Saturday, October 1, 2011

Matt Tait’s football notebook: Darrian Miller leaves game with hamstring injury; Brandon Bourbon tops 100

Kansas running back Brandon Bourbon celebrates his touchdown against Texas Tech during the first quarter on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011 at Kivisto Field.

Kansas running back Brandon Bourbon celebrates his touchdown against Texas Tech during the first quarter on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011 at Kivisto Field.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Turner Gill

Kansas coach Turner Gill talks to reporters following his team's 45-34 loss to Texas Tech on Oct. 1, 2011, at Memorial Stadium.

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On the second play from scrimmage of Saturday's 45-34 loss to Texas Tech, Kansas University freshman Darrian Miller caught a quick pass, danced around a few defenders and raced 25 yards to set up KU's first touchdown.

The play proved to be the last of the day for Miller, who, according to KU coach Turner Gill, tweaked a hamstring and was held out of action the rest of the afternoon.

Gill said Miller originally injured his hamstring earlier in the week in practice. Although Miller was held out more to prevent further damage, his status for next week's game at Oklahoma State was not immediately known.

Through four games, Miller has gained 173 yards on 34 carries with three touchdowns and added 32 yards on two receptions.

Ground game rolls along

For the third time in four games, the Kansas rushing attack topped 230 yards. With Miller sidelined, most of the work fell to freshmen Brandon Bourbon and Tony Pierson along with sophomore James Sims.

Sims rushed 24 times for 85 yards and a touchdown. Pierson picked up nine carries and delivered 46 yards. And Bourbon, whose 51-yard TD run in the first quarter was the longest of the season for the KU offense, added 101 yards on 10 carries.

Bourbon became the first KU back other than Sims to rush for more than 100 yards since Toben Opurum ran for 109 against Southern Miss in 2009. Bourbon became the fifth different Jayhawk to score a rushing touchdown this year and also the fifth first-year player to cross the goal line.

Senior running back Rell Lewis also scored the first TD of his career on a 19-yard pass from Webb in the second quarter.

Terry moves to free safety

During the off week, the KU coaching staff moved red-shirt freshman Keeston Terry from strong safety to free safety, switching him with junior Bradley McDougald.

It seemed to work. Not only did Terry pick up KU's first interception of the season — and the first of his career — but he also added 12 tackles, tying him with senior linebacker Steven Johnson for tops on the team.

"(We're) working more toward my strengths with some things," Terry said. "And I wasn't thinking a whole lot out there. I was reacting and playing fast."

Asked to identify the biggest change with his new position, Terry said: "It's more coming downhill now. That helps me out a lot."

A question of conditioning?

Asked after the game if the struggle to stop Texas Tech's up-tempo offense was a result of poor conditioning, several Jayhawks defended the shape of the team.

"I think we're a pretty good conditioned team," defensive coordinator Vic Shealy said. "Coach runs them well and our kids get through practice well. ... With the fatigue factor, we just don't have the depth that we need right now. It's a problem. It's a big problem."

This and that ...

For the fourth game in a row, the Jayhawks won the opening coin toss and elected to receive. ... Temperature at kickoff was 62 degrees under sunny skies with winds of 6 miles per hour out of the east. ... Sophomore defensive end Keba Agostinho recorded his first career sack. ... The Jayhawks donned the powder blue throwback jerseys worn by the 1961 Bluebonnet Bowl team for the first time since 1983. The uniforms featured blue tops with white numbers trimmed in red and also included white helmets with blue numbers on the sides.


ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 10 months ago

I'm so tired of the conditioning question. Dude should of been fired last year but I guess it's in "gods plan" for him to stay.

KU_Alumn_2000 10 years, 10 months ago

Vic Shealy said "With the fatigue factor, we just don't have the depth that we need right now. It's a problem. It's a big problem".

This tells me that the coaching staff is finally acknowledging that they don't have the personnel for success on the defensive side of the ball.

Hope the rest of our remaining recruits for 2012 are D-linemen !

Also - Huldon Tharp would of brought down that TT runningback for a safety in the 2nd half.

John Randall 10 years, 10 months ago

Can't have a Mangino recruit playing when some newbie is close to as good.

SCJayhawker 10 years, 10 months ago

Next Shealy will be using the excuss"Its George Bush's fault". Hey Shealy, if you want to find a reason why your D stinks - look in the mirror!

jayhawkintexas 10 years, 10 months ago

What's the difference between Turner Gill and a brick? The brick is less dense and can actually stop something.

johnnyhrdwd 10 years, 10 months ago

Yea, because KU has always been a football powerhouse before this Gill fellow came along. KU football is the toughest coaching job in the nation.

rgale29 10 years, 10 months ago

Try some fresh fruit....say cantaloupe!!

David Meredith 10 years, 10 months ago

The offense is making progress with almost all underclassmen...... I think overall there is improvement from last year on that end.... as far as Gill goes, let's wait and see how it looks overall after 2012.... it is too soon with the lack of talent on the roster that was there when he arrived...

rgale29 10 years, 10 months ago

Young, thin and fragile and close this team....but we have some really good looking young players, and coming off a bye week the coaches had them ready to play and the changes looked to be working. The defense was much improved early, and TT has a good offense. Our offense is really solid, young QB, WR and RB are going to be special, and none of this ever matters without the boys up front and this team has a solid O-line. Our backers and dbs showed they can improve against some pretty good tech wr. This team's problems...defensive line, depth, inexperience, mental toughness. Given the talent upgrade since last year, a stable of real deal race horses, if the staff can recruit talented backers and defensive lineman then I believe we will win a bunch of games, the foundation is being laid and there is reason to believe.

As hard as the second half of this game was to suffer through, especially after the euphoria of the first 10 minutes...these coaches really can coach, have recruited some studs, and we were unlucky, but close...really close. Make the extra point, make the field goal...if Simms doesn't slip, its a tied game...if the bounce off two people and kick interception is just incomplete...and if the well defended ball doesn't get knocked right to the receiver in the end zone...and if Terry gets the take away of the ball on 4th down...if ever steady and reliable DJ doesn't fumble the punt and we catch the kickoffs cleanly as we always should...the jayhawks win big really big. Close, really close...then again if frogs had long drive home would have been more fun...but we are really close...and wasn't that 4th and goal play call and execution special...Statue of Liberty...RB led by a pulling guard just a cornerback to beat, to pull within 3 or 4...that close. Rock Chalk

Dirk Medema 10 years, 10 months ago

Well said.

So many focusing on so little and yet oblivious to so much.

Chris Bailey 10 years, 10 months ago

Did anyone really think we'd be good this year? Sure I wished.... But really we all knew this would be a tough year. But we are scoring points and we do look better than last year without a doubt! The D looked ok to start out and I really think the biggest problem is our line getting no push after the first couple series. We can't compete on the line with no depth it's not possible. Plus we have no size. Their smallest o-lineman was like 310. For Gill's sake I hope he bring's in some JUCO D-lineman.

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