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TCU defeats Kansas, 27-17

  • 11 a.m., Oct. 12, 2013
  • Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, TX

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Failed plan: KU’s conservative offense not good enough in 27-17 loss to TCU

Kansas receiver Tre' Parmalee (11) watches the scoreboard in the final seconds of Saturday's game against TCU. KU lost, 27-17.

Kansas receiver Tre' Parmalee (11) watches the scoreboard in the final seconds of Saturday's game against TCU. KU lost, 27-17.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Charlie Weis

Kansas coach Charlie Weis talks to reporters after his team's 27-17 loss to TCU on Oct. 12, 2013.

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Box score

KU-TCU

— With his most dynamic offensive weapon standing beside him in street clothes and his offensive line operating with its fourth new lineup of the season, Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis reached a very simple conclusion while drawing up the game plan for Saturday's contest at TCU.

“Going in, I told (punter Trevor) Pardula, 'You're gonna be the most valuable player on offense,'” Weis said. “Because I knew that this was how we were gonna play the game.”

Unfortunately for the Jayhawks, who played without leading receiver Tony Pierson, the second-year head coach was right.

For the second year in a row, the TCU football team did everything it could to help keep KU in the game. And for the fourth straight game, the KU offense's inability to put points on the board left nothing but questions and long faces in the KU locker room following a 27-17 loss which dropped Kansas to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in Big 12 play.

That Pardula — 10 punts for a 46.2-yard average — was the star of this one was no surprise. Weis said after the loss that the plan was for the Jayhawks to play conservatively, keep the game close and hope to get a few turnovers along the way.

“We weren't gonna do what we did last week,” Weis said. “Every week we have to say, 'What gives (us) the best chance to win this game?' They played out the script pretty well.”

Nowhere in that script, however, was an offensive performance that totaled just 198 yards on 60 plays, good (or is that bad?) for an average of 3.3 yards per play. Conservative, sure. But anemic? That's not good enough. And the Jayhawks know that.

“We've gotta be able to have continuity in what we're doing and that's a challenge for every single one of us on this team,” junior quarterback Jake Heaps, who finished 13-of-26 passing for 152 yards, one touchdown and one interception. “When you see guys rotating in and out, there's execution problems and you can't have execution problems. If a guy can't hold up to his end of the bargain then we gotta put someone else in. We've gotta figure out something to get this going.”

There was plenty of rotation in front of the 41,894 fans at Amon G. Carter Stadium on Saturday. But the bigger concern was that it did not really seem to matter. Regardless of who played, when they went in or what the situation was, the KU offense simply could not move the ball with any consistency. The Jayhawks suffered from 14 offensive drives (of 17) that featured four plays or fewer and also failed to capitalize on five TCU turnovers. Only JaCorey Shepherd's pick-six interception return that tied the game at 10 in the second quarter and a muffed punt that led to a 27-yard touchdown throw from Heaps to tight end Jimmay Mundine late in the third quarter put the kind of points on the board that the Jayhawks needed. The other three turnovers, all of which came in TCU territory, produced a field goal, a three-and-out and a 51-yard field goal try that banged off the crossbar and fell backwards.

“I went back to last year's game (a 20-6 home loss to TCU) and said, 'Fellas, this is why we were in last year's game,'” said Weis, citing KU's turnover success in that one. “We needed to win the turnover ratio to give us a chance to win. Without a doubt that was one of the No. 1 priorities.”

After starting the third quarter tied at 10, TCU quickly made it 24-10 just six minutes into the second half. The first score came on the first play of the second half, when wide receiver David Porter caught a seven-yard out from Trevone Boykin and went 75 yards to the end zone right between KU defenders Dexter McDonald and Cassius Sendish.

“That's just unfortunate,” said Weis of the scoring drive that took 13 seconds. “Because (we've) been tackling really good in the open field and you had two guys there. ... They felt worse than anyone.”

On KU's ensuing drive, running back James Sims, who led the Jayhawks in rushing (23-81) and receiving (5-40) coughed up the ball after a 30-yard gain that led to a TCU touchdown seven plays later.

From there, after Mundine's touchdown grab, the KU defense dug in, forced a couple more turnovers, got a bunch more stops and kept giving the ball back to the offense with a chance to tie the game. Seeing those drives go nowhere and start inside the KU 10-yard line was tough for everyone on the KU sideline, but Weis said the offense's struggles were not any more infuriating than anything else.

“I'm frustrated when we lose,” Weis said. “I'm the head coach. I get frustrated with everybody. Do I get frustrated with not scoring points? You betcha. That's just one of the many frustrations I have. But, yes. If you're asking me to answer an obvious, rhetorical question, yes, I am very frustrated with the offense.”

Not having Pierson and losing Andrew Turzilli to injury after a 50-yard reception early in the second quarter certainly did not help KU's offensive flow. But both of those players had been in uniform for the first four weeks of the season and during that time the Jayhawks topped 17 points just once — in the season-opener against South Dakota.

“We went into the game saying we were gonna be conservative,” Weis said. “ ... And I certainly wasn't gonna take a bunch of chances backed up inside our own 10-yard line. In the fourth quarter, one of the major things that happened was we never flipped field position.”

Now, the Jayhawks need to figure out how to flip the on switch for their offense in a hurry or else risk extending an already painful Big 12 losing streak that now sits at 23 games.

“Overall, our offense knows we have to get going,” Heaps said. “We know that we have to get the field position right and help out our defense and keep our defense off the field. We have the ability to make plays. It comes down to execution and we've all just gotta be focused and collectively have a want-to to be the best we can be on every single play.”

Comments

Doug Roberts 11 months, 3 weeks ago

This offense is terrible. It's like we don't have an offensive coordinator or something. C'mon, Charlie!

2

Bill Kackley 11 months, 3 weeks ago

It is time to give up on Heaps, we are never going to win with him as quarterback

0

Brandon Mahon 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Its not even all of heaps fault. With last years line and this years defense we win this game easy. It is to bad that some of our fastest recruits are sitting with redshirts right now. (Thomas, Spencer, Hyman)... Turzilli had a great catch and got hurt and again to blocking. Every time we had a chance to score or get the ball moving Heaps was sacked. This Grunhard needs to get his crap together with this line.... But yes and OC would be nice

1

Aaron Paisley 11 months, 3 weeks ago

One of the biggest issues with the OLine is that players are constantly getting shuffled around. People don't realize how big a deal this is because you don't build continuity and chemistry by trotting out a different line up each. Weis and Grunhard need to get the 5 best linemen they have out there and leave them out there so they can have continuity from game to game and start building chemistry. Personally, I would throw out Spencer at LT, Dent at LG, Howard at C, Fusimalohi at RG, and Lewandowski at RT. It seems like anytime there's a penalty on the OLine, it's either Sterling or Smithburg so I wouldn't put those two out there. Whatever combination, the coaches decide on, they need to leave them alone and let them grow because that's the only way we'll any improvement in the OLine this year.

0

Joe Ross 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Sounds like Jake took no personal responsibility for a ton of bad passes. Yes, the line in bad. But there were times when protection was not an issue at all. They need to practice throwing more. The offense needs to split up. The line needs to be in the classroom learning schemes, on the field drilling technique, and in the weight room getting stronger (since theyre being pushed off the ball into their own backfield). Jake and his receivers need to run routes. This would be good for both the QB and the receivers. Practice timing and throwing location. Then when they get that down, they need to put some of our secondary on em. After practicing that forever, then put the line back in. Live practices. This is ridiculous.

2

Jason Keller 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Not trying to be rude or anything but did you just say that the KU offense needs to practice? Anything else you think will help us win? lol just messing with you man.

0

Joe Ross 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Come on, Jason. We talkin' bout PRACTICE!

1

Bryce Landon 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Good thing I had to work and missed this game.

Memo to HCCW: Please get a real OC on your staff and be content with being HC only. Now I'm starting to see why the fans at Florida were so glad to be rid of you.

4

Casey Osburn 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm in the minority on this, but I feel encouraged.

The Turner Gill years are still fresh in my mind. We lost by 10 points on the road today with a terrible offensive line, our best offensive player and best defensive player injured, and a quarterback who is still trying to find his niche.

Remember how deep the hole we were in 20 months ago. Losing by 10 to a decent TCU team on the road is progress. It's coming...

1

Jack Jones 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I agree. Sure, it's frustrating to watch, listen and read about not winning on Saturdays ~ ask yourself just how frustrating it must be for the players and coaches, who put in the hours of really hard physical and mental preparation week after week. I am as guilty as anyone of probably having an unrealistic expectation level for this team ~ it comes naturally with being a hard-core Jayhawk fan ~ and I suspect the team would be disappointed with us, if it were otherwise. This is just year two ~ and, Casey, you are spot on when you point out where we were. The Big 12 is a tough FB conference ~ top to bottom. We have been/will be the underdog in probably every remaining game on the schedule ( West. VA?) ~ Las Vegas gets it right way more than not. (Although, I did get in their pocket pretty good today). This year's team is giving it their best shot, and have played well at times against good competition. Injuries are obviously much more problematic for us than for virtually any other team on our schedule ~ but better times are ahead ~ keep the faith ~ and keep the expectation level high ~ I'm betting the team/coaches sure are.

0

David A. Smith 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm also encouraged overall. The offense was bad but is getting better slowly. Jake...my man..dude, you gotta stop forcing stuff that ain't there. And stop hitting people too hard up close. And stop throwing behind your receivers bro!

0

Joe Ross 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I am not encouraged. This offense is in shambles. Today's performance (offensively) was on par with teams from the Gill era. The offense is on life support. The difference between this team and those of Turner Gill's was defense.

2

Al Martin 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Yep, pretty much. The o-line is not improving in any way that I can see. In fact, it appears to be regressing. I don't see how we can realistically expect to win again this season.

Oh, and it appears that my name is not showing up in the comment. Before you ask, I have no idea why. It certainly didn't happen by me doing anything clever.

0

Chris Oestreich 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Charlie needs to open up the offense.

0

Carolyn Troupe 11 months, 3 weeks ago

From my view in the stands (no way there were actually 41,000+ in the stands on a very humid day): The OL was worthless on running plays. Sims earned every inch on his own. Last year we had a veteran, consistent line and a great running game. This year, we are switching the line around, and the backs have no holes on plays. Heaps was sacked, yes, but except for the pass to Tuzilli and the TD to Mundine, he consistently threw behind or beyond his receivers (not counting the 2yd completions to backs). Those worthless completions I place to the playcalling. Very tame. Late in the game, KU went for their only 4th down conversion: 1 yd for a 1st, and they run it into the middle. With the lack of success we were having doing that, we could have used a 2yd pass completion at that point - heck, a 2yd anything. I thought our defense did a good job, although you could see that TCU OL was trapping and sealing blocks to open holes that often got good gains. I think our d has improved a lot. OL is down, and I don't think Heaps is much of an improvement over Crist, except that he is smart enough to eat the ball instead of throwing INTs. I haven't given up yet, but I'm disappointed in our OL bigtime from the way things were talked about pre-season.

1

Brett McCabe 11 months, 3 weeks ago

There is reason to keep believing. ISU gave up a ton of yards to TTU yesterday, Baylor looked much more human when playing against a real football team, OU stunk it up and no one really knows what WVU is going to be when it grows up.

There are two winnable games on this schedule. The team has to improve to get them, but it is still possible.

0

Mark Moore 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Good effort and results defense! You guys have kept up your end of the deal. Keep your heads up!

Special teams, your doing your jobs well. Keep up the effort! The kicking game is vastly improved over last year.

Offense, focus on improving and keep sawin' wood! Jake, do whatever it takes to hit your receivers in stride. Don't aim, just throw. So many missed opportunities for yards after the catch.

2

Clarence Haynes 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Conservative offense or inept offense?

1

W Keith Swinehart II 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I see glimmers. We were in it til the end. OL settle in, execute. Return the injured. Keep improving. I'm encouraged.

1

Aaron Paisley 11 months, 3 weeks ago

One thing I can guarantee about the offense. There will be no significant improvement in the OLine if Weis and Grundhard keep changing around the OLine. Pick a group of 5 and stick with them. Until then, there will be no chemistry with the OLine and there will be no chance for any real improvement in the running game or in pass blocking. I think Charlie needs to embrace the fact that this is a major a rebuilding job and it won't be fixed overnight. Identify the 5 best linemen, put them in the lineup, and let them grow together. There will absolutely be some tough times (not any worse than now) as they go through their growing pains, but it will pay dividends in the long run. I am beginning to wonder if Weis has the patience to legitimately rebuild KU because right now it doesn't seem like he has the patience to endure a total rebuild.

0

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