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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

KU hoping to build momentum

Kansas interim head coach Clint Bowen leads the Jayhawks onto the field to take on West Virginia on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014 at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Kansas interim head coach Clint Bowen leads the Jayhawks onto the field to take on West Virginia on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014 at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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The Kansas University football team is headed back into enemy territory this weekend in Lubbock, Texas, where it will look not only to build on last week’s near-upset of No. 16 Oklahoma State, but also to snap a 29-game losing streak away from home.

Don’t expect KU coach Clint Bowen to put much emphasis on the latter part of that tall task prior to Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. kickoff at Texas Tech.

“It’s not that long-term stuff,” said Bowen when asked how he handled the psychology of going back out on the road. “It’s day-to-day. It’s taking care of whatever is six inches in front of your face and getting that part of it done. If you keep doing things right and keep doing them right over and over and over, then usually success follows.”

The Jayhawks (2-4 overall, 0-3 Big 12) are 0-for-2 in road tries this season, with a 41-3 loss at Duke in Week 2 and a significantly more encouraging 33-14 loss at West Virginia two weeks ago already in the books. The Jayhawks are 1-14 all-time against the Red Raiders (2-4, 0-3) but the lone victory came in 2001 in Lubbock — 34-31 in overtime — and the Jayhawks have played at Tech just four times since 2000, with the most recent loss coming in double-overtime in 2012.

None of that, of course, has any bearing on this week’s game. And if Bowen has his way, none of the losses dating back to the 2009 road victory at UTEP will either. From this point on, it’s all about sustaining and growing momentum, whether they’re playing at home or on the road, against a Top 10 team or one at the bottom of the Big 12 standings with them.

“We try to do a lot of things and create energy and enthusiasm,” Bowen said. “When we walk into this meeting room, it’s never quiet. We always have music blaring, videos playing, there is always something going on. We try, with everything we do, to keep it going.

Added offensive coordinator John Reagan: “I think the circle’s tightening. I think these kids believe in each other and they believe that the only way we’re gonna have success is if we stick together no matter what. If that’s part of the goal, then you work toward that. You don’t (worry) about all the other stuff. You work toward winning the block across from you or throwing the pass to your receiver. And when that happens more than it doesn’t, then you start winning.”

Tap the brakes

KU quarterback Michael Cummings and center Joe Gibson made their first starts of the season during last week’s loss to Oklahoma State and both found their names planted at the top of KU’s updated depth chart this week.

While those are the most noticeable personnel changes that Bowen has made since taking over — others have shown up on various special teams units — he doesn’t want to get into a situation where depth chart overhaul becomes the norm.

“From this point on, I think it will probably settle down a little bit and it won’t be as drastic a change,” Bowen said.

McDonald OK

Senior cornerback Dexter McDonald, who missed all but one play of last week’s loss to Oklahoma State, was listed in his normal spot on the KU depth chart and is expected to play Saturday at Texas Tech.

“Yeah, he’s fine,” Bowen said. “Knock on wood, we’re staying pretty healthy.”

Neal to defense

Freshman Derrick Neal, a 5-foot-10, 155-pound slot receiver from Dallas, has spent the past couple of weeks working in the secondary. Bowen said the coaching staff chose to move Neal from offense to defense to give him a better chance of getting on the field.

“(He) wasn’t really factoring in on the offensive side of the ball,” Bowen said. “But he’s a guy that is extremely athletic and quick and fast. He played DB in high school and had some experience with it, so we moved him over there, took a look at him, and he had some pretty natural skills.”

Bowen said it was too early to tell if the position change would be permanent, but defensive backs coach Dave Campo said he’d love to see Neal stay on defense.

“I really like the kid as an athlete,” Bowen said of Neal. “He wasn’t playing, so you gotta get your best guys on the field in some way.”

Comments

Max Ledom 7 years ago

I think it's already time to call off the search. Yes, Clint Bowen is our man. He is the right man for the right time. He's young, athletic, a players coach. And most importantly, he's a pure blooded Jayhawk through and through. He reminds me of Gundy or Urban Meyer. He is the right man. He is the no brainer pick at this point in time. I would take him over anyone. And yes, that includes Jim Harbaugh. This is Clint's time. And honestly, could things get any worse? Judging by Bowen's first two games, the won't and can't. Kansas Football is everything and more to Clint. #WeWantBowen

Ashwin Rao 7 years ago

I agree with you that he hasn't done anything to prove that he is a bad choice. He hasn't done anything to prove that he is a good choice either. We will have to wait until he has a few more games under his belt, under varying circumstances before we call off the posse.

kellerman411 7 years ago

I just hope that he can recruit as a head coach.

Terry N Tom Denner 7 years ago

I agree with you Max, as for Jim Jackson and his thoughts are. REALLY ?? Bowen has been with KU for ever and knows what needs to be done. His OFC has more clout in Texas then David Beaty. Keep Clint Bowen as HEAD COACH PERIOD !!!

Steve Kelly 7 years ago

Hire Clint...a coach we know will stay as long as he's welcome and won't cost us millions to fire like the other failures. I don't think he will fail but it is hopefully something that is being considered.

Michael Lindsey 7 years ago

Forget the win/loss record. The main thing about coaching is recruiting and continuity of the staff. Take the "interim" tag off and name Clint our head coach so our staff can hold onto our verbal commitments we have already.

Jim Jackson 7 years ago

David Beaty is the man for the job. He was just named best recruiter in Dallas by a publication that polled HS coaches in the area and he has coached numerous All Americans (Mike Evans, Briscoe, Meier etc) into he NFL.

Furthermore, in one season as Rice's offensive coordinator, he took an offense ranked in the 100's to a top 50 in 2010.

We desperately need to close the talent gap, Beaty would be an invaluable asset in recruiting and guys love to play for him.

Additionally, there is no way he would accept anything less than the HC position as he is already being rumored for the vacant SMU HC position. Bowen would be retained as Associate HC/ D-Coordinator, no doubt.

Jonathan Allison 7 years ago

all of the campaigning in the comments is pretty funny. It's fun to read though.

Brandon Mahon 7 years ago

willie fritz HC at Georgia southern is interested and is from KC and he also coached at UCM, and Sam Houston State... but I am not a big fan of triple option...

Brandon Mahon 7 years ago

they are actually running the spread from a few highlights that I have seen... I like this more, but I still could be wrong...

Waylon Cook 7 years ago

Fritz would be a hell of a hire. If Bowen wins a couple games he is the man no doubt. If not Fritz could make us a winner as well. As bad off as we seem right now we aren't that far away!

Lloyd Kinnison 7 years ago

What a pleasure to see excitement in the football players and the coaching staff. Keep it up Clint Bowen, and add some wins. Lloyd Kinnison

Randy Bombardier 7 years ago

Totally off subject. Does anyone know whatever happened to James Sims?

DaNeille Dani Davis 6 years, 12 months ago

Okay...I'm going to throw my two cents in for what it's worth (or not)! Remember a time when a no name, assistant coach landed the best gig in the world...head men's basketball coach at the University of Kansas! And look what happened. I think the best thing KU could do for football is hire Clint Bowen as head coach. KU born and bred. Rock Chalk! Clint for HC!

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