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Texas defeats Kansas, 23-0

  • 3 p.m., Sept. 27, 2014
  • David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, KS

Saturday, September 27, 2014

New look, same old feeling

Jayhawks fail to score in new threads vs. UT

Kansas buck Michael Reynolds shows his frustration as he kneels along side the bench in the final minutes against Texas on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014 at Memorial Stadium. At left is defensive lineman Ben Goodman.

Kansas buck Michael Reynolds shows his frustration as he kneels along side the bench in the final minutes against Texas on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014 at Memorial Stadium. At left is defensive lineman Ben Goodman.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Weis addresses KU's performance in shutout loss to Texas

Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis meets the media Saturday night, following the Jayhawks' 23-0 loss to Texas in the Big 12 opener for both teams.

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TEXAS 23, KANSAS 0

Box score

KEEGAN RATINGS

Heeney brings it (as usual)

So much for the mystique of the red jerseys.

Yeah, the uniforms worn by Kansas on Saturday in front of 36,904 at Memorial Stadium were the modern day crimson chrome uniforms and not the classic reds worn by the Kansas University football team in the glory days of yesteryear. But red is red, a loss is a loss and the 23-0 blow — to the mind, body and soul — delivered by Texas on Saturday had an all-too-familiar ring to it.

Sure, the game featured a couple of positive signs for the home team. But those numbers and accomplishments meant nothing to the Jayhawks, who were charged with trying to explain how the offense laid an egg during the team's second shutout loss in six games, dating back to the final two games of last season.

“Stats are for losers,” KU coach Charlie Weis said after the game that dropped Kansas to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in Big 12 play — and him to 6-22 as the Jayhawks' leader. “There's a lot of stats out there that I could say were positive. The bottom line is, when you lose the turnover ratio like that, you're going to lose most games.”

That might have been the most frustrating part of Saturday's loss for the Jayhawks, who watched sophomore quarterback Montell Cozart throw four interceptions and lost the turnover battle, 4-1. They've seen this movie before. A bunch of times. It has played out so frequently in front of their eyes, in stadiums across the country, that they're starting to get the feeling that it's one of those movies shown on TBS every few months. The ending never changes. The plot remains the same. And it's often pretty tempting to change the channel during the commercials.

“Sometimes, yeah, I feel that way,” senior cornerback JaCorey Shepherd said. “That's just being honest. It's like growing up. You can't keep making the same mistakes. Your parents will only tell you so many times before you have to learn on your own.”

Saturday's loss set up like this.... again: The KU defense plays inspired football from start to finish to try to keep the team in the game. If not for a 24-yard interception return that set up one UT score and a 41-yard punt return that set up another, there's no telling how many points the Kansas defense would've surrendered to the struggling Longhorns.

“It's really frustrating,” said senior linebacker Ben Heeney, who led KU with 10 tackles. “But I'm proud of the way the defense played today and I think if we continue to play like that we can continue to put our team in position to win some games.”

That may have been the case on Saturday had the offense been able to find the end zone. KU's best chance came on its opening drive, when Cozart (12-of-31 passing for 140 yards) drove the Jayhawks to the doorstep of the goal line but tossed his first interception on a tipped ball that was intended for a wide open Justin McCay on a slant pattern. After that drive, Kansas reached the red zone just once more. That, too, produced nothing, as offensive coordinator John Reagan elected to go for a fourth-and-goal on the Jayhawks' second drive of the second half but watched a fade pass to Nigel King fall incomplete. Thirteen plays. Seventy-nine yards. No points.

“We've shown that we can move the ball, no matter what the defense is,” senior receiver Nick Harwell said. “If anything, I'm surprised about the fact that we just have a hard time getting into the end zone.”

Asked if he could pinpoint what was keeping Kansas from breaking the plane, Harwell (5 receptions, 39 yards) admitted to being stumped.

“Our coaches have a lot of confidence in their play-calling and we have a lot of confidence in their play-calling, as well,” he said. “I just can't really say how we aren't able to get the ball in the end zone.”

The how of it all really doesn't matter. The bottom line is that they can't. After exploding for 24 points in the opening quarter of the season, KU has managed just 37 points in the 15 quarters since. That's barely a safety per quarter. And, at this point, it seems like a safety, special teams touchdown or defensive score might be this team's best chance of putting points on the board.

Heeney said that thought was not lost on the defense.

“On the field, when we're huddled up, we just kind of talk to each other and say, 'It's on us, we have to get a turnover, we have to get ourselves back in the game,'” Heeney said. “We just know that we have to continue to play well in order to give us a chance to win.”

Added Shepherd: “We've got a good offense. They draw up a good scheme. But not being able to score points is kind of frustrating, especially knowing the players that we've got out there.”

Weis said after the game that moving on from a loss like this was tougher to do than moving on from something like the 41-3 shellacking at Duke. Two reasons. First, the Duke loss was what Weis called “an embarrassment.” Saturday against Texas, he said, was not. Second, the Jayhawks really believed they could win Saturday's game and snap their 11-game, 76-year losing streak against the Longhorns.

“I know it's tough to imagine, but this is worse than Duke,” Weis said.

So where do the Jayhawks turn now, with nothing but tough Big 12 contests on the horizon and more questions than ever about an offense that seems to be stuck in the mud?

There's only one place, according to Weis.

“What do they get for all the blood, sweat and tears,” he asked. “All I can tell 'em is this is what people that persevere do. They keep pushing, because your only other choice is to quit. And I don't think you saw that out there today.”

Comments

Robert Brock 6 years, 1 month ago

Stop with the squirrelly red uniforms and wear KU blue. Stick with a uniform that is a "KU look." Build something instead of hoping to get lucky.

6 years, 1 month ago

Insanity is doing the same thing (that fails) over and over and expecting a different result. Predictable play calling, poor execution by the QB, lack of short slant and quick hit pass plays. Overall crummy job by the HC, OC and offensive unit. What a giant pile of crepe Weiss and company continues to trot out week after week.... do you see it out there?????? Yes we do and its shameful.

Jack Brooks 6 years, 1 month ago

Note to AD Zenger and Administration for next coaching search: Look for the coach with a PROVEN WINNING RECORD and quit looking for a "big name" or to "make a splash." This concept shouldn't be a difficult one to comprehend. We need SUBSTANCE, not style.

David Kelley-Wood 6 years, 1 month ago

Look for someone who's taken a down and out program and turned it around, building it into a stronger program year after year, instilling pride and excitement, possibly even someone who's gotten screwed over big time at some point in his career despite receiving well-deserved acknowledgement from press and peers. Look within the ranks of Big 12 coaching staffs, beginning the search at Iowa State, and after you find him, hope he's a forgiving person.

Dale Rogers 6 years, 1 month ago

We have some really good, established, proven players in Pierson, Harwell, King and others. So why were they mostly left out of the offense? It sure seems we should be using more than just two guys most of the time.

Jack Brooks, most of the coaches with the qualities you suggest are not interested in going to a program requiring so much work to set the ship afloat. Finding that one who wants the challenge and is also an established winner will be a very difficult task.

As for the QB, what I saw is a guy who perhaps does very, very well in practice where he's not going to get hit but who in game situations is paying too much attention to the potential pressure to see the whole field.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 1 month ago

The guys you mention are all receivers, so the answer is easy - 12-of-31 passing.

The bigger question is with 12-of-31 passing, and that being the norm not the exception, plus RB's averaging 4 and 5 ypc, why are we passing on the majority of our plays?

Bryce Landon 6 years, 1 month ago

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this the first time Kansas has been shut out at home since a 64-0 drubbing by Kansas State in 2002?

FIRE CHARLIE WEIS!

Marc Frey 6 years, 1 month ago

Sorry, Give HCCW his 5 years to get this fixed. I agree that we should be some what better. But 2 and 3 star talent will only get you so far in the Big 12.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 1 month ago

Then what you seem to be saying is accept failure, because we aren't suddenly going to start getting 4*'s.

John Fitzgerald 6 years, 1 month ago

This team is nothing more than a giant space turd.

Ashwin Rao 6 years, 1 month ago

I believe we are proving law of averages wrong!

Just kidding, there is no balance in this team... we need to have some change. Unfortunately, we will have to wait until the end of the season to see the change (hopefully!) I don't have faith in the top two QBs. I do believe that we need to give #3 a change to see what he can do.

Ben Kliewer 6 years, 1 month ago

At some point you have to see what's working and at some point Weiss needs to go with an option-read and have Cozart and Mann keep pounding it out on the ground until the defense proves they can stop it. Good run, good run, good run, bad pass, bad pass, bad pass, punt won't cut it.

Jerry Walker 6 years, 1 month ago

"Weiss needs to go with an option-read and have Cozart and Mann keep pounding it out on the ground"

I'd like to see that as well...except Cozart's judgment on the option-read is as bad as his decisions on passing.

Matt Spitzli 6 years, 1 month ago

I was really impressed with the defense. Clint Bowen knows what he's doing. He may be the only one.

Cora Smith 6 years, 1 month ago

None of these players are John Reagans. He is playing with the players deal him. It will take several years of the new offensive program to show progress. Also, If the O line can not protect a mobile quarterback, imagine the carnage on a pocket passer.

Jerry Walker 6 years, 1 month ago

I'd call that baloney. We have talented playmakers all over the field...Pierson, Harwell, Mundine, Mann and Avery. So far Reagan has failed miserably to overhaul the offense...an offense that is not without weapons.

Jerry Walker 6 years, 1 month ago

It sure looks like Chucks un-offensive genius is more contagious than ebola.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 1 month ago

The biggest priority this offseason as far as on field issues go has to be finding a QB to run the spread offense because KU doesn't have one apparently.

This single most important quality in a QB in the spread is being able to make quickly read the defense to find the hole in the defense on passes or read the key defender on options and zone reads.

Find a JuCo QB who can do this in the offseason and watch the KU offense suddenly look competent next season. This is the strategy Bob Stoops and Mike Leach used at OU when they signed Josh Heupel to run Leach's offense and they won a national title. KU won't win a title with a competent QB, the team would at least be more competitive against all but the elite teams in the Big 12.

Bob Bailey 6 years, 1 month ago

KU has had 3 failures at QB. First threw over the receivers heads. Second always threw behind them. This one doesn't seem to know what he's doing. Lack of talent? Not possible. Lack of coaching!

Weis seems to have given up coaching the QB, but we've still got the one he started with! Reagan should not have been his first choice -- Warriner should have been! He proved his metal with Reese.

The worst judge of coaching at KU is Zenger. And he's a K State guy. Get rid of Z. Hire, Warriner and get rid of Powlus. Do it now, the improvement will show up by season's end.

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