Saturday, November 14, 2015


Tom Keegan: KU football just might have a shot at first win

KU senior Tre' Parmalee (11) gets set for a handoff from quarterback Ryan Willis in the Jayhawks' 23-17 loss to TCU on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Fort Worth, Texas.

KU senior Tre' Parmalee (11) gets set for a handoff from quarterback Ryan Willis in the Jayhawks' 23-17 loss to TCU on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Fort Worth, Texas.


— The gap between telling yourself you can do something and actually believing it can be wider apart than the hands a lying fisherman describing his latest catch.

That’s why if Kansas University had taken its anticipated beating Saturday at the hands of TCU, the words of KU junior linebacker Marcquis Roberts would have been emptier than Allen Iverson’s bank account.

Not the case, though. Kansas stayed in it until the end, keeping TCU’s offense without a touchdown in the first half and losing 23-17 after knocking Heisman Trophy candidate Trevone Boykin out of the game with an ankle injury for the final three quarters.

So when Roberts said what he said, the words hung in the air long enough to approach reality without immediately being shoved into the box labeled “fantasy.”

Winless Kansas was in it until the end against one-loss TCU on the road. Even without Boykin, nobody could have expected that.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach David Beaty on the heartbreak of KU's close call vs. TCU

KU football coach David Beaty on the heartbreak of KU's close call vs. TCU.

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“I feel like we can win these last two games,” Roberts said after the loss. “We’re practicing, preparing and playing to win.”

West Virginia this coming Saturday and Kansas State the following week represent KU’s final two chances for a victory. Both games will be played inside Memorial Stadium.

The defense played with visible passion, including some barking at opponents from Roberts and linebacker Joe Dineen. Damani Mosby, Ben Goodman and Dineen all had sacks. Fish Smithson, who shared leading tackler honors with Roberts with 12, had a huge interception that he returned 22 yards. Defensive ends Mosby and Anthony Olobia, juniors playing Div. 1 football for the first year, had made most of their noise in the way of potential flashing during training camp. They both showed the source of the fuss Saturday in Amon G. Carter Stadium.

Defensive tackle Corey King, senior graduate transfer from Miami, had his best game in a Kansas uniform.

The defense, in retreat most of the season, played with a contagious passion.

“Having fun,” was how Roberts, a graduate transfer from South Carolina, explained it. “I love this game. I love what I do. It’s a blessing that I get to do this. Any time I get out there and get to do it, I try to do it to the best of my ability, fullest I can, all-out every play.”

Roberts missed two years with different injuries at South Carolina and has played through aches and pains at Kansas. He doesn’t take it for granted. He was in the middle of so many big plays during KU’s best effort of the season, none bigger than the play that enabled the score to remain tied, 10-10, at halftime.

TCU coach Gary Patterson decided to go for it on fourth-and-1 at the KU 12. Aaron Green (30 carries for 177 yards) took the handoff and couldn’t get the first down.

“I was mirroring the running back and I knew wherever he went, I had to go, and I had to stop him from getting the first,” Roberts said. “He tried to bounce it outside. We sent the inside pressure, there were no gaps inside and he bounced it right out to me. That was everybody doing their job and it just came right to me. I was excited. I was excited. The whole game, the whole experience was just fun.”

The coaching staff preached all week to the players that they liked a lot about a number of matchups and the players took the bait, even though TCU ranked second in the nation (behind Baylor) with 46.7 points per game and Kansas ranked last with 48.4 points allowed. 

“I believe we came out here with a lot more fire and belief about what we were doing today,” Roberts said. “It’s never good to lose, but I feel like that just showed that we can compete with anybody.”

Roberts pinpointed how Kansas was able to play so well and knows that’s the blueprint for competing in the season’s final two weeks. 

“Our preparation this week was ridiculous,” Roberts said. “We knew we had a chance to win. We knew we wanted to win and we had a belief that we could win. We went out there and left it all on the field.”

It wasn’t good enough and if Kansas is fueled by that and doesn’t lose its edge during the final two weeks of practices, that elusive first David Beaty victory is within reach. If Kansas resorts to letting down in the wake of a near-miss, as has been its pattern in recent years, losing in a pair of blowouts is the most likely finish to the season.

— See what people were saying about the game during’s live coverage.

More news and notes from Kansas at TCU


Dale Rogers 4 years, 3 months ago

Why talk about the possibility of one win this season? Let's go for two!

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 3 months ago

The team has been making progress all year long. If we can win a game, especially vs KSU, it will be considered a successful season because of the steady progress. A good recruiting class won't and continued progress next year may be a solid turning point.

The only thing that bugs me about the team is the play calling, especially on 4th and short in our own territory.

Joe Joseph 4 years, 3 months ago

Considering K-State will most likely be playing for bowl eligibility and that Bill Snyder is still coaching, I give KU zero chance of even keeping that game respectable.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 3 months ago

K-State still hasn't won a conference game, so it could be the exact opposite. Their game next week against ISU is hardly "most likely" a W, so the Sunflower Showdown could be the game to determine last place. And a nudge toward retirement?

Bville Hawk 4 years, 3 months ago

While you may be right about KU having zero chance of keeping the KSU game respectable, you are wrong about them going bowling this year. Wildcats have 3 wins against 6 losses with 2 to play. Retirement might start looking good to Snyder (again).

David Kemp 4 years, 3 months ago

KSU has 3 games left so they are still in the bowl hunt.

Dyrk Dugan 4 years, 3 months ago

No. KSU has three games left; 6-6 could be their final record. But they would need a sweep to do it.

David Williams 4 years, 3 months ago

I read an interesting post on a Texas Longhorns FB website (, after their WVU loss it is reprinted -


Steps to a successful rebuild (must be done in order)

1) Establish Foundation 2) Establish Identity 3) Establish Leaders 4) Establish Confidence 5) Establish Routine

I’d argue that we are on step two right now aren’t even close to getting that accomplished. We haven’t had an identity on offense sense 2009. Step 3 is when you actually start winning games. Can’t expect wins until you can get to the point of establishing leaders. by TexasNightmare210 on Nov 14, 2015 | 7:30 PM reply

For KU, it seems that the program is between Steps two and three. Beaty and staff have established step one since their arrival, and given what we are seeing, it is beginning to impact performance.

Re UT, wondering if Strong sticks around after this season, or gets hired by Miami....

Brett McCabe 4 years, 3 months ago

On the leadership front, I think that there are at least three guys who might be emerging: Roberts, Willis and Dineen. All three bring a little something extra to the table, and none seem to be overwhelmed by the challenge.

With such a young team, I think we'll also start to see others emerge next year. Ideally, you have someone in each position group who can set the tone and create expectations inside the group.

Keep hammerin' Hawks!

Dirk Medema 4 years, 3 months ago

Not sure what they are thinking about "5) Establish Routine" being last. It seems to me that most coaches talk about that being #1 and leads to foundation.

David Kemp 4 years, 3 months ago

Defense has played good enough to win offense hasn't.

Titus Canby 4 years, 3 months ago

I agree, David. Whoever keeps bashing Clint Bowen, please watch Saturday's game.

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