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Monday Rewind: TCU

Kansas receiver Andrew Turzilli pulls in a deep pass as TCU cornerback Jason Verrett dives in for the tackle during the third quarter, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas receiver Andrew Turzilli pulls in a deep pass as TCU cornerback Jason Verrett dives in for the tackle during the third quarter, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Before we look back at what went right and what went wrong during last Saturday’s 20-6 loss to TCU, let’s get one thing out of the way right up front: The 15-yard, personal foul penalty for “hitting a defenseless receiver” called on KU safety Bradley McDougald midway through the fourth quarter was quite possibly the worst call I’ve ever seen in my football-viewing life.

The blown call did nothing to impact the outcome of the game and was rather harmless in the big picture, but I don’t think it’s right for that kind of blip to slide by without so much as a mention. Credit the Jayhawks and head coach Charlie Weis for not publicly griping about it after the game. That wouldn’t have accomplished anything and, worse, would’ve made them look like whiners.

Weis made it very clear that his is not a team of whiners when he talked about his displeasure with the way quarterback Dayne Crist came to the sideline with his palms up after some confusion in the passing game. “We don’t do that here,” Weis said simply. And they don’t whine about officiating either.

Their restraint is part of the reason I chose to bring it up here. That official should at least be forced to miss some Big 12 games and work at a lower level for the next couple of weeks. Inexcusable. I’m not sure what McDougald is supposed to do there. Let the guy land before he hits him? That’s not football.

Kansas safety Bradley McDougald (24) wraps up TCU receiver Brandon Carter (3) during the fourth quarter of their game Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas safety Bradley McDougald (24) wraps up TCU receiver Brandon Carter (3) during the fourth quarter of their game Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012 at Memorial Stadium. by John Young

OK, moving on...

Prior to the TCU game I heard a lot of people say they felt like this would or could be the “Georgia Tech game” like KU had in 2010 after losing at home to North Dakota State.

It wasn’t, of course, but even if the Jayhawks had pulled off the upset, I don’t think it would’ve been like the Georgia Tech game at all. For starters, that one came after one of the most embarrassing losses in program and Big 12 history. Losing to Rice was a tough beat, but it was nothing like losing to an FCS team, 6-3, in a coach’s debut. Beyond that, the Georgia Tech game was the peak of the Turner Gill era at Kansas. Things only got worse — nearly every week — from then on out, and I don’t get the sense that the peak of the Weis era will come at any point during the 2012 season, let alone three weeks into it.

To me, it seems as if this team will continue to improve dramatically — week to week, game to game, year to year — and that this year’s loss to TCU, many months from now, will be looked back on as the one where everything started to click.

After the game, the players and coaches who were made available for interviews clearly were upset that they had lost the game. But it wasn’t the kind of anger that comes out of embarrassment, frustration or failure. It was the kind of anger that comes from believing you should’ve won and these guys most certainly believed that. Had the offense just been a little sharper, they might have pulled it off.

That mentality is as good a sign as any that Weis truly has changed the losing culture that existed here. The results might not be showing it yet, but seeing that these guys genuinely believe they can and should win games might mean more to the big picture than a couple of early victories.

So now the Jayhawks move on to Northern Illinois. They’re a 1-2 team and they’re headed on the road this week, but their confidence is back and they’re starting to look like many of us expected a Charlie Weis team to look. If they can just get the offense to reach that point, too, it should be fun to watch this group play the rest of the way — win or lose.

As Weis said Sunday night: "So, now we've got 'em playing hard the whole game, now we just gotta play better."

Quickly, here were three things I really liked about the TCU game, all of which I think will pay off big-time for the Jayhawks down the road:

  1. It was good to see Tony Pierson involved in the passing game. The guy’s a weapon and finding creative ways to maximize his play-making ability should be a priority for the Jayhawks. Here’s guessing we’ll see new wrinkles involving Pierson just about every week from here on out.

  2. It also was nice to see Andrew Turzilli really be a factor out there. The kid has some serious skills and now, with his first start and a 100-yard game fresh in his mind, maybe he’ll have the confidence to take his game up a notch or two.

  3. Former Notre Dame linebacker Anthony McDonald made a difference. Sure, he was a little rusty to start out, and, yeah, he might not be the fastest guy on the field, but he’ll hit you and his experience really is an upgrade for this young group of linebackers. McDonald played more than most expected and finished with six tackles, one fumble recovery and a huge smile. More importantly, he finished relatively healthy and should be ready for an even bigger game this Saturday.

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Comments

clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 12 months ago

Tackling=hitting a defenseless receiver, almost forgot about that call, had it been at a more cruical point in the game it would stick out more. Great rewind- time to get back to .500

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Jonathan Allison 1 year, 12 months ago

I didn't get to watch the game, but I would like to have an unbiased assessment of the passing game from Saturday.

Some posters are still bashing Dayne pretty heavily. But someone said that he threw for 300+ years and his receivers had some crucial dropped passes. Plus it sounds like Pierson and Turzilli both had extraordinary numbers receiving, though YAC sometimes can inflate a QB's stats...

I did watch the Rice game, and Dayne looked awful in that one. So how did Dayne really look Saturday? Was he a few plays short of a major breakout game or does he need to be benched?

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Mike Barnhart 1 year, 12 months ago

Crist waits forever for receivers to open up but slow receivers are never going to get separation!

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KGphoto 1 year, 12 months ago

We don't have slow receivers.

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sports4life 1 year, 12 months ago

He showed huge improvement from the Rice game. He made more good throws than last week and less bad ones. But he's still nowhere close to what I, and probably everyone else, had expected. It's hard to tell if he's not very accurate or he just plays it safe, i.e. Does he overthrow a receiver to make sure he won't throw an interception, or was it an unintentional overthrow? He still takes too long to make a decision, misses open receivers, and doesn't seem to have the mental aspect of the game down. I'm not sure how much control he has, but there were times when TCU had the left side of our line stacked, and he still ran it to the left. If he has a lot of control with audibles, then he's not reading the defense very well either. None the less, he’s still better than Webb was.

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AirCapJay 1 year, 12 months ago

No, at this point Crist is not better than Webb. Webb could scramble, although no where near what Reesing could do.

I and most from the hype we where hearing from Weis about not needing to worry about a QB, thought Crist would be the next Reesing. If Crist=Reesing then we are 3-0 right now. If Crist=Webb we are 2-1. I would be willing to bet if Cummings were to start, we would be at least 2-1 maybe 3-0 right now.

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jhawk613 1 year, 12 months ago

432 yards in 3 games for Webb. Not even averaging 150 yards a game.

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Eric Mitchell 1 year, 12 months ago

What Colorado team have you been watching? I wish him well but get real.

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mikehawk 1 year, 12 months ago

I'm really glad we bloggers are just bloggers and not coaches. Maybe some bloggers should give coaching a try and their blogging might improve.

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Ron Prichard 1 year, 12 months ago

You can be down on Crist, but give me a break! I liked Webb and I am glad he has been given another chance, but anyone that doesn't think Crist is an upgrade over Webb hasn't watched much football in his/her life.

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Brad Farha 1 year, 12 months ago

I was at the game, and I watched it on TV the next day. Crist looked a lot better this week, but there's still a lot that should improve. He made mistakes (not as many), but the receivers did hurt him with several dropped passes.

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Jonathan Allison 1 year, 12 months ago

thanks for the analysis! Against Rice it looked like he was so scared of screwing up that he forced himself into some big time screw ups.

Consensus seems to be that he's had good pass protection overall, which I definitely saw in the loss against Rice.

There's been some harsh criticism of our receiveing corps as well. Even if they're not as big or fast as we'd like for them to be, the coaches should be able to get them in some routes that would get them enough separation to bolster the completion percentages. Meier, Briscoe, and Marcus Henry weren't as fast as Patterson and Beshears. Meier was an excellent route runner, Henry was tall, and Briscoe was great after the catch, but the biggest thing was Meier and Briscoe both had some ridiculous pass catching ability. We don't need lightning speed in the receiving corps, we just need good play calling combined with guys who will run crisp routes, catch, and block on every play. Here's hoping that Pick and Co can get it done.

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Mike Barnhart 1 year, 12 months ago

My two cents, this game provides a lot to build upon. Pass protection was excellent. Crist shook of some rust and running backs are impressive. The flip side, tackling has to improve!

Open tryout for kickers at Memorial Stadium this week? Please??? There has to be someone on campus that can kick or punt!

(3 years ago with 3 games in the books - KU stood 3-0, outscoring opponents 127-26 ... thanks, Lew!)

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Dirk Medema 1 year, 12 months ago

We also finished on a 5 game skid, so we definitely weren't improving. 10 years ago we were on our way to a 2 win season, but 9 years ago we went to a bowl, and 5 years ago it was the Orange Bowl. Maybe we should wait and give the program a chance to develop.

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KGphoto 1 year, 12 months ago

Doherty is an excellent punter. You also said our receivers are slow. Is your avatar a tally of how many joints you've smoked today?

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fearthephog512 1 year, 12 months ago

Agreed, Matt. That call was absurd. Had McDougald let him land, that receiver would have gone for another 10 to 20 yards — perhaps even get a touchdown — with all him momentum.

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JayHawk_from_SWKS 1 year, 12 months ago

The call on McDougald wasn't the only bad call. The KU defensive linemen and receivers were giving the TCU offensive linemen and DBs piggyback rides all day, but not so much as a holding or pass interference call though. There is also the phantom leg whip at the end of the game. Matt is right, those calls didn't cost us the game, but it didn't help either.

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texashawk10 1 year, 12 months ago

I completely agree Matt that that call was completely bogus, but at the same time that call worked out for the best for KU. Let's say the official doesn't make that call, TCU has the ball 4th and 3 or 4 and kicks a FG to make it 23-6. Without that call, the last TCU fumble doesn't happen and KU doesn't have one last chance at making something happen in the game.

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Stan Unruh 1 year, 12 months ago

This team is one missed FG from being 2-1 and most of us feeling very differently. They are improving and will get another win this week.

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97jhawk 1 year, 12 months ago

On Tait's first note of this blog, did anyone else feel like the officiating for the game wasn't all that stellar? I fee like if I had a quarter for every no-call for holding on TCU I could've done a few loads of laundry over at Duds 'N Suds.

Just watch the 4th quarter around the 6:25 mark. There was clearly holding on TCU which was a huge play for them because it gave them a 1st down on a 4th down play. You could totally see the TCU lineman grabbing the KU defensemen's shoulder pads. This is so clear because you can totally see it over their QB's shoulder when they show the play in slow motion. Also, the goal line play for KU near the end of the 4th quarter when Crist fumbled at the goal line, the TCU left side was clearly off sides. TCU jumped before the ball was hiked.

Probably shouldn't nit pick or blame the game on the refs, but it'd be nice to call it even.

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Dirk Medema 1 year, 12 months ago

I don't have the game to review, but it sounds like you do. You might want to review Dayne's fumble play, and watch the WR for KU. Others at RCT (http://www.rockchalktalk.com/2012/9/16/3338938/reviewing-the-refs) commented that they both moved at the same time, so maybe just really good/fortunate anticipation.

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Mike Nicco 1 year, 12 months ago

I thought the refs felt sorry for their true freshman at right tackle. He was holding the entire game, well before the hands to the face and leg whip penalties and well after them. Several times he had a hold of our DE's jersey as he ran by. They never called it. Unlike the McDougald call, this did have an effect on the game's outcome.

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Mike Nicco 1 year, 12 months ago

Not a whiner, but it was sooooo bad. There was a 3rd down play in the second half where the defender came through the back of Omigie or Turzilli and nothing was called. He was clearly there before the ball. Completely killed our momentum.

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bad_dog 1 year, 12 months ago

"The 15-yard, personal foul penalty for “hitting a defenseless receiver” called on KU safety Bradley McDougald midway through the fourth quarter was quite possibly the worst call I’ve ever seen in my football-viewing life."

Couldn't agree more. I've played and watched for over 30 years and still can't believe that call. It was also hard to believe how long it took them to make the call. I concur with the other comments above regarding holding by TCU. I even pointed it out to my wife as being some of the most blatant non-calls I've ever seen. Right in front of the zebras. I hope they are graded down and any future assignments involve officiating tether ball tournaments.

I am proud of how the team handled the situation(s). No long faces or bad body language. Just got back to the line for the next snap.

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Auzhawk 1 year, 12 months ago

Just watched the game on my DVR from Saturday. Yes the Refs where bad, but then you have to take in account the Texas game a few years back. Talk about bad calls for KU. Until KU starts winning a lot of games and is ranked a lot of the calls are not going to go their way. But look at the bright side, KU is tied for first in take aways, and they are looking a little more like a team ready to win.

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Auzhawk 1 year, 12 months ago

They are not giveing up in the 4 Qt.

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Danny Hernandez 1 year, 12 months ago

I'm proud of the team. would I like for them to be 3-0, winning games by shutting out the opponent?, our course, but I like where they are and how they're playing. I like their mentality and of course, they're not giving up in the 4th quarter as Auzhawk mentioned above. They will only get better and with more talent coming in, better days and seasons are ahead.

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741hawk 1 year, 12 months ago

If they are well-coached and don't quit, they deserve our support.

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VaJay 1 year, 12 months ago

It's funny how Karma balanced out two major referee blunders late in the game.

As Texashawk pointed out, after the ridiculous personal foul penalty on Bradley, we ended up getting a turnover out of their drive which was probably better than a non-call happening on that play

The second-worst blunder (a non-call) was in the 4th QTR when their right tackle held our D-End big time (as noted by EastBayHawk). Again, we got a turnover out of this one.

Unfortunately, those situations didn't balance out the overall trend of biased calls during the game. I really think it has to do with the referees favoring the heavily favored team in their decision-making (think back to Texas).

Kudos to Coach Weis for not mentioning this stuff - it must be absolutely killing him not to go after the horrendous officiating.

(just no more quarterback draws - PLEASE!)

In regards to Pierson - kudos again to the coaching staff for getting him involved in the passing game to take advantage of mismatches and to maximize his touches. Hopefully we can see him in the backfield at the same time as Sims or Cox.

The team is heading in the right direction and this is SUCH a good feeling - haven't felt like this in YEARS!!

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AirCapJay 1 year, 12 months ago

Wait till Sims is back this weekend. Our running game will explode! That should also help our passing game.

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Dirk Medema 1 year, 12 months ago

I'm not sure our running game explodes as much as it helps to make the whole O hum better, and allows CW to shift Pierson into more of a SE role to get him touches in space. I think this will cause the passing game to explode more so than the running game.

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dstnku34 1 year, 12 months ago

I think it's fair that we hold Dayne Crist personally responsible for not meeting the expectations we generously created for him.

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Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 12 months ago

Reasonable. But we set those expectations. Charlie Weis set those expectations.

Dayne Crist did not set those expectations. But I assure you, he holds himself personally responsible for not meeting them.

And even though his performance has been inexcusably sub-par, I still hold faith in character. Doesn't necessarily translate to on-field success. But I see talent, I see intelligence, and I see heart. Let's see if he can put those three things together in one game. If he can't, then you were right.

But if he can...then we all owe him an apology.

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dstnku34 1 year, 12 months ago

I'm sorry, I was being sarcastic towards all the Crist-haters. I'm right in line with you, Sir.

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Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 12 months ago

I'm about as realistic a KU football fan as you can possibly get. In fact, it's borderline antagonistic.

But I've watched this program suffer through too much these past three years. All of you posting about bringing Mangino back. cursing Lew and Turner Gill, blaming climate change....whatever the case may be....give it a rest.

We're here now. This is our coach...this is our quarterback. And this is what we have to work with. Ok, so we lost to Rice, and blew our chance to beat TCU. If I got suicidal every time KU football let me down, I wouldn't be posting today, or anytime within the past 10 years. We were hoping for 4-0 or 3-1 going into Manhattan, but we could very well be 1-3. We have to deal with it.

Remember this. Even if Crist lived up to his hype, it would be like putting a bandaid on a bullet wound. That's how bad we were. We just need to grit our teeth and get through it. Believe that Weis has made foundational strides. Believe that this, too, shall pass.

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Michael Luby 1 year, 12 months ago

Yep two win season, gotta get better from here right?

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