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Rough Response: Momentum tough to come by for KU football following recent solid outings

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Kansas head coach Charlie Weis disputes a call during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis disputes a call during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Call it false hope, fool's gold or the this is why we can't have nice things syndrome.

Whatever you dub it, it has become a heck of a pattern for Kansas University football during the past five-plus seasons.

Despite KU's dismal 12-53 record in the post-Mark Mangino era (2010-present), there have been a few memorable victories and even more close calls against some of the Big 12's best.

But while it's easy to remember last year's near upset of TCU or the Texas game at home that KU lost in the final 17 seconds a couple of years earlier, it's much harder to remember what happened in the week's that followed those close calls. The reason? Most of those results are ones the Jayhawks would rather forget.

Here's a quick look at the 10 most notable face plants since the start of the 2010 season, which, you could argue, actually began with KU following up a 5-0 start to the 2009 season with an 0-7 finish.

Sept. 17, 2010 — Southern Miss 31, Kansas 16: After upsetting 15th-ranked Georgia Tech, following a disappointing loss to North Dakota State in the season opener, the Jayhawks traveled to Southern Miss and were outclassed from start to finish. Turner Gill's first road game featured a handful of clock management issues and penalties that all but guaranteed a Kansas loss. Just before halftime, the Eagles returned a blocked punt for a touchdown and took a 21-3 into halftime. KU never recovered and never threatened in the second half.

Kansas running back Deshaun Sands falls under a pile of Southern Miss defenders during the first quarter, Friday, Sept. 17, 2010 at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Kansas running back Deshaun Sands falls under a pile of Southern Miss defenders during the first quarter, Friday, Sept. 17, 2010 at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. by Nick Krug

Nov. 13, 2010 — Nebraska 20, Kansas 3: One week after a ridiculous fourth-quarter comeback at home beat Colorado, 52-45, the Jayhawks' suddenly-high-powered offense went to Gill's alma mater to face an offensively-challenged NU team playing with an injured quarterback. It didn't matter. The Kansas offense, led by QB Quinn Mecham, managed just 87 yards on 47 plays, and the defense, though tough all night, just did not get enough rest to hold the Huskers down.

Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David stops Kansas running back James Sims during the third quarter, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010 at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln.

Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David stops Kansas running back James Sims during the third quarter, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010 at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. by Nick Krug

Sept. 17, 2011 — Georgia Tech 66, Kansas 24: One Saturday, the Jayhawks picked up a huge victory over bowl-bound Northern Illinois on their final offensive play of the game. The next, the Kansas defense was trounced by a Georgia Tech team that shattered several school records and wound up printing T-Shirts to commemorate the occasion. Kansas' offense did a decent job in the first quarter in Atlanta, but, with the defense looking like swiss cheese, KU simply could not keep up on the scoreboard.

Kansas fan Rocky Holman, Arkansas City, shows his frustration during KU's loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011 in Atlanta.

Kansas fan Rocky Holman, Arkansas City, shows his frustration during KU's loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011 in Atlanta. by Richard Gwin

Nov. 19, 2011 — Texas A&M 61, Kansas 7: For three quarters at home against Baylor, the Kansas defense had future Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III completely bottled up. But then someone tapped RGIII on the shoulder and he led a fourth-quarter comeback that led to a 31-30 overtime victory for the Bears. Perhaps deflated by coming so close to such a huge upset, the Jayhawks barely even showed up the following week in College Station, where Ryan Tannehill torched the KU defense and the KU offense did not crack the scoreboard until the game's final minute.

Kansas head coach Turner Gill walks off the field after falling to Texas A&M, 61-7, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011 at Kyle Stadium in College Station, Texas.

Kansas head coach Turner Gill walks off the field after falling to Texas A&M, 61-7, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011 at Kyle Stadium in College Station, Texas. by Kevin Anderson

Oct. 20, 2012 — Oklahoma 52, Kansas 7: After a hard-fought 20-14 loss to Oklahoma State in miserably wet conditions, which featured James Sims unofficially laying claim to the title of the Big 12's best running back, the Jayhawks traveled to the Sooner State to take on OU the following week and never had a chance. Led by Landry Jones and an unstoppable aerial attack, OU ran the Jayhawks out of the building early. KU had a chance to keep things interesting early, but a simple pass to the flat by QB Dayne Crist that might have been an easy touchdown was woefully behind Tre' Parmalee and Crist did not throw another pass all game.

Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist unsnaps his helmet as he comes off the field during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Norman.

Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist unsnaps his helmet as he comes off the field during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 at Memorial Stadium in Norman. by Nick Krug

Nov. 3, 2012 — Baylor 41, Kansas 14: One week after coming within a couple of plays of knocking off Texas — the UT comeback included a must-have fourth-down conversion and the winning TD in the final 20 seconds — Kansas no-showed against Baylor, yet again, in Waco, Texas. The Bears didn't even play all that well in this one, they just steamrolled their way to a 21-0 second half that left Kansas looking for answers as both Michael Cummings and Dayne Crist played under center for the struggling Jayhawks in this one.

Kansas players Kale Pick (7) and Tanner Hawkinson (72) collide as they try to recover a fumble by running back James Sims, back, during the third quarter against Baylor, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas.

Kansas players Kale Pick (7) and Tanner Hawkinson (72) collide as they try to recover a fumble by running back James Sims, back, during the third quarter against Baylor, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas. by Nick Krug

Nov. 17, 2012 — Iowa State 51, Kansas 23: One week after nearly ending their Big 12 AND road losing streak in the form of a double-overtime loss at Texas Tech, the Jayhawks returned home for what was supposed to be a huge opportunity at a win on Senior Night in front of a fired up home crowd. Just before the game started, the Jayhawks changed out of their traditional blue uniforms and came back out wearing all black. It might as well have been all white, as in “we surrender.” Third-string ISU QB Sam Richardson, whom KU did not even have film on heading into the game, torched the Jayhawks to the tune of 23-of-27 passing for 250 yards, four touchdowns, another on the ground and an easy ISU victory. The game went down as Richardson's coming-out party and yet another huge disappointment for Kansas.

Kansas defenders Ben Heeney, left, Bradley McDouglad (24) and Lubbock Smith walk away as Iowa State receiver Aaron Horne celebrates a touchdown during the second quarter, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas defenders Ben Heeney, left, Bradley McDouglad (24) and Lubbock Smith walk away as Iowa State receiver Aaron Horne celebrates a touchdown during the second quarter, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Oct. 5, 2013 — Texas Tech 54, Kansas 16: It probably should've been looked at as a sign of trouble at the time, but there was no disputing the excitement that came after Matthew Wyman drilled a 52-yard field goal to beat Louisiana Tech (13-10) after an improbable stop by the KU defense in the game's final minutes. Rather than capitalizing on the momentum of that big kick and a 2-1 start, the Jayhawks returned to the very same field the next week and let Texas Tech have its way with them. This one was made worse by the fact that the Jayhawks raced out to a 10-0 first quarter lead and then, in a little over a half, were outscored 47-0 to set the final margin.

Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps throws out of the Jayhawks endzone against Texas Tech during the third quarter on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps throws out of the Jayhawks endzone against Texas Tech during the third quarter on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Nov. 23, 2013 — Iowa State 34, Kansas 0: Behind the hard running of James Sims and the spark ignited by the play of true-freshman quarterback Montell Cozart, the Jayhawks ended their Big 12 losing streak with a 31-19 home victory over West Virginia on Nov. 16. The win, in which KU thoroughly dominated, was supposed to be the springboard for a strong finish and some momentum heading into 2014. But instead, the very next week, on a bitterly cold night in Ames, Iowa, the Jayhawks were blanked by one-win Iowa State, which embarrassed the Jayhawks by running wild on an icy field.

Iowa State defenders collapse around James Sims during the first quarter on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.

Iowa State defenders collapse around James Sims during the first quarter on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa. by Nick Krug

Nov. 22, 2014 — Oklahoma 44, Kansas 7: After nearly shocking the college football world by putting a heck of a scare into national-title-contending TCU, the Jayhawks traveled south to take on an average Oklahoma team and walked away a part of history. OU running back Samaje Perine ran over, through and around the Kansas defense all afternoon on his way to an NCAA record 427 rushing yards that came against little resistance. The Jayhawks never put up a fight in this one and appeared to miss more tackles than they made.

Kansas linebacker Michael Reynolds (55) tries to drag down Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine (32) during the third quarter on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 at Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma.

Kansas linebacker Michael Reynolds (55) tries to drag down Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine (32) during the third quarter on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 at Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. by Nick Krug

To be fair, during that same time frame, there have been a handful of positive responses to close calls or KU victories. And those, which have been few and far between, include: KU responding to a season-opening loss to North Dakota State in 2010 with win over Georgia Tech; KU responding to its Iowa State win in 2014 with a near-upset of TCU; KU responding to a season-opening 42-24 victory over McNeese State in 2011 with a 45-42 win over Northern Illinois the following week. Those back-to-back wins still are the only consecutive victories at Kansas in the post-Mangino era.

On the heels of last week's close call against Texas Tech and with KU headed to Oklahoma State on Saturday for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff at Boone Pickens Stadium, the Jayhawks now have their next opportunity to add a game to one of the two categories above.

Comments

Pete Hatcher 2 years ago

Wow, good article but very tough to read as a fan.

Aaron Paisley 2 years ago

This list is why I want to see what KU does against OSU this weekend. If they play well again, then we could say there has been progress made. If they crap their pants like they usually do, then last week was just more of the same.

Greg Ledom 2 years ago

Four likes......interesting. So AP, unless our scholarship short, under experienced, youth laiden team plays well, we've crapped our pants? Seems awful short sided to me, but then again that's just one man's opinion. I mean it is only at OSU, a program on a completely different level than ours, experienced, mature team with a very nice offense and one of the top defenses in the league. Big picture AP........big picture....

Aaron Paisley 2 years ago

If KU comes out and plays like crap, they've crapped their pants. KU doesn't have win the game, but they need to come out and build on the positives from the Tech game and not take steps back like they did in most of those games.

David A. Smith 2 years ago

This article very succinctly nails it. Having said that, as I am currently watching the KU-TT game I can say 1) this is a different team. The feel is different...the play is different. and 2) our QB is has the most talent (arm, decision making, ability to extend a play, mobility) of any I have ever seen at KU. Several have been good, but this guy has it all. He's legit. Period. I am excited about KU ball again, and that happened sooner than I imagined. Thanks for making it fun again, guys. Now, go get the Pokes!

Greg Ledom 2 years ago

I assume you started watching KU football post Todd 'money' Reesing? He's the best I've seen and the oldest QB I recall distinctly was Frank Seurer. That said, I agree this kid has ALL the tools to be outstanding if he keeps progressing and the team progresses along with him.

David A. Smith 2 years ago

I go back to Frank Seurer as well. He had a gun, but no legs at all. Norseth was good- had a pretty good arm and was pretty mobile. Mark Williams had a good arm and was very mobile. Reesing was fantastic, especially his ability to stretch a play and his mobility. He had a pretty good arm. But Willis' arm and accuracy is just as good as Seurer's was, and he's mobile. He'll play on Sundays.

Jim Stauffer 2 years ago

Only Seurer of the guys you mention had as little talent around him as Willis does. To expect Willis to accomplish anything remotely similar to Reesing, Williams, Norseth or Seurer we will have to wait at least one year and probably two. It will take that long to develop competitive line play to set up the skill players.

Gavin Fritton 2 years ago

Well this is certainly...depressing.

Greg Ledom 2 years ago

Matt, I rarely (if ever) have read one of your articles I didn't like in some capacity. However, this is one of them. It seems pointless and meaningless to me. As if we haven't endured enough already over the last five years, that you feel the need to remind us (as if we've forgotten), how bad it's been. Sorry, but this is one fan that could have gone without this article. Struggling for other material to write about? Respectfully, I look forward to your next piece.

Michael Lorraine 2 years ago

That was a painful trip down memory lane.

Chris Spangenburg 2 years ago

As I was glossing over this, I was thinking the exact same thing. What is this purpose of this article? Slow news day I suppose.

Humpy Helsel 2 years ago

I would argue some of these patterns happen to lots of teams. Good and bad ones. Of course, the teams noted were, for the most part, bad Kansas teams. Let's take the current KSU team. Good or bad team? By our standards, I'd say they are a pretty good team. They play lights out against TCU and lose a close one to a top rated team with a legitimate Heisman candidate playing QB. The following week they lose to a good OU team 55 zip. Is OU, which had laid an egg against a subpar Texas team the previous Saturday, that much better week in and week out against K-State? I don't think so. It is hard to be "up" week in and week out. KSU had an understandable let down after the TCU game and OU had something to prove after being embarrassed by Texas. How much is coaching a factor in this equation? Bill Snyder writes a letter of apology to the Wildcat fans this week. Is he talking to the fans, or is he really talking to his team in the letter? I am glad we are not playing K-State this week.

Doug Cramer 2 years ago

This program has turned a corner. Yes we will lose against OK State, but we just need to see baby steps of improvement.

Tait, Coach Beaty is a whole different can of worms when comparing to Gill or Weis.

This is a process. Coach Beaty knows it and the players know it. Thats why you don't see this team quit. Win or lose, the number 1 objective is to improve and build.

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