Monday, October 16, 2017

Beaty: Jayhawks have ‘great opportunity’ in prime time at No. 4 TCU

Loss would tie KU for all-time worst road streak

Kansas head coach David Beaty talks with his players in the huddle during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.

Kansas head coach David Beaty talks with his players in the huddle during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.


In its early years, long-running T.V. variety series Saturday Night Live branded its cast members as “the not ready for prime time players.” Those who follow the Kansas football program closely might say the same of the Jayhawks, particularly after back-to-back debacles — against Texas Tech and at Iowa State.

Third-year head coach David Beaty would disagree.

Asked Monday on the Big 12 media teleconference for his thoughts on KU playing on the road this Saturday — at 7 p.m., on FOX — versus No. 4 TCU, the unfailingly hopeful Beaty called it a “great opportunity.”

“We’ve played really, really good football games with TCU,” Beaty said, citing two losses to the Horned Frogs in his first two seasons on the job. KU lost, 24-23, at home to Gary Patterson’s team a year ago, and even in Beaty’s winless 2015 season, the Jayhawks only lost 23-17 at TCU.

“It’s been a fun rivalry that we’ve kind of created there. A lot of our guys are going home. There’s a lot of people on our football team that live right there in that (Dallas/Fort Worth) area, and I think that always kind of adds to this game,” Beaty said.

Kansas (1-5 overall, 0-3 Big 12) scored 19 points in a blowout loss to Texas Tech coming off a bye week to open October, then produced just 106 yards of offense at ISU while suffering a shutout.

TCU (6-0, 3-0) leads the Big 12 in scoring defense (17.3 points allowed per game) and total defense (336.3 yards).

In program history, Kansas is 5-50-1 all-time versus teams ranked in the top five.

“We obviously know it’s going to be a terrific challenge, because they’re a great football team,” Beaty said. “But, man, you really could not script it any better to be on prime time and having that opportunity to start the back half of our season with these six games that we have left. What a great opportunity to get started right there in Fort Worth.”

In the weeks that follow, KU has back-to-back home games versus Kansas State and Baylor, followed by a road game at Texas, the home finale against Oklahoma and the conclusion of the season at Oklahoma State.

On brink of history

Back before World War II, a team from Gunnison, Colo., called Western State lost 44 consecutive road games from 1926-36.

The streak stands as the worst in college football history. But Western State could have newfound company as soon as this Saturday. Should No. 4 TCU, favored by 37.5 points according to Las Vegas oddsmakers, defeat Kansas, it would bring KU’s run of road losses — from 2009-16 — to 44, as well.

A reporter asked Beaty on the Big 12 call whether this week’s game took on any added pressure, due to the possibility of tying the historic stretch of road futility.

“We absolutely won’t focus on anything like that, as you know,” Beaty responded. “I didn’t even know what you were talking about until you said it. That may upset some people. My focus is on what we can control, which is us.”

The KU coach, whose personal road record stands at 0-13, reiterated his players are looking forward to the big stage.

“We felt like we let one get away against these guys last year,” Beaty said. “They beat us, 24-23. We missed three field goals going down the stretch that may have helped us win it. Man, we’ve been looking forward to this game for a long time. I know our guys are excited about it.”

The 43-game run of road failures itself, he added, has nothing to do with how current KU players view each road game.

“Like I said a couple weeks ago, most of these kids, they have no idea about this streak. They don’t hear much of it,” Beaty said. “But I think it’s something that gets talked about, and I understand it. But from our kids’ standpoint, the streak is not the issue for them. They don’t think about that. It’s about this game, this individual game and how we handle it. And if we take care of our business, then we’ll be in the win column. And the streak doesn’t have anything to do with that.”

Recovering from shutout

As he tends to, Beaty fielded a question about how the team’s morale was impacted by Saturday’s loss.

The coach said the Jayhawks, losers of five straight since opening the season with a win over Southeast Missouri State, have been through “a lot.” According to Beaty, following a 45-0 loss at ISU, the players practiced Sunday and it went exactly as he expected it to, “if not better.”

“They also understand that a lot of the things that we’ve faced are self-inflicted, and all of them are fixable. We’ve got a team here that can be a problem if we can just eliminate mistakes that we cause ourselves,” he offered, “and that’s why the focus is just going to be on us. The focus has got to be on us and everything else will handle itself.”

Sunflower Showdown time set

The Big 12 announced Monday kickoff times for its Oct. 28 slate of games.

KU’s rivalry matchup with Kansas State at Memorial Stadium will begin at 2 p.m., and air on FOX Sports 1.


Austin Lopez 4 years ago

Yeah It's a great opportunity to get our butt kicked on national TV in front of the whole world and show how poor of a on field product we have because let's be honest a lot of people aren't watching a 11 am game all over the country but a 7pm game oh boy, this could get really ugly. Let's pray Beaty finds a way to have our QB throw for more the 20 something yards or boy we are going to be the laughing stock of the day.

Jeff Coffman 4 years ago

37.5 pts ... I would put it as 48.5

John Fitzgerald 4 years ago

Man, you gotta give it to Beaty. The world could be (and possibly is) falling down around him and he’s still positive. Can’t hate the guy, but I’ll be pissed if he makes us look like a joke on national TV. I sure hope they bring it.

David Kemp 4 years ago

Really, he watches tapes and says we are a good Fb team and we can win. If so what's the problem? Walter Mitty is living in a fantasy and can't find his way out. But is this game goes poorly he must go.

John Fitzgerald 4 years ago

I’m embarrassed to say this but that’s a good movie.

Brett McCabe 4 years ago

I would agree completely about Beaty's character and optimism. You can judge a man by how he handles the hard times and Beaty has stayed true to his positive view and his belief in his coaches and players. I will never give him anything but respect as a man and as a role model for young men.

Larry Jackson 4 years ago

Beaty sounds like 'Baghdad Bob" the Iraqi unrealistic Press Sec. for Saddam. As the country was falling Bob also claimed it was a wonderful opportunity too.

Richard Duran 4 years ago

A great opportunity? to what give up 100 points? be held to less than 1 per play? get 10 turnovers?

Brett McCabe 4 years ago

The dynamics of this game will be interesting. Bottom line for Patterson is this: if he wins out, he's headed to the playoffs. Destroying us doesn't really do that much for him but putting on an explosive show surely won't hurt when the committee puts things together.

If you are Patterson, how do you get your team ready to play against KU? Not an easy task.

Barring fluke, or vs. 4th team reserve points, I think that we effectively get shut out. How much they score will depend a lot on whether or not last week's KU defense was an aberration or a sign of a squad finding its way.

If 45-0 vs. a team was 3-0 doesn't get the gears moving in the Chancellor's residence, I'm not sure that bloodbath against a top 5 team will do it either. Whatever happens in Fort Worth, Girod needs to do his job. If he can't, he needs to let someone else do it.

Matthew Gaylor 4 years ago

Actually, it should be fairly easy for Patterson to get his team up for this. All he has to do is tell them since they've joined the Big 12, every team in the conference has beaten KU by 39 points at least once, except TCU. Or he can tell them that TCU has yet to defeat KU by more than 14 points (KU lost by 14 in 2012, the highest margin of defeat). He could tell them that TCU only beat KU by 1 last year, or 6 the last time in Fort Worth. He could tell them the margin of victory for TCU against KU is only 7 points.

Honestly, it shouldn't be hard for Patterson to get TCU up for this game. TCU is the only team in the conference to not destroy KU, and they could change that this year.

Randy Bombardier 4 years ago

Brother. Every game's an opportunity. Every practice, every moment really. The question is Why is meaningless around here?!

Len Shaffer 4 years ago

In a related story, I've just been offered a chance to box against the heavyweight champion, and I consider it a great opportunity ...

Bryan Mohr 4 years ago

I'd be in a positive disposition, too, if I were Beaty. He has a "great opportunity" to cash-in a $3.2m check... or save his job with an upset. Win-win for Beaty.

Lynn Stuart 4 years ago

This will get ugly quickly, coach has demonstrated he has no clue how to prepare for a game, Bowen should have been let go years ago, KU needs to go with a proven winner and bring Mangino back,he won games brought money in and filled the stadium and even though when I was in Germany so didnt get to see many games other than you tube we looked like a real football team. It doesnt take just big money donors, burn up the new chancellors phone

Dillon Davis 4 years ago

Beaty seems to be that person that we all know who is just so happy and upbeat all the time to the point where it annoys people

Robert Brock 4 years ago

KU will give its best effort - but lose 67-0.

Barry Weiss 4 years ago

in some ways, its too bad we played them close in the previous two games. with this expected blow out, it will add more fuel to the fire that Beatty's third year is not showing any improvement. the good thing for TCU, after they get up 21-0 in the first quarter, the starters can all come out and rest. The second and third teams can then finish out the game for a 55-7 final score. At least that is similar to how recent games have gone for us. Sure would like to see a one score loss, but that would not be a good bet the way this season has gone.

Dirk Medema 4 years ago

This reminds me of a bunch of years ago when we open the season in a special neutral site game against FSU. I can't imagine who thought it would be a good idea to feature two more mismatched teams. I feel bad for the announcers who will be obligated to try to entertain their audience for the entire game. And this from the Koolaid crew.

Joe Ross 3 years, 12 months ago

I have this sinking feeling that Kansas won't play TCU close this year.

If that's the case, it could be a bellwether in itself that the program is slipping in the wrong direction.

Charlie Gaughn 3 years, 12 months ago

I remember a time, thinking it was as low as KU football could every crawl, in 1987. Bob Valesente was finishing his second (and last) year of a coaching tenure similar to what we've seen with Weis and Beaty (so far). I don't remember the exact score, somewhere around 49-0, against Oklahoma at halftime. Valesente was quite a cheerleader as well, and he walked in to the locker room and stated "ok guys, we can get back in this thing". The locker room erupted in laughter....

Thirty years later I can honestly say that I've experienced a new low in KU football. The only bright spot, hoping that Keegan is right, is that in a couple of weeks Zenger will be looking for that Wal-Mart greeting job. He'll have his $1.4 million buy out to save up for retirement but he'll need a little supplemental income in the meantime.

The next AD we hire had better take a proactive approach in directing the program. Put a stop to random transfer recruiting. Transfer players are great for adding a player or two to move you from top 20 to top 10, not from 125 to 124. Develop a process and stick to it. That consists of recruiting high school talent, redshirt them, and have an aggressive strength and conditioning program. Anyone notice what so many of our linemen look like? Yes, they're big but if you lopped off their belly they'd lose 70 lbs.

What a slap in the face to KU putting this game on prime time. They stick us at 11:00 for our homecoming (9:00 alumni tailgates are really fun), a game we thought we had a chance to win, then prop us up for a national embarrassment in this one. One more strike against Zenger....."Welcome to Wal-Mart"

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