Sunday, November 14, 2010

Matt Tait’s KU football notebook

Kansas head coach Turner Gill leaves the field following the Jayhawks' 20-3 loss to Nebraska, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010 at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln.

Kansas head coach Turner Gill leaves the field following the Jayhawks' 20-3 loss to Nebraska, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010 at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Turner Gill

Kansas coach Turner Gill talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 20-3 loss to Nebraska on Nov. 13, 2010.

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Happy Homecoming?

Quiet for most of the week about his returning to the place he spent so many years as a successful player and coach, Kansas University coach Turner Gill finally gave a glimpse of what Saturday’s game at Nebraska meant to him.

“I’ve been here many, many years,” Gill said. “And being on the other side definitely feels awkward.”

Though his Jayhawks gave a strong effort, the potential storybook ending never came true. Instead, Gill, who is 109-10 as a player and coach at the historic venue, is 0-1 as an opponent.

“We came into the stadium about 11 o’clock this morning and there was a little bit of awkwardness for me to come in on the other side,” Gill said.

Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne, Gill’s former coach, tried twice to catch him before the game but never did. Gill and Osborne did speak on the phone briefly.

“He just wished me success today,” Gill said. “And (he told me to) keep on moving forward. He’s there for me.”

Earlier this week, Osborne was open about the fact that he wasn’t looking forward to facing Gill as an adversary. Osborne even said he was glad to be heading to the Big Ten so that he wouldn’t have to go through it again.

“I would agree with that,” Gill said.

As for Gill’s players, they said they noticed no difference in their coach as he attempted to take down his alma mater.

“Cool coach Gill,” wideout Bradley McDougald said. “He was flat-lined. Never high, never low, he just always stays in the middle. Matter of fact, I don’t even know if he came to the stadium earlier today when we came to check it out. I think he stayed at the hotel, so that lets you know a little bit.”

Why throw it?

Despite having the game well in hand, Nebraska elected to throw two passes in the final minute of Saturday’s 20-3 victory. One was a completion to Niles Paul and the other, out of the shotgun, fell incomplete.

Asked if he was trying to run up the score, NU coach Bo Pelini said: “No, I don’t care about that. I didn’t like how we played at times offensively in the game. I didn’t like our execution. That just gave us more reps to keep working and getting better. I don’t care about BCS. I could care less about the BCS, I could care less about anything else. It’s about getting your football team better, and at that point, I wasn’t very happy about how we played offensively, so we’re going to keep playing and get the reps we need to get.”

Wildcat somewhat effective

Speaking of McDougald, the sophomore took a handful of snaps in KU’s “wildcat” offense Saturday night, one on the game’s first drive and a couple more late. McDougald carried four times for 27 yards out of the set. That total represented roughly one-third of KU’s offensive output for the game.

“I felt pretty good running it,” McDougald said. “We practiced it all week and I’m just happy coach (Chuck) Long dialed it up in the course of the game. It gave us a chance to make some plays out there and try some new things.”


ahpersecoachingexperience 11 years, 7 months ago

How bout that, a football article where 100 wasn't the first to post an inspiring quote to rally the team and fans. Oh and Bo you are the biggest piece of trash. Taking a timeout with 5 seconds left to execute another play is totally classless and truly demonstrates the type of character nu football program has.

GridironHawk 11 years, 7 months ago

just in case you missed it, a knee was taken after the timeout. It was not to execute another play. In fact, I think it was the offensive coordinator calling the plays and Bo took the timeout to step in and force the knee (He probably had Osborne shouting in his ear....). Pelini was obviously pissed off after the game but the NE fans didn't know why.

Gordon Penny 11 years, 7 months ago

In my humble opinion, running as many plays as possible, and running up the score is not classless. There is only a certain amount of time in a game, and players need that time to get better. If I were a coach, I would use every available second of every game to make my team better. If that resulted in a win of 100-0 then so be it.

Andy Tweedy 11 years, 7 months ago

I like it a lot better when we're the ones doing it!

Dan Harris 11 years, 7 months ago

Classless is classless plain and simple.

Martini_Boy 11 years, 7 months ago

It usually makes me sick to see injuries, but when you have a 2 touchdown lead and try to score with a hurry up offense and passes then I could care less if my team takes a cheap shot at your best player!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ilikestuff 11 years, 7 months ago


Bobby Bowden, FSU (retired) once said, and I agree, that it's not the winning coach's responsiblity to keep the game close".

I expected NU to take a knee those last few reps, however, Bo is about as serious, focused and single-minded a football coach as one is going to find.

I take his explanation at face value, he didn't like some aspects of the offense's execution, had the ball w/time on the clock and worked on it.

Those predesposed to assume he was trying to run up the score need to explain why he didn't have his "ace" field goal kicker put at least 3 more points up w/time running out.

Generally speaking, I thought KU's Defense played a solid game. I don't think their starting QB is 100% on his ankle yet but, nevertheless, I was proud of the defense.

Gill & Co. will get it done, it's just going to take another season or two to get big and fast hogs for the Offensive and Defensive lines. That's where we're hurting most;

HuskerGreg 11 years, 7 months ago

Personally I had the same thought. On the next to the last play we lined up and ran a play and then they began to line up again when Bo called the time out. In all of this, twice the camera crew showed Bo mouthing the words, "Take a Knee" but Bo doesn't call the offensive plays so I think he called the time out to get the OC or whoever to change the call. If you can find the footage online, look at it and tell me if you think he is saying "take a knee"?

DallasHawk 11 years, 7 months ago

I think it was classless whoever is calling the plays. That's how you treat 105 years of history. You had a hobbled QB, a conference championship and bowl game to consider. I thought it was ridiculous however you want to spin it.

ahpersecoachingexperience 11 years, 7 months ago

Was it senior day? Cause if they were getting kids in the game it would be ok.

jphog 11 years, 7 months ago

They still had their starters in the game.

Bo probably changed his mind once he started to get booed, not because he's classy.

Dan Harris 11 years, 7 months ago

Bo is a jerk but their fans have class.

Jeff Coffman 11 years, 7 months ago

I don't think it is ever correct to refer to an offensive play for the Jayhawks as the wildcat formation. In no form or fashion are we wildcats, that is so offensive (pun intended)!!!

Lance Cheney 11 years, 7 months ago

I'm pretty sure Nebraska's second team defense is better than KU's first team defense, so if Pelini was wanting to get some more quality reps, it's nothing that couldn't have waited until this week in practice. At least, that's what I think. But what do I know? I'm just a caveman.

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