Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Kliff Kingsbury warns Red Raiders not to overlook KU

Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury, left, talks with quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Baylor Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. Baylor won 63-35. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury, left, talks with quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Baylor Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. Baylor won 63-35. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)


Kliff Kingsbury carefully reviewed the video from his next opponent’s most recent outing and Texas Tech’s head football coach said he came away unconvinced Kansas actually is as bad as the score indicated in the Jayhawks’ 36-point loss at Memphis a week and a half ago.

Whether Kingsbury made that claim because he believes it, due to his time working with KU coach David Beaty when they were assistants at Texas A & M, or just in order to avoid giving an opponent extra fuel in the form of inflammatory quotes, the fifth-year Red Raiders coach found himself willing to give KU’s previous defeat an asterisk, pointing to the Jayhawks’ six turnovers.

“I think the last game was, the last game was not a true statement of who they are as a football team,” Kingsbury offered on 1-2 Kansas at his Monday press conference. “… It kind of got out of hand. But Coach Beaty, I know him very well, he does a good job motivating. I thought last year they were more excited to play than us, so they'll be excited for this game.”

Referencing a 30-20 Tech victory in Lawrence in 2015, Kingsbury indicated the Red Raiders’ win, which came down to the final minutes of the fourth quarter, had been discussed leading up to Thursday night’s game in Lubbock, Texas (7:30 kickoff, FOX Sports 1). What’s more, Kingsbury said Tech’s returning players take that showing personally, adding his team played “un-energetic” and poorly on offense.

“The defense played great,” the coach said of a game Texas Tech led 20-0 at halftime. “Offensively, it was a joke. So we have been working hard to try and correct that this year.”

Kingsbury didn’t forget to give KU’s defense credit for the unexpected test, either. Jayhawks safety Fish Smithson led the team with 10 total tackles and added one tackle for loss, a fumble recovery and an interception. Kingsbury said the Kansas defense “wanted it more” in the last meeting between the programs.

“They got after us physically, schematically,” he said. “Coach (Clint) Bowen had a great plan, and so we got outplayed and out-coached. So we have been taking this personal, and I think the players are ready to get out there and see what we can do.”


Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. (46) reaches to force Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes (5) out of bounds during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015 at Memorial Stadium.

Texas Tech junior quarterback Patrick Mahomes II, who threw for 354 yards, one touchdown and one interception at Kansas last season, agreed the players should recall what they considered an unimpressive outing against the Jayhawks. But Mahomes wasn’t ready to say the Red Raiders played down to KU’s level in Lawrence.

“Not necessarily. It was really just them bringing it,” Mahomes told reporters in Lubbock on Monday. “They really wanted to beat us. They really wanted to win that game. They brought it that day. They will bring the same attitude coming in. They're going to be expecting to win. They're going to come in here expecting to beat us, and that's something where we really just got to play our best game every single week.”

Returning to the subject of KU’s numerous turnovers — nine combined in losses to Ohio and Memphis — Kingsbury would like Texas Tech to take advantage of some miscues, too. The Red Raiders’ defense finished last season with 25 takeaways. So far this season, Tech (2-1) has just three — two interceptions and a fumble recovery.

“We haven't got any in the last two games, so we definitely need to try and create some,” Kingsbury said. “But more than anything I talked to our team about (KU getting outscored by a combined 52 points in back-to-back losses), that’s because of those turnovers. Don't look at these scores or look at the wins and losses, because if you turn the ball over that many times, you're not going to win the game. So I don't think it's a true indication of who they are. But, yeah, we would like to get our turnovers since we haven't had any in a couple games.”


Joe Ross 5 years, 3 months ago

Kansas needs a win this week. A loss within 14 points would certainly qualify as that. That would give these guys some inspiration, and probably juice the coaches up too. And please, sweet baby Jesus, let the offensive line show up and have Willis start...if it's not asking too much.

Brett McCabe 5 years, 3 months ago

Years ago, as part of my 3x3's at KU (anyone remember those?), I took 3 courses in Japanese culture and industry. In the mid-80's, it was the Japanese and not the Chinese that were kicking our butts, so it made sense to understand them better. I actually learned a lot in those courses (thank you, liberal arts education) but the thing I most remember from one of the courses on Japanese manufacturing was how they handled transitions in management.

When a new manager came on board, it was his approach to evolve his department, not reinvent it. Their strategy was to assess strengths and build on them. This was in contrast with American businessmen at the time, who would get hired primarily on the idea of changing everything, generating quick turn-arounds and dramatic results.

That long intro brings me to KU football. When Turner Gill was hired, Chuck Woodling called it a pendulum hire; Mangino was bad - Gill was good. We went from a tough guy to a nice guy.

When Weiss was hired, the first thing he did was clean house, only to realize a season later that he had no players, so he immediately started recruiting the same type of bad-character guys that he kicked off the team a year before.

Beaty was hired to replace a low-energy, pro guy with a high-energy, collegiate-appropriate offense guy.

Beaty's inexperience and ego led him down the path of turning his back on his warrior QB, demoting his O.C., reshaping the offense and messing with the depth-chart up to the day of the game (compare this with Bowen's defensive depth-chart, which was fairly stable from game week to game day).

I see posters come on here and whine about the impatience of KU football fans. The real problem? The impatience of the coaches and A.D.'s. None of them have shown the discipline or the thoughtfulness to dig-in and improve the program one brick at a time. Each coach has either been hired to completely change the culture (Gill and Weiss) or to completely change the program (Beaty: rah-rah, air-raid). No one in a position of power has had the good sense to say: how do we build on our strengths now, with a goal of evolving the program over time?

In reviewing our coaching carousel, the question isn't whether Gill would have been successful if given more time by Zenger. The question is, what if we hadn't hired the anti-Mangino in the first place?

The question isn't whether Weiss could have been successful, the question is why did we need a "power surge" in that hire?

I lobbied hard on this site for the hiring of Clint Bowen because I felt that he could build on what we had. Bowen wasn't hired, in large part, because it wouldn't be seen as a dynamic, dramatic move. So, here we are with our second offense in two years, 50% turnover in the coaching staff from year-one to year-two, a new starting quarterback and a depth chart written in the wind.

For the next hire, maybe we should bring in a Japanese HR firm to do the search?

Michael Lorraine 5 years, 3 months ago

A lot of wisdom in what you say. I completely agree with the idea that we have to build this program one brick at a time from the ground up but that takes a commitment from the top and I don’t believe we’ve ever had a chancellor on board with that belief. We’ve only recently had an AD who made football a priority and they don’t usually stick around long enough to see it through. I too was in favor of hiring Bowen. Thought he might experience some growing pains but long term he could build this program and we wouldn’t have to worry about him leaving for a better job which is what I fully expect Beaty to do if he succeeds.

Not that it matters but wasn’t it an American named Edward Deming who helped the Japanese develop the type of management you describe?

Brett McCabe 5 years, 3 months ago

You may be right on Deming - I should probably dust-off some of those old books!

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 3 months ago

Deming became a dear friend of mine in the late 70s, early 80s while I was at duPont. He was our quality consultant that led to today's ISO Standards and Six Sigma. His thing was 'do it right the first time' and Statistical Process Control.

Deming got his start with the US War Department during the WW II period, when he developed the American War Standards and many of the non-destructive testing techniques we use today for pressure vessels. One of this pressure vessels was the B-29, which was produced in Wichita (where BO's mom worked). Deming led the team in 'The Battle of Kansas' in early '44 to get the plane in the air. After the war the US Army Chief of Staff became SOS and implemented the European Recovery Plan. At the same time, similar recovery efforts began in Japan where Deming was sent to help. Japanese manufacturing/management were organized around the techniques used by the WW II war department. Sadly, US manufacturing, which had about 70% of the world's GDP, dropped the quality ball in an effort to produce as much as possible to meet world demand. Deming later took up with Gordon Marshall, Marshall Industries, to turn around the company. Gordon sold the company and donated money to USC for today's Marshall School of Business at USC. There is a lot of US-Japanese history involved with the subject, which we all should be very proud about. HRC, reception of The Marshall Foundation Award constantly talks about implementing similar efforts...sadly she has a ton of unwanted baggage.

Dale Rogers 5 years, 3 months ago

On one hand I read about whining about fans not being patient and on the other hand I read about building one brick at a time. Well, folks, the latter requires time. And that requires patience. If by the end of this season there is not at least some noticeable progress, then that's the time to consider what needs to be done.

David A. Smith 5 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, and it came full circle when the state of Kansas created Kansas Quality Management as a way of improving government systems...based on the Japanese model. I'm with Joe Ross- your assessment is impressive. When will we stop panicking and start building?

David Robinett 5 years, 3 months ago

Brett, I don't think it was Beatty's ego, just his desire 4 progress sooner than later.

John Fitzgerald 5 years, 3 months ago

It would be nice to see us at least put up a fight. Losing by 3 or more touchdowns, which is the likely scenario, would once again be heart wrenching.

Also, to touch a little more on people wanting Beaty fired already, we have to realize he hasn't even been here 2 years. I honestly don't even count his first year as his first actual year, as he wasn't hired until the end of season, which put him way behind schedule on recruiting. I will say, I don't think he should have been hired. He's a great recruiter, but I'm not sure that he's even proved he's a great coordinator. And many of his decisions this year have been questionable at best, especially in regards to the QB and depth chart. But, having said that, he's who Zenger hired and to give him less than 2 years could be catastrophic for the program. I honestly don't think Bowen would even take the position at that point, because his job is much safer as DC. It sucks to say this, because KU football fans have been patient enough, but we have to ride this season out and see what next season brings. The only scenario where I see Beaty being fired is if we get beat by 4 or more touchdowns every game for the rest of the season, he still keeps Cozart as the starter, and we start losing recruits and not picking up any additional quality recruits while other current players start transferring. At that point, we'd have no choice but to let him go. I'm positive that won't happen though. I'm positive that after riding this season out, we'll finally start seeing the improvement we've been waiting for, just as long as he keeps his staff together, keeps recruiting his butt off, keeps the offensive and defensive strategy consistent, and learns to delegate. At the end of the day, we all have the same vision though, and that's seeing KU putting more wins on the table and being competitive.

Randy Bombardier 5 years, 3 months ago

Interesting comments, Brett. Right on target. Impatience by the people who are supposed to be the most patient, reference Hoosiers, one of my favorite movies even though we all know it should have been called Jayhawks.

I too was for Bowen, not at first but I came around. Still think he would be good and stable and that's what we need most. Someone posted Fambrough s win/loss record awhile back for both stints. I think we'd all be happy with that record today and we never got to see what he'd do over a long stretch.

Would love to see someone put in 15 years into the program. We need to be patient. After 15 years maybe we're onky.550. But the next 15 years might be .600 and so forth.

Get someone who bleeds crimson and blue, is driven and passionate, get him what he needs and he will be successful. Stay the course.

Beaty could also still be that guy and I hope we have the sense to let him have at least 5 years. If it doesn't work out I'm all in for Clint Bowen.

Len Shaffer 5 years, 3 months ago

Coachspeak 101: Sure we're playing Little Sisters of the Poor, but they've got that whole charity thing going for them so they're dangerous.

Jeff Coffman 5 years, 3 months ago

Bowen was (and still is) not the solution. 2006 and 2007 he was the co-defensive coordinator, which would be two of our best years 6/6 and 12/1. In 2008 he became the defensive coordinator and we went 8/5 followed by 5/7. Although still good, some let down. He was dismissed when Mangino left.

At Western Kentucky the team he inherited was 0-12, and as the DC he had them at 2-10, left for North Texas. Western Kentucky was 7-5 the next year.

North Texas as the DC was 3-9, he brought them to a respectable 5-7 after 1 year they returned to a 4-8 team. No significant difference.

He was given the reigns as an interim coach and went 1-7.

I like a guy that is committed to Kansas and is all in, but that doesn't mean he is the guy we need.

Len Shaffer 5 years, 3 months ago

Similar to Don Fambrough, who was an awesome person and dedicated Misuse hater but sadly was a lousy coach.

Jacob Zutterman 5 years, 3 months ago

I love playing these big time opponents on national tv. Would like to keep this one within 3 scores. Willis better start or that won't happen. I sure hope they pull it together quick. In the meantime, let's get another Alabama transfer in Blake Barnett ;)

Dirk Medema 5 years, 3 months ago

DrZ didn't hire the anti-Magino. Lew did.

Interesting to hear about not swinging the pendulum in light of all the talk of swinging the axe. Not to mention that we're only 15 games in.

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