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Friday, September 13, 2013

Payback time? Revenge on Jayhawks’ minds

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis and the bench watch a missed field goal attempt by kicker Ron Doherty during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis and the bench watch a missed field goal attempt by kicker Ron Doherty during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.

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Make no mistake about it: The contest against Rice is a revenge game for Kansas University’s football team. But that concept includes more than just getting back at the Owls, who stunned the Jayhawks, 25-24, last season in Lawrence.

Sure, the Kansas players who still feel the sting of last year’s loss would like to dish out a dose of the heartbreak the Owls dropped in their laps during the second game of 2012.

“I think we owe them,” sophomore defensive lineman Ben Goodman said. “And I think this could be the turning point in the season. Last year, we lost a game that was devastating to us and the entire Jayhawk community. And I think this game could be the statement that says this is gonna be the year that KU turns it around.”

Goodman, a Beaumont, Texas, native and one of a handful of Jayhawks who grew up in or around Houston, will be eyeing revenge for a couple of reasons when the Jayhawks take the field at Rice Stadium at 6:30 tonight. During his junior year of high school, Goodman’s West Brook High Bruins lost a playoff game at Rice Stadium, 49-26, to Cinco Ranch High from nearby Katy, Texas.

“We lost there, so I’m going for revenge on Rice and revenge on the stadium,” Goodman said. “I owe two.”

Several of Goodman’s teammates feel the same way. Asked if revenge played a role in this week’s preparation, junior captain Ben Heeney did not hesitate to answer.

“Definitely,” he said, echoing Goodman’s sentiments. “We’ve been talking about that. We owe them one.”

But from the perspective of KU head coach Charlie Weis and the rest of the coaching staff, getting back at Rice (0-1) has very little to do with what the Jayhawks (1-0) hope to accomplish this week.

“I don’t ever use that,” Weis said of the idea of atonement. “I don’t talk about getting revenge from what they did because we were the ones that blew it. They deserved to win because we didn’t close out the game.”

And therein lies the difference in the way KU’s two groups view revenge. The players, who will strap on their helmets and engage in three hours worth of collisions with players from the other side, are fired up to regain the upper hand. The coaches, who map out every detail and hope their athletes can execute the game plan, remain focused on fixing the problems within and improving as a team regardless of the opponent.

“You get 12 games a year,” linebackers coach Clint Bowen said. “If you can’t get excited about each game and play it as hard as you possibly can, you’re probably not the right guy anyway. When you only get 12 shots a year, how can you not get as motivated as possible to play each one of ’em?”

Perhaps the beauty of this week’s match-up for the Jayhawks is that the two views can go hand-in-hand. Few players were able to articulate that as well as quarterback Jake Heaps, who watched helplessly last year as Rice kicker Chris Boswell knocked a 45-yard game-winner through the uprights as time expired and sent the Owls into celebration.

“For us, that’s definitely an image that’s in the backs of our minds,” Heaps said. “It’s not the main factor that we’re going down there to get revenge. We’re going down there to go 2-0, and we’re trying to get this road loss streak out of the way, and it’s just about breaking barriers every week.”

Comments

Adam McEwen 6 years, 6 months ago

I'd like to see Bowen thinking about 13 games a year....

John Fitzgerald 6 years, 6 months ago

I asked a question about revenge for your chat session this morning ... and this article answers the question. Thanks Tait! And hopefully we use revenge as a fuel, but our main fuel should be getting that road losing streak out of the way.

Kit Duncan 6 years, 6 months ago

The Jayhawks main fuel should be winning, period. Home or away should not be played any differently.

Mark Lindrud 6 years, 6 months ago

Redemption is the word. We gave that game away, time to show were getting better as a program.

Al Martin 6 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of revenge motivation. Here's hoping they've got their focus on execution.

But I'll bet that Charlie's got their heads on straight.

nuleafjhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

OK, I'll throw myself to the wolves here. Is there something wrong with me?

The past few days it seems that everyone is psyching themselves up for the game of the century. It's RICE, man. The Rice Owls......all time record of 428-548-32 (.440). For the record, we are 573-579-58 (.498). Not exactly a battle of the Titans here.

I understand that we have been down for a few years and that Rice is improved, but these guys are NOT Alabama. We've talked about the team needing some swagger, the fans need some too. I'm not inferring that we talk crap about everybody like the K-State "Mask" nut, but we should at least have some confidence and hope that we're going to win against a team like Rice.

We have some good athletes on this team. I believe the only way we lose this game is through mental mistakes. If we win the turnovers and penalties, we win this game by at least 10.

Al Martin 6 years, 6 months ago

Forty long years of painful memories gives me an admittedly poor outlook.

BUT... I've got my Jayhawk strapped on and am heading out to Houston. Here's hoping.

Al Martin 6 years, 6 months ago

I don't care who you are, that's funny!

Randy Bombardier 6 years, 6 months ago

The only way we lose this is if we get out-coached. I think Weis knows his bread and butter is the run game and he will showcase that. I think he knows not to get cute this time around. Let me see, second and short. I know, I'll surprise them with a post route. A draw play to Pierson would probably get us just as much yardage. If we are going to pass it I would go for mismatches, not surprise plays. And please, no play action on third and long. In a blitz situation it just slows the release and increases the chance of a fumble.

hawkfansa 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm making the trek over from San Antonio hoping to see a nice contingency of Texas Jayhawk fans. This team played tougher teams on the road last year with less talent. The Texas Tech game could have gone either way. If the Hawks execute the fundamentals and eliminate the mental errors, this should be a W.

Merrill Reese 6 years, 6 months ago

nuleafjhawk, agree that this is not Bama, just Rice. But, I see this as a huge game for us. If we don't win this game, I can see the season going the same way as the past three seasons have turned out. We win, and we can continue to build something. Then next week, the LaTech game becomes huge, as we could go 3-0 in the non con heading into the TTech game. Then that becomes a huge game as we could go 1-0 in conf, and then we can continue to dream. We have put ourselves in the position of considering a game with Rice as a superbowl type win. I know if we win today, I'm going to be as excited with our football program as I've been in several years.

Mark Lindrud 6 years, 6 months ago

If we have revenge on our minds then we have a long season ahead of us. We lost to everyone in conference. Lets just focus on being better and making less mistake than last year and not shoot ourselves in the foot when victory is within our grasp. We do those things this will be a better season and one we can hang our hat on as a step in the right direction.

Mark Lindrud 6 years, 6 months ago

Fair enough, but knowing the games we gave away, there's plenty of motivation throughout the season to NOT repeat last years debacle of a season.

Marc Buehler 6 years, 6 months ago

Leaving Frisco now - Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Dan Pawlowski 6 years, 6 months ago

It's not revenge we're after, it's a reckoning.

machinegun 6 years, 6 months ago

This is a must win game. Call it revenge, call it payback, call it Charlie's validation game. Call it whatever you want, just win.

mikehawk 6 years, 6 months ago

No turnovers, minimal penalties, at least two field goals, and a reasonable balance between passing and running the football, gives us a chance to bring home a road win. That is asking a lot. It would be a win that would mean so much to this program and what The Old Ball Coach and the players are trying to do. Watched some of La Tech and they didn't look too good. However, their starting QB and best running back were out. Could we only dream...3-0. OK, sober up mikehawk. You are getting way ahead of yourself.

Mark Lindrud 6 years, 6 months ago

Bird,

I get what your saying and it is easy to get ahead of ourselves. In some ways the Big 12 is a little down this year. More teams are beatable than years past and if we can go into conference play 3-0 then it's hard not to believe we can't win 3 games in conference. Lets win today and then we can resume this discussion.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 6 months ago

What uniforms are we wearing for this outing?

BayPark 6 years, 6 months ago

I'd like to see the red helmets, white jerseys, red pants.

CHEEZIT 6 years, 6 months ago

They are basically the same team. We are improved at virtually every position. Why should it be close?

chasefooshee 6 years, 6 months ago

anybody have a link to where we can watch the game online?

Michael Luby 6 years, 6 months ago

Well in Bowen's defense you are only guaranteed 12 games. Although a post season appearance from KUFB this year would be great.

jmason 6 years, 6 months ago

Bye bye Charlie,bye bye Charlie, bye bye Charlie, it's time for you to go.

Craig Carr 6 years, 6 months ago

Absolutely awful! Time to join the Big East where football isn't required Will not waste another minute on this garbage!! Recycled qb's, receivers who can't get open or catch and a coach who looks disinterested. We are K-State of the early 80's

rawheadrex 6 years, 6 months ago

I remember in '64 we cheered "Give 'em hell, Jack Mitchell, Give 'em hell, Jack Mitchell!, Aw hell! Give 'em Jack Mitchell!"
Maybe wrong, but seems Gale Sayers returned an opening KO against OU and figured in a late rally that yielded a 15-14 victory in '64.
Long way from those days. Sorry, Charlie. You cannot make chicken salad from the more abundant chicken yard commodity.

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