Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Weis, Jayhawks well-aware of Big 12 loss streak

Kansas running back James Sims moves toward the goalline against Colorado during the first quarter, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010 at Kivisto Field.

Kansas running back James Sims moves toward the goalline against Colorado during the first quarter, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010 at Kivisto Field.


The numbers are staggering and Kansas University coach Charlie Weis is not hiding from them.

By the time Saturday’s 11 a.m. kickoff against No. 20 Texas Tech rolls around, 1,063 days will have passed since the KU football team last defeated a Big 12 Conference opponent. Weis opened Tuesday’s meeting with the media with a roll call of the numbers associated with a dreadful drought that has spanned 21 games and four seasons. Going one step further, Weis revealed that the number balloons to 1,455 days if you only count current members of the Big 12. KU topped Iowa State, 41-36, on Oct. 10, 2009, and did not win a conference game again until Nov. 6, 2010, against Colorado.

“Yes, I have those numbers down,” Weis said. “And, at (Tuesday’s practice) that will be one of our main conversation pieces.”

Finding extra motivational tactics is nothing new for Weis and his program, and KU’s second-year coach stressed that confronting the dubious streak was not some sort of punishment for his players.

“You don’t do it as a negative,” Weis said. “You just say, ‘This is where we are. We’re gonna beat somebody. You want to get this out of the way?’ You don’t look at it like, ‘You have to win this week to get this over with.’ But you make them aware of what the issues are. As the program is building, you have these hurdles you have to get over and this would be a good time to get over that hurdle. It’s Homecoming. 11 o’clock. Everybody’s gonna be fired up.”

That includes the Jayhawks themselves, who picked up some momentum from a 13-10 victory against Louisiana Tech two weeks ago and took that into last week’s bye and preparations for unbeaten Texas Tech. Momentum, motivational tactics and wanting to snap a nasty streak count for much without making it happen on the field. But Weis said he was more pleased with his team’s mindset heading into Big 12 play this year as opposed to last year.

“I think our players are expecting to win this week; they’re not hoping to win,” he said. “Now, they might be an eight-touchdown underdog, I couldn’t tell ya. I don’t follow that stuff (Texas Tech is favored by 14 points). But we haven’t played a game this year where our team expected to lose or hoped to win. And that’s part of the psychology involved with starting to win. You have to expect to win, not hope to win. They’re two totally different mentalities.”

Defense ready?

So much of KU’s offseason was spent preparing the defense to be able to handle the faster tempo for which Big 12 offenses are known. And even though the Jayhawks only saw glimpses of the fast-paced style during their three non-conference games, Weis believes his defense is ready for a Texas Tech offense that is averaging 85 snaps (compared with 70 for KU’s offense), 39 points and 520 yards of total offense.

“We’ve practiced a lot, for the defense, snapping it really quick,” Weis said. “We’ll snap it as quick as you can snap it and, if nothing else, I think our own offense is giving our defense an opportunity to have to play on the fly and play at a very fast pace.”

Admire at center

There were a couple of tweaks to KU’s depth chart this week, with the offensive line seeing the biggest change.

After starting at center for the first time in his career, sophomore Dylan Admire has replaced Pat Lewandowski as KU’s first-string center. Lewandowski remains second at the position, but Weis said Admire, though smaller (6-foot-3, 280 pounds vs. 6-5, 295), brings more athleticism.

“That’s an ongoing competition,” Weis said. “That’s not a closed deal. It’s just that, right now, there’s a couple things we’re trying to do and Dylan’s gonna get the first go at it. I could list it as ‘or,’ but Dylan’s gonna start the game.”

The other notable change on the offensive line comes at right tackle, where junior Zach Fondal is back with the first team and Riley Spencer has moved into a backup role at left tackle behind senior Aslam Sterling. Red-shirt freshman Brian Beckmann is pencilled in as Fondal’s back-up.

Other changes

Outside of the offensive line, there were no major changes to this week’s depth chart, but there are a few worth noting: Trent Smiley and Jimmay Mundine remain 1-2 at tight end; senior wide receiver Christian Matthews is back on the list as the second option behind starting Z receiver Tre’ Parmalee; the only change to the defensive depth chart is at Will linebacker, where Samson Faifili and Jake Love now are listed side by side, with only the “or” separating them.

Popular punter

During KU’s bye week, former Kansas City offensive coordinator Weis made a quick trip to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. One of the first people to find him was Chiefs’ all-pro punter Dustin Colquitt.

“The first question Colquitt asked me was, ‘Tell me about your punter,’ because he was worried about losing his job two years from now to this kid,” Weis said of KU junior Trevor Pardula. “He said, ‘Did he really kick a 78 yarder?’ I said, ‘Yeah, the next one was only 65.’ It gets their attention.”


kay_you 8 years ago

The law of averages are on our side. Go Jayhawks!

Rivethead 8 years ago

Yup. You know you're in the sh*tter when you're praying to the law of averages!

Bobby Burch 8 years ago

Good stuff. While I appreciate the coverage, KCStar sports' headline for this story is nearly identical

Joel Teply 8 years ago

If only statistics actually worked that way. For some reason, even the coaches seem to believe it does.

Micky Baker 8 years ago

Well, I do think that KU should be pumped, but they had also not expend all of their energy early. They need to play a full game and be focused on fundamentals, especially our offensive line. If they can open up lanes for the running backs and set up the play action, we'll get some opportunities down the field. But if they are there early, take them and make them pay for it. If they stack the box, we have a guy in Pierson that can get past the second level quickly and hit him in stride with only a safety to stop him and I like Pierson's chances against anyone one on one.

Execution is the name of the game.

Other than that, we're going to have to give Jake chances with high percentage, quick passes. Force them to back off some then we can run it down their throats and they'll have to guess.

Rock Chalk.

Adam McEwen 8 years ago

I think the only real problem this team has is confidence. Athletically, we are pretty sound across the board, and much of football is just having pure athleticism. We are successful and talented at the running back position, largely I believe because running back is the one position where you don't think, you just run for your life. If these guys can get out of their own heads, they will win some big games this year.

nuleafjhawk 8 years ago

"You have to expect to win, not hope to win. They’re two totally different mentalities.”

That's some good stuff, Charlie! It's been a LONG time since our players have bought into that. I believe it makes a big difference and I hope they get that soon.

Mick McGuire 8 years ago

Or, as L.T. once said..."Just play baby, just play the game."

Jonathan Allison 8 years ago

I'm glad to hear that the team still expects to win.

I no longer expect to win, but I still think that we'll have a chance. I think that out of KSU, ISU, TCU, TTU, WVU, UT, OSU that we'll pick up a couple wins. What makes it tough though to predict is that right now it looks like TCU and ISU might be the weaker opponents, but we play both of them on the road. KSU might be one of the weaker teams in the conference, but I expect they'll play their best game all year against us. WVU looked solid against OSU, but can they take their show on the road?

Theirs just a lot of question marks still out there in the league.

Andy Godwin 8 years ago

“I think our players are expecting to win this week; they’re not hoping to win,” he said."

I expect them to lose, but am hoping for some miraculous improvement on both side of the ball. The musical chairs with the offensive line has negated the only advantage KU had coming into the season, i.e., a stable of very capable running backs. In the Big XII, you can't shut down the high powered offenses so you need to be able to score and with regularity. That has not happened in the 15 games since Weis (the purported offensive genius) took over and has run the offense. Before the season (I again did not drink the pre-season kool-aid) I predicted 3 wins and now am hoping that this modest feat is still achievable. KU was lucky to win against LA Tech and will need things to go their way at least for one week to stop the winless streak in conference play.

Keith Gellar 8 years ago

Who gives a @$#$ abt KU Football. Didn't yall hear- Three top preps to be at Late Night.. Hollaaaaaaaaa!!!

Rivethead 8 years ago

Without KU football, there is no Late Night. KU Football (really Big 12 football tv contracts) pays the bills.

I'll make it really easy for you: no KU football = no KU bball

So I, for one, give a @%#$% about KU football

Keith Gellar 8 years ago

thats an urban old wives tail. perfect example is duke.

we need to stop kidding ourselves and stop trying to make a crappy situation to less crappy. i for one am tired of the embarrassment. all i can say is...THANK GOD FOR KU BBALL...

Ron Prichard 8 years ago

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

Andy Tweedy 8 years ago

Dude, no way! Have you seen some of the stuff that gets posted here?

Keith Gellar 8 years ago

just lke how u responded to my post. must mean you really give a damn about what i have to say or you are the dumbest poster of the year.

Keith Gellar 8 years ago

its called freedom of speech buddy. it the kusports website didn't have links to their football stories on their front page, i wouldn't be here. but they chose to do so and thus, i have to read about this garbage football program.

to the KU website admins- change the layout so that its all basketball oriented and then have a link somewhere to the football team's news. i'm sure 95% of the ppl won't notice

Keith Gellar 8 years ago

wow..are you sure you are not a MU fan coz you sure as hell do sound like one. Go KU, KU rocks, blah blah..yea..we know its your school and you should support it, but tkae of your homer glasses for a bit and use what ever little bit of brain you have to think logically. Any sane, logical, normal person will give you the same asessment as i did. only diff is- you are not sane, nor logial or normal making you a tru MU fan.

Also, when any portion of my tuition goes towards supporting the football program, it does become my business. just like in the real world, if you invest money in stocks and your stocks do good- you are happy and if they do bad, you are not happy. only diff here is- i don't have any way of uninvesting my money this making KU football a scam.

741hawk 8 years ago

Having reviewed the LaTech game, I would rather have Spencer handling the Blind Side than Sterling. I saw Sterling get pancaked in the first quarter. I had never seen a left tackle get completely run over. I was so embarrassed for him I expected to see him jog to the bench and hide.

Robert Brown 8 years ago

Tech is a 17 point favorite. That seems high to me. If I were a betting person, I would take KU and the points.

Lucas Town 8 years ago

For me Tech is a hard team to read. They have not really beat anyone except for TCU and they have been a big disappointment so far. I like that this game is at home and we have had 2 weeks to prepare. It would be amazing if KU would find a way to pull this one out. I do think that this will be a close one. If KU doesn't win, we will all be able to tell that we are about the turn the corner. RCJHGKU!

JayHawkFanToo 8 years ago

How do you figure that? Texas Tech was not even a top 40 pre-season and now they are 4-0, ranked 20th, and a 17 point favorite. If you call this a "big disappointment" then I would surely hope our football teams "disappoints" us in a "big" way.

okjhok 8 years ago

Believe jaykan7 was referring to TCU being a "big disappointment."

KGphoto 8 years ago

Forget about who they’ve beaten. Kingsbury has them right back to the air-raid days of coach psycho pirate. They are for real.

Tony Bandle 8 years ago

I am truly sorry, you all, but, most likely, make it 1064 days and counting.

Someday this streak will end...unfortunately, it will probably not be this weekend. Our Jayhawks are just not there yet. CW is making progress on the mental side of things but the talent side still needs to grow and mature.

We need the O-Line to gel. We need better play calling [an OC to free up Charlie to manage the whole team?]. We need better tackling. We need receivers to hold onto the ball. We need more takeaways. We need to buy into our strength, the running game, and stick with it.

We need more than we can provide in only the fourth game of the season. Frankly, if we hang tough with Tech, I'll consider that a real sign of positive progress.

To expect a victory....well, I hope with all my heart I am dead wrong...but I'm afraid I am probably not.

mikehawk 8 years ago

We have to shorten the games in Big 12 play. Anything we can do to limit three and out. Run the ball, for gosh sake, either huddle or take time at the line of scrimmage. Keep the receivers in front of you and make them go the length. String some first downs together, and we need at least three turnovers this Saturday to have a chance to win. The biggest upgrade this year from last year, including QB, is the kicking game and we need it this week and throughout Big 12 play. A bunch of these teams can hang anywhere from 40 to 70 on you. There is no doubt we are getting better, but these teams are nothing like we've seen so far. They can turn games into 7 on 7 drills. I've watch us and we don't look anything like 7 on 7.

Andy Tweedy 8 years ago

The picture that came with this article makes me so sad!!! I NEVER leave KU games early, save for this one time in 2010! I was just so frustrated with the play and the score at the end of the third quarter that I decided to head start my drive back to Omaha. As I walked to the car, I heard "touchdown Kansas!" As I was driving back by the stadium, I heard "touchdown Kansas!" This went on until I was almost to I-29. I SUCK!!!

Lesson learned though, even if the game does get bad this weekend, Omaha can wait!!!

Tim Orel 8 years ago

Maybe if you left more games, KU wouldn't have this long losing streak. As the commercial says, it's not weird if it works.

machinegun 8 years ago

I wondered why it took so long for Vegas to set the line for this game. Now that it is set at 17 and a half, I realize that the real question was "How much is enough to get the boys to choose Kansas?" Maybe we can kick 6 extra field goals with that running game that a number of you continue to advocate. Time to face reality. We need to pass the ball and pass it often.

The major problem is the offensive line. Grunhard is so busy promoting his former Bishop Miege players that he has failed to do his job. I know that Grunhard is a Notre Dame guy and in Charlie's world that is enough to let him screw up repeatedly. Pass protection is pitiful. At times, it is nonexistent.

Charlie Weis was hired to produce a high scoring, winning program. So far, he has 3 wins against cupcakes and the team is averaging 18-19 points per game. Remember when Charlie said we needed to score more than 30 points to beat Rice? How did that work out?

The great Charlie Weis was supposed to be an offensive genius. Maybe Charlie is a genius but more likely he is just another Notre Dame blowhard believing that he is better than he really is. He recruited two 5-star QBs to run his complex offense. Charlie turned the first one into a rambling wreck before throwing him under the bus. The second is well on his way to the bench if he can't score enough TDs against Texas Tech. This is a must win game for Charlie. This is a must win for the team. Everyone will be at the game including the big time Williams Fund donors. I am praying for rain.

jay_cheese 8 years ago

Oh thank goodness you speak for all WilliamsFund alums do you? I find that personally offensive. Next season already huh...pfft. you still buying the 4 and 5 star BS drivel. Ouch...some of you "alums" aren't as smart or savvy as think you are. har, har.....maybe you can come mow my yard. HMMM HMMM. Still buying Weis's decisive schematic advantage are you. Good luck w that. For the school I'll always hope we win no matter who is coach but I call it like I see it. This coaching is pitiful.

JayHawkFanToo 8 years ago

What exactly did you expect Coach Weis to do? Have at 9-4 record last year and go 11-2 this season? Anyone with even a remote knowledge of college FBall know that you do not turn around a program like KU under Gill in under 5 years.

By the time Coach Weis was hired last year, most every eligible player was already committed and there was little to pick from. Crist was at best a band aid to a shot gun wound. Heaps is good, in fact, very good, but without support personnel he is limited on what he can do.

Donald Rumsfeld famously said: “You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time” The same applies to college football. Unlike the NFL (or Kentucky basketball) you cannot go and buy players to improve your team. You might not know this, but unlike KU BBall, KU FBall is not an elite destination. Coach Weis had done a good job recruiting and trying to field a decent team that he can gradually build. Same thing for coach Grunhard, he has to train the players that he has, and how exactly is he promoting Miege players? None of the Miege players play in the offensive line. McKay has 2 receptions for 12 yards, Parmelee has played in 2 games and is averaging 10 yards per catch and Cozart had not seen the field this season. Again, how is Grunhard promoting Miege players?

If you have not seen progress, then you probably have not watched the teams we used to have under Coach Gill. I would give you 3-1 odds that this year's team beats Gill last team by at least 3 TDs. May be the progress is not to your satisfaction but is undisputable that there has been progress under Coach Weis.

You can always submit your resume to Zenger, maybe he will replace Coach Weis with you and we will see the "machinegun" offense, AKA a balloon full of hot air.

jay_cheese 8 years ago

I remember Gill beating a ranked GT team. I also remember him not beating many more opponents and then getting fired after only 1 true recruiting class. I agree that any football fan knows a coach needs more than 2 yrs (apparently that also means selective enforcement). I'm still waiting for anyone to explain why this coach gets more than 2 yrs w worse results when the last one did not. I am also waiting for anyone to tell me where the money is going to come from to fire Charlie Weis? KU football isn't getting any more new coach money any time soon....not good if you are fond of victories.

jay_cheese 8 years ago

Nice job on the fonts and exclamations...your jr high computer teached would be stoked (but your english teacher would be sobbing). You still don't answer any of my ?'s about why Chuck gets leaway when others didn't. It's ok'll come around eventually as the horrid results continue and you realize who Charile Wies is (answer: A headcoach that hasn't accomplished anything as a headcoach. Big on talk...short on results...throws players under the bus when things don't go blatantly offensive to people in general....2nd thought, maybe he is the right guy for you Ralster). Maybe that's right up your "tell everybody" whats up BS approach. No Colorado for me bro...but nice attempt at labeling. My grass if fine to...but you went a little bit psycho on that one. Speaking of, they aren't going to allow that behavior in the suites you now...har, har. You don't and will never speak for all Williamsmembers or alums no matter how loud you are. You are only making yourself look stupid. crazy is also believing words and not paying attention to the actual action. The word "patience" used in your context is the very definition of hypocrite and that "patience" behavior is exactly why we'll be stuck with Chuck for another 3 yrs. Even better is that Chuck has publically stated he has no plans to be here after 3 more yrs either. Awesome....who's responsible for all of this? Call me whatever you want. Your lack of ability to discuss with those that don't agree is disgraceful. Best of luck

machinegun 8 years ago

We expect Weis to produce a winning program and we expect it now. No need to go any further. Gill got two years for 5 wins. If Weis cannot produce more than 5 in two years he is gone right after the K-State game.

Grunhard can go back to Bishop Miege because he is not much of an offensive line coach.

You and your buddy ralster like to throw darts at those of us who are fed up with losing.

Tim Orel 8 years ago

Unrelated to the article, I was watching the New England vs. Atlanta football game Sunday evening, when introduced Aqib Talib said North Dallas, TX high school for where he was from. Pretty low class for someone who benefitted greatly by his attendance at KU for three years. I don't know the rules for those intros where players say they went to school, maybe they only say where they graduated from, but imo he should say Kansas, not his high school. Considering one of the Falcons said his elementary school, maybe it's up to the player. Just feeling slighted. It's all about me, after all.

741hawk 8 years ago

AGREE. Extremely selfish and immature.

texashawk10 8 years ago

Because he's the only person who's ever done that. Plenty of players say something other than where they went to college.

rockchalk_dpu 8 years ago

Yes, that's annoying and it has happened with other players. I tend to not put much stock into these things since they let Jared Allen get away with whatever he makes up at the time and Terrell Suggs is from "Ball So Hard U".

The important thing is that during the games when they make big plays, the commentators usually make a point to say that these guys are from Kansas. In the Denver game this weekend, when Stephen Johnson had that punt block, scoop and score, they went out fo their way to mention he was from KU. Yes its annoying, no its not worth getting bent out of shape about.

nuleafjhawk 8 years ago

Well, Talib has done fairly well in his athletic endeavors but no one's ever accused him of being smart or classy.

Andrew Horigan 8 years ago

Dustin Colquitt will have a job as long as he has legs, dude is the best punter in the NFL.

John Fitzgerald 8 years ago

Weis will get at least 1 more full year after this one regardless of what happens, and I agree with it 100%. I'm frustrated like everyone else that we're not playing like we expect, but the reality is, who do we bring in that's better than Weis? Zenger reached for Weis and luckily he got him. I don't think many quality coaches are going to come in here if a guy like Charlie, who has a few superbowl rings, couldn't change the program around. I think his only mistake so far is not having an offensive coordinator. But I'm not a coach nor do I have any experience in the matter, so I'm going to have faith he knows what he's doing. If we win 3 games this year, I feel we can win 5 or 6 next year, and that I will be happy with. Some important things to note coming into this game:

1.) We're sitting on a winning record after 3 games.
2.) Our defense is playing very strong. 3.) We've won a close game, and did it with special teams. 4.) We have identified our weaknesses and know how to fix them. 5.) We have momentum.

At this point, I'm optimistic Charlie has a strong game play, it will just come down to execution. RCJH!!

rob4lb 8 years ago

Luckily he got him? Lucky for Weis. This was universally panned as a bad hire at the time by everyone outside of Lawrence.

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