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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Keegan

Tom Keegan: Baylor game arrives at perfect time for Kansas

Kansas defensive tackle Daniel Wise catches a break during practice on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017 at the grass fields adjacent to Hoglund Ballpark.

Kansas defensive tackle Daniel Wise catches a break during practice on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017 at the grass fields adjacent to Hoglund Ballpark.

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Baylor, the best shot for Kansas to win a Big 12 game, arrives at the perfect time on the schedule for the Jayhawks.

Think about it: At what other point has the offense had this much cause for optimism in Big 12 play with Mesa Ribordy back at center and quarterback Carter Stanley coming off a 418-yard day in his first 2017 start?

Ditto for the defense, a blend of veteran playmakers and young players making fewer mistakes each week as they gain experience and the game begins to slow down for them.

Mix in the wounded pride at initially being pegged as a double-digit underdog, which should give KU the emotional edge. Then consider that the home crowd might be larger than anticipated, given that Kansas was competitive in a 30-20 loss in Memorial Stadium and Saturday’s forecast calls for a high of 65 degrees.

Baylor’s status as road favorite is based on the Bears staying close in more conference games than KU. Baylor lost to Oklahoma by eight points, West Virginia by two points and Kansas State by 13. KU’s lone Big 12 margin of defeat smaller than 22 points came vs. K-State.

But the spread, which opened at 10 points and at last check shrunk to eight, doesn’t take into account the experience advantage Kansas has on Baylor. Typically, KU is on the short end of the experience comparison. Not this week. Baylor has played 17 true freshmen and 10 of them have made at least one start.

None of those freshmen have experienced winning in college. Nearly all of KU’s players were in uniform a year ago when the Jayhawks stormed from behind to score the school’s first victory against Texas since 1938.

If it’s close and the crowd makes itself heard, advantage Kansas, especially if the defense is at its disruptive best to aid the secondary in keeping standout sophomore receiver Denzel Mims from going off as he did against Oklahoma (seven receptions, 192 yards, three touchdowns).

“Our defense is finally coming together to where it should have been from the start, but it wasn’t,” junior defensive end Dorance Armstrong said. “Now, we’re getting there and we’re going to keep building from there.”

Armstrong said Tuesday that he felt his ankle, which he sprained Saturday, feels “90 percent” recovered and added that he receives three treatments a day.

Fellow junior defensive tackle Daniel Wise and linebacker Joe Dineen have spent a lot of time in opposing backfields. Dineen leads the Big 12 in tackles per game (99) and, more importantly, tackles for loss (15.5). Wise ranks second in the Big 12 in sacks (5.5) and TFLs (12).

“He’s very explosive, dynamic, great with his hands,” Kansas head coach David Beaty said of Wise. “He’s grown up so much from the first time that we ever met him. He’s turned into a real pro, and he’s turned into the leader. He’s really taken over that leadership role for our football team, which is good to see. … And he cares about KU. That’s one of the things that I love about him most, he truly cares about this university.”

Sophomore safety Mike Lee is coming off his best game and classmate Bryce Torneden has made a loud impact since moving from safety to nickel back.

“He’s doing a lot better, a lot better,” defensive coordinator Clint Bowen said. “The nickel spot is a better fit for him. It eliminates the bigger space issues. That part of it allows him to use his strength, allows us to do more with him. We can blitz him. We can put him in run fits because he’s a well-built kid. He’s a good blitzer. He can come quick and he can change direction and he has an instinct about it. A lot of blitzers, they just get lost. The more reps he gets, the better he’s getting.”

Defensive tackle J.J. Holmes, an explosive athlete for a man his size, has lost 14 pounds and is making bigger contributions.

Josh Ehambe and KeyShaun Simmons have come on in recent weeks.

The secondary hasn’t fared as well and Baylor brings a lot of speed at receiver. That portends trouble, but many of KU’s typical disadvantages don’t apply this week.

Strange as it seems, considering neither team has won a Big 12 game this season, the game has the feel of a highly entertaining one played with a high level of passion and intensity.

“I’m sure they’re fired up,” Wise said of the Bears. “As fired up as we are.”

Too often this decade, suspense hasn’t been in the script for Kansas football. Different story this week. This one feels as if those who sit on their tickets will wish they had not.

Comments

Jeff Coffman 3 weeks, 1 day ago

So is this article about having more experience at losing than Baylor?

Take the over and Baylor by 24.

Ashwin Rao 3 weeks, 1 day ago

It all depends on who the coach puts in as QB... Logic (and performance) would have Stanley there... There is a good likelihood that Coach will put Bender behind center, for whatever reason that he only knows. In any case, I agree... this weekend is the best chance for a victory this year... All the best Jayhawks, #RCJH!

Bryce Landon 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Kansas had better beat Baylor. No excuse not to beat a winless team - even if we are ourselves a 1-win team. If Kansas loses this game, I am done being a KU football fan.

Jeff Coffman 3 weeks, 1 day ago

We are dogs by more than a touchdown at home. Even a winless team appears better than what Beaty has coached.

Bryan Mohr 3 weeks, 1 day ago

"Nearly all of KU’s players stormed from behind to score the school’s first victory against Kansas since 1938." <--- "Texas"

Dale Rogers 3 weeks, 1 day ago

He might also correct the statement saying Dineen has 99 tackles per game.

Matt Gauntt 3 weeks, 1 day ago

If nothing else, a win or a loss will bring some decisions into focus in an otherwise pretty bleak season.

If we lose to Baylor, I am not sure how Zenger and HC Beaty survive. The odds of beating a slightly improved Texas at home, Oklahoma at any location on the planet or No. OKST in their backyard seem rather minuscule. Lose this one, and we will be 1-11 at the end of the season.

Bryson Stricker 3 weeks, 1 day ago

I assure you not a single player in that locker room or a coach on that field or administrator in any building will miss your support Bryce. When's the last time you even went to a game instead of sitting on the internet waiting to complain about what is going on?

Thanks.

Jeff Coffman 3 weeks, 1 day ago

However, fans do miss good football. If the locker room, coach, and administrators don't care that they are losing fans, maybe Bryce has a point.

Bryson Stricker 3 weeks, 1 day ago

I think in terms of actual fanhood, it has increased drastically. A lot of people have given up, don't get me wrong.. but as someone who stays 60 minutes.. I'm sitting near a lot more people than I have the past two years. Supporters are the REAL fans, I hope you are one of them

David Kemp 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Interesting since we are well behind 2015 attendance figures and even with last year and the trend this year is down other than ksu

Bryson Stricker 3 weeks, 1 day ago

I personally think there is a big difference between people there at kickoff (attendance) and people there when the clock hits 0. (die hard supporters).. Those two numbers coincide and have to work together but there are more people who are on the ride or die train right now and are "#Trustingtheprocess" which plays a vital part.. that WVU game would have been won with good fan attendance.. I am certain

David Kemp 3 weeks, 1 day ago

I am certain we may well hit teens attendance for first time in modern history

Ashwin Rao 3 weeks ago

I don't like it when people question each other based on their own "fan" meter... There is no such standard meter in the market. Everyone has their reason for loving a team. People will choose to love/like/hate teams. We need to give them their space.

Dillon Davis 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Tom,

What are your thoughts on Zenger and Beaty's future if we lose on Saturday? And do you think their jobs are safe if we beat winless, bad news Baylor bears?

John Fitzgerald 3 weeks, 1 day ago

I know you asked Tom but I’ve heard around the horn regardless of what happens the rest of the season Beaty and Zenger will be back next year.

Dillon Davis 3 weeks, 1 day ago

That'd be really disappointing. I would not buy season tickets for next year if that's the case. There would be zero enthusiasm going into the season.

Barry Weiss 3 weeks, 1 day ago

why not, I'm sure coach will be talking about us going to a bowl next year....lol

John Brazelton 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Two keys this game are, don't put yourself in the hole score-wise in the 1st quarter and all three phases of the game must finally play together, offense, defense and special teams.

Jeff Coffman 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Week 9 of a 12 week season, we are now hoping that our coach can figure out how all three phases of the game can come together. I can't believe that we expect all of sudden our coach will figure it out.

Jeff Coffman 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Progress is not: 0-12, 2-10, and 2-10.

And although it could be construed that if we were to win against Texas and Baylor this year, I'm still not convinced that a 3-9 would be enough progress and that is a huge stretch if we were to win either of those games.

As tough as the Big XII is, we lost to two non-power conference teams this year and last year. When you can't recruit and coach to beat those teams in the Big XII, you shouldn't be a Big XII coach.

Progress would have been 3-0 heading into the Big XII season, with expectations to win some Big XII games.

Just as a note, Ohio is 7-2 on the season and CMU is 5-4, not stellar teams.

Tim Orel 3 weeks, 1 day ago

About Ohio and CMU, they're also not the dregs of their conference either. Had their only wins been the ones over KU, it would look so much worse.

Bryson Stricker 3 weeks, 1 day ago

I'm going to make a long post here because I think the majority of you deserve to know a lot of facts you aren't being told and a lot of you will actually enjoy the reality that it is KU Football from someone who has experienced being a fan/supporter of a good football program for a long time (Oklahoma) before becoming a KU Student.

Let me address the biggest underlying thing here that all of you KU Fans need to understand. Carter Stanley was not "available" or whatever set of words you want to use because the kid was jumped by a group of frat brothers for standing up for his girlfriend at a bar. Did he handle himself the right way in doing this? Probably not seeing as he is one undersized guy compared to the multitude of guy's he was facing. I can assure you he has learned from this situation however. (Also i'd like to point out nothing happened to these young men who beat the S*** out of our QB.)

Was Peyton Bender going to be the starter anyways? Yeah more than likely. There is no denying that with Peyton's arm that his potential to carry this team is greater... however with the team we have, that potential is not able to be utilized and it is now very apparent Carter Stanley is the Quarterback we need.

In regards to our performance this year and the Beaty/Zenger Era moving forward. I of all people feel your sadness and detriment when it comes to how disappointing this season has been. However, I know realize (mind you hindsight is 20/20) that I had very unrealistic expectations for this team and below this I will explain how I believe us as KU Fans turned a blind eye to where we are at. Let's look at our five best players: Dorance Armstrong, Daniel Wise, Steven Sims Jr, Joe Dineen Jr & Jeremiah Booker.

Dorance, Steven and Jeremiah are David Beaty recruits. Beaty was hired on December 5th of 2014. It is currently November 2nd of 2017.. look how many recruits we have committed to us right now, look how many top recruits in the country are already committed to other schools (over 50% of top 300 is committed).. David Beaty started a MONTH behind today's date three years ago in trying to recruit players to a school that was on a 6 season skid of being absolutely trash. Being a month behind and trying to recruit for the worst power 5 program in the country, he was able to land a potential first round pick and two receivers who could potentially have great NFL careers.

Jeff Coffman 3 weeks, 1 day ago

So at Oklahoma the football players are bigger than frat boys?

Peyton Bender was going to be the starter because he has more talent, but coaching wouldn't help either player succeed?

Because we expect a lot, we aren't allowed to be upset at those that are not leading our football program through a successful plan?

All of the five players you named have regressed from last year, and according to Beaty the "Sophomore" slump is expected.

Bryson, there are coaches left and right doing more than Beaty is doing at KU. He is consistently losing to non-Power 5 conference teams. He is barely competing against FBS DII Teams, and he has one competitive game a year against a Big XII team with 1 win out of 22 games in the Big XII. And our hope is that somehow we can beat a team that hasn't won a game yet this year...oh take it one step further, we are hoping that our team can beat a team that lost to our coach that was horrible that we fired 5 years ago.

Bryson Stricker 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Joe Dineen is analytically and statistically the best LB in the country right now. Dorance and Daniel are way more successful in beating OLine's compared to last year, but teams are more prepared for them and our secondary is MILES worse than it has ever been not even giving them time to get to the QB..

I didn't say you couldn't be upset. There's every reason to. I bet $1k that we would beat the vegas line of 2.5 wins. I'm more than upset.

THERE ARE A TON OF COACHES doing better than David Beaty. Those coaches also arent buried in the hole that Beaty is and a lot of the rebuilding coaches will leave off for better schools and leave the school in ruins. (wait to see what comes of post Matt Campbell ISU). We weren't in a position to get a GREAT HC after Charlie Weis. That doesn't fall on Beaty.

David Kemp 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Biggest problem with Dineen is when he misses a tackle the opponents generally get a huge gain or score a td

Chandler Accipiter 3 weeks, 1 day ago

I would say the biggest problem with Dineen is that he gets too many attempts to make tackles. They should make a separate stat like tackles per play ran,because KU's defense is arguably on the field way more than any other D in college football.

Bryson Stricker 3 weeks ago

Did some statistical research. Joe Dineen makes about 19% of our tackles. He averages about 12 a game and we have about 62 DEFENSIVE tackle opportunities per game. This is a little bit above average in terms of opportunities per game nationally but we are on the higher end in terms of Big 12 defenses with only Texas and Baylor being above 60.

Barry Weiss 3 weeks, 1 day ago

I am curious what progress you see this year by Beaty and this team. In addition, what reason do you give for Beatty hyping this team to be in a bowl and then losing those to FCS games and I'm sure not winning a single conference game this year. Please get back on point of Beaty not progressing as a coach.

Bryson Stricker 3 weeks, 1 day ago

When evaluating the talent we have on this year's team, everyone is quick to say that this is David Beaty's third recruiting class. No my fellow fans, it is not. It is his second recruiting class plus a scavenge effort he put together to evaluate hidden gems and beg kids to come here to play early. On top of this, a majority of our team are Juniors and Sophomores. We have some REALLY good players and I think we all know this. If David Beaty wasn't handed the worst program of all time, arguably every player on our starting 22 besides Dorance (and he possibly would be as well) would be a Redshirt version of the year they are now giving them at least one more year of eligibility for the talent they have to develop. Sims, Booker, Dorance, Hakeem, Mike Lee, Torneden, Loneker, Ogbebor, Bean are all players that could play on some pretty decent teams but would have ALL redshirted a year for development that we cannot afford to give them.

Our team this year has had lowest of low's arguably in the Beaty era just because of how much hype Beaty put into this year and into the program but I don't think you can fault the guy. Any coach going into this situation in my opinion would have given up on us before we gave up on him and you cannot fault the guy for having eternal optimism. EVERY Football game we play (except for this upcoming Baylor game) is against a team that has been preparing for this game internally and externally for 5-6 years in terms of recruiting efforts, coaching experience and player experience yet we go into all of them with a natural disadvantage. Do we have the best positional coaches? Hell no. Do we have the best head coach? Hell no. But we have a guy who would run through a wall for this university. (which plenty of you people on this messaging board never attended). He also has players that would run through a wall for him and that is a huge part of the rebuilding of a program.

I know a lot of us would have preferred for us to be more successful by this time in rebuilding. But you can only do that one way. By hiring a big name coach. The only BIG name head coach we had come across Sheahon Zenger's desk was Jim Harbaugh who we all knew would run for the Michigan job given the opportunity. You can thank our previous AD for not already having that man as our HC. In my opinion, Zenger hired the best man he could for the job that we had to offer and all of you who donated towards the "Fire Zenger" Banner are IGNORANT and have decided not to recognize that. Do I think David Beaty can make Kansas a National Champion? No. But I know he can rebuild this program and he has already done so many intangibles that the only thing left is the results on the field which will come.

I've seen almost every person on this messaging board jump on the few players who get in trouble whether it is basketball or football every year. WE BARELY HAVE ANY PROBLEMS. We have great young men who want to represent a GREAT university.

Bryson Stricker 3 weeks, 1 day ago

In regards to the "Fire Zenger" Banner. I am not opposed to the fans doing it. I am a firm believer that you have to have you voice heard but I am also a firm believer that us as fans have a role to play in the success of our football program and not enough of us are playing it. I had to watch Sheahon Zenger walk past my porch with that banner flying over my house. I watched him look up at it, shake his head and look down and keep walking. It made me think, what if someone did that to ANY of you at your job because one of your customers, or clients weren't happy with something? It would make you feel awful I assure you of that.

Back to the fans doing their part. I honestly don't know any of you. Just from years of reading, I know a few of you feel the same way I do in terms of KU Football and we are a key and vital part of rebuilding this program. In the five years since I have become a KU Student and thus KU Fan. I have not missed a minute of a home football game. All 60 minutes, rain, snow or hail. Down 1, Down 60 or the occasional up 7. Those players are 18-23 year olds that have the same emotions we do. As a former athlete, I know what it would feel like to put on a jersey and come out to risk your body and life for a school that wouldn't support you. I tell these guys every time I see them that I will support them until the day I die (or they kill me from constant disappointment :P). I owe it to them as a fan to support them, regardless of how I feel about their constant result. You are allowed to be pessimistic, you are allowed to yell @ coaches and players. But you can't be the fan who leaves early or watches at home every week and then complain on here. We have A LOT to learn from Iowa State fans in regards to their constant support. I've always said that I don't think KU fans could even deal with an average basketball season. I am willing to bet a lot that AFH would barely be full if at all if we were an average team for a season (which will come EVENTUALLY.. look @ Duke, Kentucky etc..)

A lot of you won't read this, I don't care at all tbh. But to the John Fitzgerald's, Matt Gauntt's as well as countless other fans that leave every post wanting the best and EXPRESSING the best for this program. WE will be the fans who will have the warm fuzzy feeling inside when this program has turned around. I assure you David Beaty will remember us.

Thank You,

(PS, put me on the damn KU Sports Hour Podcast.. I have a lot of knowledge inside and out of the program :) )

Titus Canby 3 weeks, 1 day ago

I agree with Dale, well stated. Thank you, Bryson. You're a true fan.

John Fitzgerald 3 weeks, 1 day ago

You make a lot of good points, Bryson. And every May I start getting the warm and fuzzy's because I know KU Football is around the corner. I don't care how bad we're supposed to be, there's still that glimmer of hope that things will click and we'll start being competitive. Unfortunately for the past 8 years, especially the last 5, I've been let down. But, no matter what I'll still be out there supporting the team because I love KU Football and I know they need it. Earlier in the year I was a big Beaty supporter, but as the year progressed and the team didn't, I've changed my tone. And to be honest, I don't know what will fix this program. Maybe Beaty makes a huge stride next year and we see a different team. But there's also a chance we go 0-12. At the end of the day, I just want to see the team I love go out and be competitive so I can be proud of them instead of being embarrassed and mocked around the college football world. As fans, we have no control over the football program other than choosing whether to go to the games, which I think is what frustrates us the most as we want to do everything we can to fix the program. And by me not going to the games, it won't change the product on the field. So regardless of what happens I'm just going to have faith and then hope that one day glory will show it's beautiful face to this program once again.

Bryan Mohr 3 weeks, 1 day ago

"I owe it to them as a fan to support them, regardless of how I feel about their constant result." Actually... no.

Do you attend every home soccer match? Baseball? Softball? Golf tournament? Swimming? Volleyball? Women's BB? Tennis? Track & Field? Bowling? Chess? Debate? Art show? Music performance? Theatrical performance? No you don't. Are those KU students less deserving of your attendance? Aren't they all 18-23 year olds that have the same emotions as you? So please spare us the "I'm a super fan, and you should be too" lecture.

The football players chose to play for Kansas instead of other schools. The players are getting their college education paid for (On average, University of Kansas gave male athletes $15,153 in sports related student aid). The players aren't owed anything.

Beaty will make in 1 year's salary the equivalent to what a Kansas elementary school teacher will make in 32 years. Beaty took a big-time job with a big-time salary and he's not producing. People are treating Beaty and the football team like a charity case. Please stop.

It's time to "start sawin' wood" instead of cuddling barren trees.

Al Martin 2 weeks, 6 days ago

So you've been a KU football fan for five years? Sorry, not impressed. Try 50 and see what your attitude is. You've barely followed half of the current godawful streak of futility, and believe me, this one, while worse than most, is just one of many.

Brett McCabe 3 weeks, 1 day ago

If ever someone encapsulated the loser or victim mentality, it's Bryson in his post. So many excuses, that it took about a thousand words to cover them all. And of course, then blame the fans because they aren't supporting a program that doesn't support them.

If Girod thinks he can keep Beaty after a 1-11 season, he is grossly underestimating the amount of anger and frustration that exists among KU football fans. I am surrounded, at every home game, by a bunch of loyal but exasperated fans. If Girod has the arrogance to listen only to people like Bryson, then you can mark this as the tipping point for KU football, where we officially jumped the shark.

Beaty was probably the worst-possible hire for the KU job. He's failed miserably, the program is not progressing and "loyal" KU fans would prefer results rather than excuses.

Bryson Stricker 3 weeks ago

I get the feeling that we sit next to the same "loyal and exasperated" fans at KU games.

Like I stated, we have every right to be pissed off and want change. But we also have to realize that at the same time completely rebuilding a program from the inside out is not an easy thing to do.

I never stated that I think Beaty is the future of this program or will take us to the heights I want us to go to. But he is doing a tremendous job in terms of turning our program around internally, getting our players in the right spot mentally and doing a tremendous job recruiting for how god damn trash we are.

I don't know who you think we should have hired when we hired Beaty, but I get the feeling you don't watch CFB outside of KU if you think that another hire that would be better than Beaty would still be here. Good turn around coaches would use us as a halfway house and leave and the same exact spiral would happen.

We were destined for this failure the day we told Jim Harbaugh he couldn't coach his bowl game. Simple as that.

David Kemp 3 weeks ago

Better to have loved and lost than never loved at all!

Dillon Davis 3 weeks ago

We have 10 players committed, ranked 64 according to rivals. Only 3 are from the state of Kansas. Several have decommitted over the past couple months and you know it's any day now when our big boys from Louisiana decommit.

Ashwin Rao 3 weeks ago

I hear Bryson, and bet I won't be too off the mark if I call him a very good defense attorney in real life. I like his storytelling ability, and his ability to sway minds... but the fact of the matter is the final numbers are the ones that determine how successful a coach is (even Coach admits it while describing Stanley's chances of starting next! :) ), so let numbers determine his fate, instead of excuses....

Ashwin Rao 3 weeks ago

BTW: Thanks for the background on Stanley and his experience in the bar... that explains his broken hand earlier in the season. I actually like him more for that, for standing up for his GF, instead of being a wuss and running away.

Bryson Stricker 3 weeks ago

Insurance Sales :P.. not too far off though haha.

Austin Lopez 3 weeks ago

Well let's talk about the Kansas football program. David Beaty put all this on himself, Us Kansas fans wasn't going around hyping Kansas football team up to go to a bowl game, David Beaty was the one telling HS recruits and his own players that they could go to a bowl game, any smart Kansas fan knew we wasn't going to no bowl game this year. My beef started with Clint Bowen the defensive coordinator, Have you seen how bad the defense has looked this year? Clint Bowen career has been on life support for some years now, all some of us wanted was a new DC that actually knows what they are doing. All of this falls on David Beaty. How many guys are committed 10? How many kids have de-committed this year? around 8? How many games have you watched when the team has played with pride? I seen the team giving up in the first half on some games, what happened to playing hard until the end? All of this falls on David Beaty, which is why so many of us want him gone.

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