Thursday, September 16, 2010

Arduous assignment: KU football team praises ability of So. Miss WR Brown

Southern Miss wide receiver DeAndre Brown (5) catches a touchdown pass over Prairie View defensive back Lester Butler on Saturday in Hattiesburg, Miss. Brown, a junior, figures to attract plenty of attention from the Kansas University secondary on Friday because of his big-play ability.

Southern Miss wide receiver DeAndre Brown (5) catches a touchdown pass over Prairie View defensive back Lester Butler on Saturday in Hattiesburg, Miss. Brown, a junior, figures to attract plenty of attention from the Kansas University secondary on Friday because of his big-play ability.


In two days, various members of Kansas University’s football team used more than half a dozen different words to describe Southern Miss wide receiver DeAndre Brown.

Freak. Specimen. Stud. Talent. Big. Physical. Fantastic.

All were used, and each seemed fitting.

Through two games this season, Brown has nine catches for 165 yards and two scores.

“Everybody has heard about DeAndre Brown,” KU coach Turner Gill said. “Outstanding player. (He) has size and speed and is a big-play guy. He’s somebody we have to limit. We’re not going to shut him down, but we do have to limit his big plays.”

In last year’s 35-28 victory against Brown and Southern Miss, the Jayhawks did about as good a job as anybody could expect against the 6-foot-6, 239-pound junior. He scored a 22-yard touchdown in the second quarter and, in the third, hauled in a 49-yard grab — which replay upheld — on another Golden Eagles scoring drive. Take away those two catches, though, and Brown tallied just two more receptions for 15 yards.

KU senior Chris Harris was on the field that day and occasionally drew the task of shadowing Brown. Harris is hoping what the Jayhawks learned in 2009 will help them at 7 p.m. Friday when KU travels to USM for a nationally televised rematch.

“We’re definitely going to challenge him more,” Harris said. “Last year we kind of sat back a little bit, (but), as a secondary, we weren’t half as prepared last year as we will be this weekend.”

A big reason for that is defensive coordinator Carl Torbush, a man whose gameplan against Georgia Tech’s option attack was critical in helping the Jayhawks upset the No. 15 Yellow Jackets last weekend.

“We got all the confidence in the world in coach Torbush,” Harris said. “We’re loving that man, right now.”

Quarterback change positive for KU

After week one, the Jayhawks' football team looked to be in trouble. A change at quarterback sent the program in a 180 degree spin that saw them beat a nationally ranked team at home for the first time since 1984.

Through Torbush’s tutelage, the Jayhawks currently lead the Big 12 in pass defense, having given up the fewest yards (211) and second-fewest touchdowns (one) in the conference through two weeks. KU’s opponents also have attempted the fewest passes (37) in that time, making the true measure of the KU secondary somewhat of a mystery.

Friday’s game figures to go a long way toward providing a more accurate read of just how talented the Jayhawks’ pass defense is. In its two games this year, Southern Miss has attempted 83 passes for 548 yards and two touchdowns. Harris, for one, is ready for that kind of action.

“I’ve been extremely bored,” he said. “No action at all. This is really kind of like my first game. I’ve got, like, four tackles on the year, and I’m fresh and ready to go.”

KU just so-so on Fridays

KU’s matchup with Southern Miss will be the program’s 10th Friday game since 1950. The Jayhawks’ record in the previous nine contests is 4-5, with the last victory coming against Houston on Dec. 23, 2005, in the Fort Worth Bowl. Of those nine games, three were bowl games, and KU is 1-2 in those contests. The Jayhawks’ last regular-season Friday night victory was a 21-13 road victory against Oklahoma State in October of 1956.

KU’s most recent Friday night showing came in 2008, when Todd Reesing and company fell to South Florida, 37-34, in 2008, in a matchup of Top 25 teams.

Second meeting all-time

This week’s game will mark just the second all-time meeting between the Jayhawks and Golden Eagles. The first meeting came in 2009, when KU knocked off USM, 35-28 in Lawrence.

Though KU and USM have faced off just once before, the Jayhawks are 18-9 all-time against teams from Conference USA, with two of those wins coming in 2009, when KU defeated USM and UTEP.


Larry Evans 11 years, 8 months ago

They better be ready to play hard nose football,,you hear that offensive and defensive line.?Don;t take a play off.

honk_for_hawks 11 years, 8 months ago

secondary has looked really good so far. we finally have a solid corner to play opposite harris (barfield). our safeties have looked good so far. I'm really looking forward to seeing how they handle a real passing team. and i have to second that sentiment pig, the trenches are going to be where the game is won. our secondary has enough athletes to play really good coverage, but if the d-line can't get any pressure on the QB, he is going to find someone open eventually. the offensive line played a lot better last game after looking like the 3rd string JV in the first game, hopefully the moves with hatch and capra prove to be a permanent remedy and not a one game fix. southern miss isn't as good as they were last year, but neither are we, and it is at their house so lets bring the intensity boys, we got some eagles to beat!

honk_for_hawks 11 years, 8 months ago

Exactly what I was saying, this is the first decent/good passing team. That being said, the secondary has been doing a good job covering the receivers so if they light us up for 200+ passing yards, it is more likely going to be because of the lack of a pass rush than anything else. Hopefully the d-line got a little motivation from the o-line improving last week and they'll come out with fire in their bellies. I'd love to see a laptad sack on the first play of the game.

bad_dog 11 years, 8 months ago

I'd like to see a Laptad sack on the last play of the game, as well... ;-)

KU_FanSince75 11 years, 8 months ago

It will be a good game to watch--hope the Hawks come out on top--Rock Chalk!

phi4life940 11 years, 8 months ago

I read a comment a USM fan made on an article out of Southern Miss and it is apparent they are expecting a win. All the guy talked about was how they have had a winning record and time f or players to learn and that we have brand new everything. Hopefully we can upset the golden eagle faithful at home!

Rock Chalk!!!!

OCJHAWK 11 years, 8 months ago

Brown is scary good and huge. I hope we can get a few turnovers this week to help the team out.

NebraskaJayhawk 11 years, 8 months ago

Rubbles is a great matchup for this guy. I realize he hasn't been starting, but if I were Torbush, I might stick Rubbles on him from the get-go.

waywardJay 11 years, 8 months ago

Rubles has the best skill set, and size. Chris Harris may have the best experience. Barfield might have the best athleticism.

We can double him up top, and single cover the Senior and still have 8 men for the run..... we'd need to handle one of these guys straight up tough.... tough chore.

honk_for_hawks 11 years, 8 months ago

As far as size goes, rubles (6'3") is a better matchup than harris (5'10") and barfield (5'11") for the 6'6" brown, but I don't know if he is as athletic or fast as CH and IB. I'm not saying this as fact, I really don't know how fast or athletic he is. What I do know is that I know and have played with Isiah and he is an athletic freak. (4.3 40 and the highest vertical on the team). If anybody can make up for a lack of height, its him. But like I said, I don't really know much about rubles so he might be the perfect matchup for brown. He'll most likely get snaps covering him so we'll see. One of the three of them should be able to at least slow him down. Now, if only we can get that d-line to get some pressure on the QB, we wouldn't have to worry about the matchup as much.

vmwskywalk 11 years, 8 months ago

Rubles was listed with 4.4 speed out of HS.

“We got all the confidence in the world in coach Torbush,” Harris said. “We’re loving that man, right now.”

We will be night and day better than we were last year. It will be because of our D coordinator. The last guy was incompetent. Torbush will have our guys playing fast and free. Just watch!

GridironHawk 11 years, 8 months ago

Calvin has pretty good athleticism but he hasn't been able to show it much on the field. He seems to be over thinking or maybe just has a slow first step. He gets his chance to prove himself this week. I like the match up though. However, I highly doubt this will simply be a match up with the corners. I imagine we will have a safety (probably Keeston) shadowing him every play as well.

honk_for_hawks 11 years, 8 months ago

thanks vm and gridiron. I knew he was our biggest corner, but I haven't watched him enough to know if he had the other tools. and I agree 100% that our defensive coordinator alone has upgraded this defense 10 fold. bowen had no idea what he was doing. and gridiron, you're definitely right that a safety is going to need to shadow brown all game. no matter how well rubles may or may not match up with brown, he isn't covering him by himself. very few corners are capable of covering an elite receiver by themselves.

hammerhawk 11 years, 8 months ago

The bigger they are the harder they fall.

Go Hawks!!

justanotherfan 11 years, 8 months ago

Brown is just a freak of nature. We are probably going to have to offer some safety help over the top on him just to control what he is able to do, and make USM find someone else to beat us.

It will be interesting to see what the gameplan is, because we haven't seen a pass heavy team, and the DB's, though athletic, haven't been tested for a full game yet. All I know is they had better focus on making sure they get lots of people to the ball when Brown does make catches, because he is a load, and we can't afford to give him YAC.

steamboat 11 years, 8 months ago

NO let up on D this week guys! If they put pressure on So. Miss QB and hit him a few times we'll be ok. Torbush needs to implement the same game plan he had last week. He needs to let Springer run wild. GO HAWKS!!!!

yed 11 years, 8 months ago

Probably the most effective way to deal with him is when their offense is in critical situations, like 3rd down and red zone downs, bracket him with a corner and safety help. You basically take him out of the play and force them to go elsewhere. Of course, that means that everybody else had better do their job as well.

yed 11 years, 8 months ago

My biggest concern is the fact that we are going from two EXTREMES in defensive matchups here in less than 1 week. I hope that our guys are ready for a) a quarterback who can throw, and b) receivers who can catch because GTech had neither. It will be refreshing, however, to not see that damn option run at us 500 times. You could tell that stuff was wearing our guys out. I was so amazed at how they kept their gap assignments so well late in that game Saturday.

If anyone can prepare them, I do believe in Carl Torbush (yeah, I know, ALREADY?), but he has so much experience and knowledge, and he clearly has his guys "bought in" to what he's teaching. That's so important.

hawk316 11 years, 8 months ago

“We got all the confidence in the world in coach Torbush,” Harris said. “We’re loving that man, right now.”

--KU cornerback Chris Harris

In case we needed it, Harris offers yet more proof of the outstanding staff that Coach Gill has assembled.

eastcoasthawk 11 years, 8 months ago

First real game against a passing offense. Need to see some good coverage and more open field tackles. No doubt Torbush can plan well and can make adjustments but it is still up the players to execute. Rock Chalk.

Tony Bandle 11 years, 8 months ago

Have any of you ever played a home team in the Deep South on their field when you are considered a Yankee invader?

It will be 19 to 11 guys out there, counting all the officials. Kansas will get no breaks and no close calls. We must play in convincing fashion in order to pull out a victory. Anything less than that and we WILL get screwed.

Minimize the turnovers, hit South Miss. in the chops and escape with a W!!

Randy Bombardier 11 years, 8 months ago

This is a very important game. Good luck Hawks!

kcgridiron 11 years, 8 months ago

I watched the SCarolina game and I think it's very important to limit him early...Brown has been criticized for taking plays off and not giving 100% effort when things aren't going his way.

waywardJay 11 years, 8 months ago

Smart Plan. If he's not a microwave, make him take 3 quarters to get warmed up.

Here's an Idea. Play him press coverage. Beat the holy hell out of him through 2 quarters and if he breaks the press, Have a Safety come over the top and knock him on his Dufff. When you out physical the physical, they tend to go home. Oakville's right, down there we WILL be facing not only the team but the officials too.

Another way of combatting that is being extremely aggressive on defense. Make the officials call holds. Make them know your going to have to fight to win.

Dirk Medema 11 years, 8 months ago

Brown was a non-factor in the USC game. I believe his first reception and TD came in the fourth quarter; after the game was essentially over.

In the words of Coach Gill, "Let's smack someone."

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