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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Keon Stowers: Kansas football will rebound

KU defensive lineman Keon Stowers, top, wraps up Taylor Cox during KU's Spring Game on Saturday, April 13, 2013.

KU defensive lineman Keon Stowers, top, wraps up Taylor Cox during KU's Spring Game on Saturday, April 13, 2013.

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Kansas University junior Keon Stowers has experienced a lot of losses during his first 16 games in a KU uniform. And that makes him somewhat of an expert on critiquing the way a team bounces back from a loss.

Although the Jayhawks (2-2 overall, 0-1 Big 12) had moments last season when they showed they could compete with other Big 12 teams, they also had plenty of times when they suffered beatings like the one Texas Tech delivered a week ago at Memorial Stadium.

With that 54-16 loss being the first heavy blow dealt to the Jayhawks this season, Stowers talked Wednesday about how he saw his team move forward from the embarrassment.

“The biggest difference from last year (is our) mentality,” Stowers said. “How we gonna respond after getting beat by that many points? At home, homecoming, reading the Tweets, reading the comments, how are we gonna respond? Last year we responded by losing another 10 games in a row.”

This year, Stowers does not believe KU will roll over. The biggest reason for his optimism? Leadership.

Bouncing back often is viewed as something that happens during the 2-3 hours a day on the practice field, where the players show they’ve moved on by working hard and getting ready for the next game on the schedule. Stowers said it’s more than that. And he’s willing to put the burden of emphasizing that on the shoulders of KU’s four captains — Stowers, Ben Heeney, James Sims and Jake Heaps.

“Guys were in the tank, and we showed flashes of that Saturday,” Stowers said. “It’s up to (us) to stop that right now. The coaches can only do so much. The coach is not at the dorms, at the lunch room, walking around campus. They’re only here in the (football) building.”

Asked to divulge the best way to go about recovering from a tough day at the office, Stowers pointed to hard work.

“The biggest thing is getting in guys’ heads and seeing where they’re at,” he said. “You’ve basically got two ways you can go: You can point fingers or strap your britches up and keep going.”

TCU’s Fields done

TCU defensive end Devonte Fields, who was named the Big 12’s preseason defensive player of the year, will not play Saturday against Kansas and will miss the rest of the season to have surgery on his injured foot, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Fields, who missed the first two games of 2013 due to a suspension, has played in just two games this season and has been hampered by the foot injury throughout. Last year, Fields recorded 53 tackles, 10 sacks and an interception.

The Star-Telegram reports Fields will seek a medical red shirt.

Offense emulates D

For years, TCU and head coach Gary Patterson have been known for their defense. These days, the Horned Frogs are playing offense with an edge, too.

“The two things I like is that they play physical, and they play hard,”KU coach Charlie Weis said of TCU’s offense. “They’re trying to be balanced, play physical and play hard. Who does that sound like? Who do you know that kind of believes in that? I kind of think along with them.”

Fortunately for the Jayhawks, Weis believes one of his team’s strengths so far this year has been the physical play of its defense. Despite the defense’s strong showing early in the season, Weis said his team needed to bring it this week to have a chance.

“In this game right here, if you’re not physical on both sides of the ball, you’re going to have a tough time,” he said.

Added KU linebacker Ben Heeney: “TCU is more of a line-up-and-play (team). They’re not trying to go hurry-up. They’re trying to line up and see who the more physical, better team is. We match up with these guys better than we did last week against (Texas) Tech.”

Comments

Aaron Paisley 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I think this will be close game. Not necessarily because KU will play all that well, but more because it's two struggling offenses going against two of the better defenses in the Big 12. I'm thinking this will be something like 24-13 TCU or somewhere in that neighborhood.

-texashawk10

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Joe Ross 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I agree with you. An honest assessment of our personnel sees us matching up better with TCU than with other teams remaining on the schedule (except Iowa State). I get tired of people saying that those who are honest are poor fans. No. No, we aren't. It's one thing to be a fan, it's a different thing to evaluate a team. Having TCU on the schedule this week presents the best chance for Kansas to bounce back.

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Doug Cramer 10 months, 3 weeks ago

How do you come to the conclusion that Kansas has one of the better defenses in the Big 12 ? We gave up over 400 yards to La - Tech...and over 500 yards to Tx Tech.

Going to Fort Worth...this won't be close. We lose by at least 3 touchdowns.

Table Rock Jayhawk

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Aaron Paisley 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Two reasons, I've watched other Big 12 teams (ISU is the only one I haven't seen yet) and yards per game is not the primary standard I use to determine how good a defense although that appears to be the case with you. I personally am much more concerned with points per game, red zone defense, and turnovers. An opposing offense can march up and down the field all day long for all I care, but are they getting TD's or FG's in the red zone has a much larger impact on the game. Against Tech, the KU offense repeatedly gave the Tech offense a short field to work with. I believe someone pointed out that Tech only scored 1 TD when they started on their side of the 50. Just based on the other teams I've seen, KU is probably the 4th best defense I've seen in the Big 12 this year.

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Bryce Landon 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm hoping for an upset, and I won't get to see the game on TV, but I'm not holding my breath.

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Keith Gellar 10 months, 3 weeks ago

depends what the definition of "Rebound" is. let be realistic here

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Brett McCabe 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Stowers appears wise beyond his years. The old cliche is right: Adversity reveals character. I think that it's time to choose the guys who are going to play, focus on toughness and perseverance, and create an identity for this team going forward. It's going to be a long hard stretch.

Two more wins this season and no more blowouts would show some real progress in the program. Those aren't easy goals at this point, but they are both attainable.

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Mark Lindrud 10 months, 3 weeks ago

It's good to hear the team is staying positive and we have leaders hungry to turn it around. 60 minutes of intensity and desire. Keep it up guys and be men of character.

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Jonathan Allison 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Stowers has an amazing story and seems to have an innate leadership ability. What a great example of how to "rebound" from adversity.

"Strap yo britches up boys! We ain't done yet."

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Shaun Hardie 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I think we ran into a chainsaw last week in Tech, TCU seems like they could impose their will defensively. KU just needs to put together 48 minutes of great football to pull off the upset this week. They know they can do it and hearing such positive attitudes is encouraging. Rock Chalk!

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Aaron Paisley 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I'd prefer to see 60 minutes of great football. 48 minutes still leaves 12 minutes unaccounted for and that's more than enough for a bad offense to lose.

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Chris Bailey 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm not sold. If we can get the offensive line blocking my tune will change drastically. We are an offensive line away from a bowl game. I know it seems simple but lets face facts we have the talent on offense to play we proved that last year. With last year's oline we're setting at 3-1 and may be favorites going into this game. Only time will tell if the line can get better in a hurry if they don't we don't win another game. If they come together winning two games is highly likely. Hopefully things will resolve.

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Chris Bailey 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Matt Tait! How many fewer comments are being posted now that LJW is requiring us to connect with Facebook?? Looks like many have chosen not to post to me.

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Bill McCollum 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I have no problem with using actual names as it provides accountability and more intelligent posts. I'm not sure of the Facebook lash-up, but the accountability is refreshing. But the issue at hand is rebounding from the Texas Tech game. It's encouraging to see our team's leaders accepting responsibility for preparing for TCU. And yes, I'm still optimistic!

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Chris Bailey 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Agreed. I just noticed a lot less traffic.

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Doug Cramer 10 months, 3 weeks ago

This is another Kool-Aid article...and now we have some folks that are predicting a KU win...or a close game. The KU team has a LONG ways to go before they can compete with anyone in the Big 12. This isn't being negative...just keeping it real.

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Aaron Paisley 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Please tell everybody here where you read someone predict a KU win?

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Terry N Tom Denner 10 months, 3 weeks ago

It would be nice if Charlie would put someone upstairs to call the plays on offense. It just does not work by standing behind the defense and trying to call the shots on the field. This game I feel will be an upset in the last 2 minutes of the game. 24 - 20 KU wins.

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