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Monday, November 25, 2013

Keegan

Opinion: Road trips trouble for KU football

Kansas receiver Andrew Turzilli is tossed to the ground by Iowa State defensive back Nigel Tribune after bobbling a pass during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.

Kansas receiver Andrew Turzilli is tossed to the ground by Iowa State defensive back Nigel Tribune after bobbling a pass during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.

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My wife joined me on the road trip to beautiful Boulder. We ate at a delicious steakhouse in Denver with good friends.

I not only was covering a perennial national-title contender in basketball, but a football team that was on a 28-7 tear, including an impressive 9-5 record in games played away from Memorial Stadium in Lawrence.

Finally, Kansas football had turned the corner. Life was beautiful. How lucky was I?

What happened?

The next day, Oct. 17, 2009, during the game at Colorado’s Folsom Field, Kansas University quarterback Todd Reesing suffered a groin strain that would nag him for much of the rest of his senior season, although he played through it without complaining. It greatly diminished his Houdini pocket act. The magic spell Reesing sprinkled on the KU football program vanished and the Jayhawks reverted to form. That’s never a good thing.

Despite Reesing’s 401 passing yards, KU lost, 34-30, to the Buffaloes, the first setback in a streak that now stands at 27 in games played away from Lawrence. For the purpose of this discussion, we’ll call them road games, although three of them were played at neutral Arrowhead Stadium against Missouri.

The last road victory came in the West Texas town of El Paso, where Kansas leveled UTEP, 34-7, Sept. 12, 2009. Has it really been four-and-a-half seasons since that day? Sometimes, it feels like 20, the last few spent Saturday night in Ames, Iowa, where Iowa State picked up its second victory of the season and first in the Big 12.

The next opportunity for a KU road victory comes in Durham, N.C., against Duke, Sept. 13, 2014. The Blue Devils (9-2) have just 11 scholarship seniors and a ton of juniors on this season’s 9-2 team. In a recent 48-30 spanking of Miami (Fla.), Duke rushed the ball 52 times for 358 yards. Just one carry was from a senior and he gained four yards. The two quarterbacks who combined to throw for 185 yards are juniors. All but 24 of the receiving yards were produced by non-seniors. The score won’t be as lopsided as that of Duke graduate Jay Bilas’ Twitter followers vs. follows, 602,757-0, but 10 months out, it doesn’t look good for the Jayhawks.

The rest of KU’s road foes next season, listed in chronological order: West Virginia, Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma, Kansas State. The way things look at the moment, it will take an upset to keep the streak from growing to 33 games.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, or would it be behind ourselves? Anyway, the KU football equipment truck has wheeled into 17 different football stadiums in 11 states and covered 24,780 miles (based on quickest route to each location, per mapquest.com) during this dry spell.

Three different coaches — Mark Mangino (0-5), Turner Gill (0-11) and Charlie Weis (0-11) — have been on the sideline for KU when the home spectators filed out of stadiums in good moods.

Seven different young men have started at quarterback during the active streak: Reesing (0-5), Jordan Webb (0-9), Quinn Mecham (0-2), Dayne Crist (0-3), Michael Cummings (0-3), Jake Heaps (0-4) and Montell Cozart (0-1).

Particularly cruel, the state of Texas, where so many family members and friends of Kansas players show up for games, has been the site of 10 of the 27 legs of the slide. Three of the five margins of defeat of 43 points and greater have come in the Lone Star State. The states of West Virginia, Oklahoma, Georgia and Kansas also played host to KU road losses of 40 points or greater during the embarrassing free-fall.

Not all of the games have been routs, which is why the average score is only 40-15.

At least Kansas plays its final game in Memorial Stadium, where it has gone 9-18 since the road skein started. An upset would make KU 4-3 at home this season. For a better of indicator of how the game might go, consider that the three home losses — to Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Baylor — came by an average score of 49-16.

Are you ready for some football? Hello. Click, click, click. Hello? Can you hear me? Can you hear me now?

Ten of the worst

Kansas football’s 10 largest margins of defeat during its 27-game losing streak in games away from Lawrence:

Date — Opponent (score, margin of defeat) — KU coach

(1) Oct. 29, 2011 — Texas A&M (61-7, 54 points) — Turner Gill

(2) Dec. 1, 2012 — West Virginia (59-10, 49 points) — Charlie Weis

(3) Oct. 2, 2010 — Baylor (55-7, 48 points) — Gill

(4) Oct. 20, 2012 — Oklahoma (52-7, 45 points — Weis

(5) Oct. 29, 2011 — Texas (43-0, 43 points) — Gill

(T6) Sept. 17, 2011 — Georgia Tech (66-24, 42 points) — Gill

(T6) Oct. 8, 2011 — Oklahoma St. (70-28, 42 points) — Gill

(8) Oct. 6, 2012 — Kansas St. (56-16, 40 points) — Weis

(9) Sept. 9, 2013 — Oklahoma St. (42-6, 36 points) — Weis

(10) Nov. 23, 2013 — Iowa St. (34-0, 34 points) — Weis

Comments

Matt Glassman 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Opinion: Gamedays Trouble for KU Football

0

Dan Spurgin 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Headline should read like this:

Football Trouble for KU Football

0

Tony Bandle 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Poor tackling, dropped passes, poor execution, lack of discipline, confusion on the field and on the sideline, etc....I did not see or hear one second of the game nor read one line of the description of the plays but please feel free to correct me if my comments are, in any way, not a description of Saturday's loss.

Kind of scary when you can summarize a KU football loss, sight unseen!!!

1

Doug Cramer 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Every single person that I went to KU with...and remain in contact with...is now on board with firing Weis.

This is a great opportunity for Zenger to just admit that he made a mistake, and start the process of getting this program on the right track.

We all make mistakes...and it takes a man to admit them. Most of the time, you're better off, and become a better if you do admit and accept them.

If Zenger doesn't pull the trigger...he officially puts himself on the hotseat for setting this program back even longer.

Another bad year like this one...its a done deal that Weis is gone.

Well...OK...take a look at the schedule. We're not beating Duke...We might pull one conference home game off if we get lucky...and there is a high chance that we don't win a conference game on the road.

That means 2-10 or 3-9 again for next year.

Just pull the trigger and get us on the right track ASAP. The excitement created from the Mangino years is starting wayne off of this program. Before too long it will be gone.

1

Jim Jackson 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Our best shot it another JUCO heavy class. Sure, it is riskier but at this juncture we need to go with the high- risk high- reward approach. We are not going to be in the running for any 4 star players HS players who will make an immediate impact and that's what we need; immediate impact players.

Obviously, a few did not make it this year (Slater, Martin, Combs) but those issues are ones you will find with HS players as well. Our secondary is much improved with the additions of the JUCOs (Johnson, McDonald, Sendish) and some of the other guys who are currently being RS (Short, Jenkins-Moore, Bolton, Thomas) should be starting next year.

We have anemic in-state talent and a porous record; this approach worked very well with Mangino and Snyder.

Thoughts?

0

Billy Smith 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Why would a recruit want to come somewhere when the fans want to change the coach every 2 years? We have to ride it out. As bad as the program is right now we have to take the lumps. We are Kansas football. Period. Who else would you want to get? There aren't very many "good" coaches that would want to take over this program with the shape it is in. It doesn't happen overnight. I don't want to hear about Turner Gill. Anyone who thinks this years team is comparable to Gill's uncompetitive teams is obviously blind.

0

Robert Brock 4 months, 4 weeks ago

KU football just keeps digging a hole. I don't know how the Jayhawks can recruit any good players if they were aware of our performance in Ames. That was disgusting!

2

David Kemp 4 months, 4 weeks ago

This is a disaster. Failure to motivate team to play last weekend showed team has checked out this year. If k State doesn't put up 60 I will be surprised and maybe a beat down will wake somebody up to make some changes. Can't say that I really see much has changed since TG exit.

1

Bryce Landon 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I notice that none of the "10 worst losses" came in Mangino's final seven games. What does that tell you?

2

Brett McCabe 4 months, 4 weeks ago

The numbers are pretty staggering. The home scores in losses this year pretty much tell the tale of what's going to happen on Saturday. I'll be there with about 15,000 Purple Pussycats watching the final debacle.

If Weis can get this team redirected, refocused and re-energized after that mess in Ames, then I will be incredibly impressed. Will this team quit? If they do, the ramifications could be huge.

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W Keith Swinehart II 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Thanks for the uplifting opinion. But, maybe it's meant to be a challenge??

0

Daniel Kennamore 4 months, 4 weeks ago

The football team has been so awful for ages; wouldn't it be more apt to say 'game days are trouble for KU football'?

1

Jeffery Barrett 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Which is more pathetic, the football team or the commenting, or lack there of, on TK's "opinions"?

3

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