freshman quarterback Montell Cozart ran four times for 34 yards and added a late touchdown; Rodriguez Coleman (85 yards, two receptions) took another step forward as a down-the-field playmaker before exiting with an injury; and Brandon Bourbon and Darrian Miller also ran hard throughout the afternoon. It just didn't produce points.

“That was frustrating,” Weis said. “It's been frustrating. Even missing the first field goal, that's frustrating. That's why I changed field-goal kickers. I'd seen enough. You can't be a 50-50 field goal kicker, especially when I'm not putting them in long ranges.”

Added Heaps, who has remained positive despite suffering through one of the roughest stretches of his college career: “Of course we're frustrated. We want to get things going. We want to put a full game together and that's what we have to do.”

Another loss it was, but not even the combination of the physical beating, the disappointing offense and the back-breaking momentum play could keep KU from looking ahead with hope from the small interview room underneath UT's stadium.

"We’ve got four games (left), and despite everything else, we have to go 4-0 to make a bowl game,” said Heaps. “A bowl game is still possible for us, so we'll come back to work and continue to work hard.”

Comments

Randy Bombardier 6 years, 2 months ago

Hang in there, folks. Only three more seasons of this.

Doug Roberts 6 years, 2 months ago

Didn't get to watch the game because the Big 12 is AWESOME! I live 40 minutes away from Lawrence and had no chance to watch this game even though I pay $45 a month for cable TV.

Thank God the school is making millions of dollars, though, so they'll be able to afford 12 more ugly uniforms next fall while I have to scour the Kansas City sports bar network to find a dive bar that has the game on.

Yeah, I'm p*ssed off. KU should consider itself lucky that even thought it's football team hasn't won a conference game since the Hoover administration that it still has fans/alumni that still want to watch it's crappy football team lose on Saturdays.

Chris Bailey 6 years, 2 months ago

Damn you get a hell of a deal on cable. I pay $175 a month with phone/middle of the road internet and my only TV add on being the sports tier. I even own 3 tivo boxes so I don't pay for a DVR or the DVR service. WOW

Joe Ross 6 years, 2 months ago

I was thinking the same thing, Chris! Cable for 45 clams a month? Within 40 minutes of Lawrence? Where?

David A. Smith 6 years, 2 months ago

Hang in there, Hawks! Keep fighting. RCJH!

Bill Kackley 6 years, 2 months ago

We won't win another game with heaps at QB. I know the line is bad but it takes him so long to get back to the back to hand off the hole is closed if there is one. He was lucky he didn't have 3 interceptions. Got our first points because the receiver made a great catch on a lollipop throw. Give Cozart the ball and give him a chance to proof himself. I don' know why Charlie is so innamored with big, slow QB's, who can't run and are inconsistent passers.

Robert Brock 6 years, 2 months ago

The offense cannot function without blocking. Looks like it is going to be a while...

Kent Kossoy 6 years, 2 months ago

Just sad. 2007 gave a taste that an exciting football team could exist at KU. But that is a century ago. Another year, then another coach?? Find it frustrating to know that the assistants of Mangino are ALL involved in winning programs. The University spent the money. Start winning or give up football. We have become the KSU and Northwestern of football now. I have to listen to fans of Texas, T A&M, Houston and even Rice brag about football. Yes, Rice. Remember THOSE loses!! Just sad.

Chris Bailey 6 years, 2 months ago

"We’ve got four games (left), and despite everything else, we have to go 4-0 to make a bowl game,” said Heaps. “A bowl game is still possible for us, so we'll come back to work and continue to work hard.”

REALLY??????? Jake Heaps take a listen to this! You've gotta learn how to play an entire football game before you can spew statements like bowl game. Come on! We are going to be fortunate if we win 1 more game this season. If we make a bowl game then Heaps along with the offensive line are going to have to do a complete 180 from what we've seen so far.

Matt, I know you report what is said but I can't imagine when he made this statement your jaw remained closed. We play OSU next week, there no less. Need I remind the team that that OSU team just torched Texas Tech whom we lost to 54-16. We have ZERO chance to win next week. We have ZERO chance of making a BOWL game! ZERO!!!! I'm all for being optimistic but this may be one of the most stupid statements I've heard. This is things other teams laugh at us for saying. The only team that on paper we can compete with is ISU and I'm betting they will be favored to win. Why? Because our QB, WR and LINE are terrible. I feel sorry for the guys that are playing watching this ineptness. Please get us some lineman, WR's, a JUCO QB (one that is good) and then fill in where needed.

All summer I had to read about predictions from people about 5 to 7 wins. I kept saying stop with the predictions and once again we find ourselves looking up from the bottom of the Heaps. Another failed, former 5 star QB. We need a dual threat QB not a pocket passer. We had no business predicting anything more than 3 wins, all non-conference. I know Matt you said you wouldn't have been surprised with anything from 2 to 5 or 6. I could have seen that as well assuming the offense would take a step forward not two back.

I really have no idea why our receivers can't catch. One of the biggest mysteries is McCay. We now know why OU let him go. If I were him it would make me want to become better just based off of my subpar year. His play is inexcusable and terrible. So few of our receivers can get open.

Do we really think Harwell will be an upgrade? Thus far nothing on that side of the ball has panned out. I'm sure he is questioning his choice to transfer to KU.

I want us to win as much as every other KU fan but I'm also not going to sit hear quietly and say the team is great when it's not. How did we improve the defense so much and the offense has regressed?? It's baffling to me.

Sorry for the rant I almost feel like JayBate!

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 2 months ago

Would you rather have a person representing KU football as a team captain publicly say they're the worst team ever and has no hope of beating anybody?

Personally, I'm very happy with Heaps publicly saying they're still going after a bowl berth since it's still technically possible. Let me be very clear and say that I am not happy with the product the offense is putting on the field, but there is nothing to indicate the players aren't giving max effort which all the players can do. Jake Heaps has carried himself very well off the field and has done everything off the field one would expect a team captain to do.

Chris Bailey 6 years, 2 months ago

No but why say something that has absolutely no chance of happening?? Say we're going to keep working hard and getting better every week. Say that. Saying we're going to a bowl game is stupid. It's so unrealistic. This offense has shown nothing, not even in the first two games, to make anyone believe they're going to be competitive.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 2 months ago

If you're a player in the locker room, why would you have any other mentality except that you're going to go out and win every game you play? The second a player doesn't have that mentality going into a game is the second that player needs to stop playing. I'm glad the players still believe they can get to a bowl game because that mentality is something that's been missing at KU for the past few years.

Dennis Kalivoda 6 years, 2 months ago

I said all a long that Heaps is not a quarterback and I still stand by it today. Charley is turning into another Turner. One more year should do it gang.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 2 months ago

Why wait? Let's fire him now and get Greg Schiano.

Robert Brown 6 years, 2 months ago

I am now of the school that we have to let the season play out to judge the progress of the team. I watched the game yesterday and nothing about the game gave me any feeling that KU could pull this off. Maybe it was the quality of the broadcast but both teams seemed to lack energy.

I know everyone points to the last three games as a measuring stick. KSU appears to be getting better (unlike KU), WV will be fighting for a bowl, so maybe ISU is the possible conference win. I do hope that if we edge a 1-11 Iowa State team that people will view this as a major positive step change in progress of this team.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 2 months ago

The problem with that is, though, is that we have to go to Jack Trice Stadium for that game. We lost the last two times we went up to Ames, and we can't win on the road. I don't see how we beat ISU in their house.

Randy Bombardier 6 years, 2 months ago

Guys, please stop blaming the players. Maybe it was Brady that made Weis instead of Weis making Brady et al. Great coaches make ordinary players look extraordinary. Clearly we are not getting that. Instead we are getting good players who are being made to look bad. It is either we have really bad coaches or we have huge gameplan leaks and/or some internal undermining of the program. Pick one, but it us not simply the players.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 2 months ago

Bull crap. The coaching is subpar in areas, but KU simply does not have the talent that other teams in the Big 12 have. There might be individuals like Ben Heeney or James Sims that are good enough to start on pretty much any other team in the Big 12, but how many others are there on KU's roster? There might be 3 or 4 others, but the vast majority of KU's starters are not good enough to start for any good team in the Big 12. Unlike basketball, one good player does not make a significant difference in football unless there are other good players on the team and KU simply doesn't have enough good players relative to the level of competition they play to win on a regular basis.

Robert Brown 6 years, 2 months ago

I am still of the believe that Mike Leach, Art Briles, Mike Gundy or Bill Snyder would have figured out a way to make this group of players more competitive on offense. I guarantee they would have better utilized our last two 5 star QBs.

Joe Ross 6 years, 2 months ago

Robert, none of those coaches were available and/or inclined to come to Kansas, so your point is moot. It's not just a question of what a coach could do, but which coaches we could actually GET. Turner needed to go. Not only was the team losing, but he was clueless that the team was bad. Week in and week out of lopsided losses, he'd begin press conferences with how good the coaching staff was. That didn't square with fans or the AD who wanted to hear nothing about the experience of the coaches when we were getting mopped up on the field. When asked specific questions, Gill would not answer with anything specific. "We gotta make plays", and things of that nature. Weis at least addresses the problem areas. I don't think Weis is the greatest coach, but he could do more if he had greater talent. The players aren't the best, but they could be better with tougher coaching and emphasis on fundamentals. At Kansas, we can attract neither the best coaches nor the best players (Perkins never should have looked that gifthorse named "Mangino" in the mouth). I feel your frustration and your pain. It's no fun on Saturdays. But it is what it is, and all we can do is hope that next year, experience and the performance of players who didn't get to play this year will help. Sprinkle in a recruit or two, and that may give us something to be excited about. Zenger is doing all he can do, I'm sure. We're just not a good team.

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