Saturday, October 1, 2011

Third quarter haunts Jayhawks once again

Kansas cornerback Tyler Patmon sighs after a Texas Tech runner was awarded a first down during a goal line stand in the third quarter on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011 at Kivisto Field.

Kansas cornerback Tyler Patmon sighs after a Texas Tech runner was awarded a first down during a goal line stand in the third 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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For the second straight game, the Kansas football team played competitive football in the first half only to suffer through a brutal third quarter.

The Jayhawks were outscored by three touchdowns in the third during Saturday’s 45-34 loss to Texas Tech. That means KU has been outscored 49-0 in the period during the last two games and 76-21 this season.

“We’ve got to continue to address it with our staff and our players to see if we can become better to make more plays in the third quarter,” KU coach Turner Gill said. “That’s very, very important.”

The reasons for the second-half struggles Saturday were numerous.

Defensively, KU had troubles stopping Texas Tech’s hurry-up offense. The Red Raiders picked up their pace significantly after halftime.

“Sometimes that hurts you, because you can’t get the call off quick enough,” KU freshman safety Keeston Terry said. “We’ll definitely make adjustments and fix that.”

Getting the play called takes some time, and it begins with diagnosing the positions of the offensive players on the field. A two tight-end set will call for a different formation than a five wide-receiver set.

Defensive players’ alignments also change based on what they see across from them.

“Play call is a big deal, especially when you’re one of the safeties, and you’ve got a lot to read,” KU junior Bradley McDougald said. “Once you get the play, you have to do a certain thing within the play. The speed of the play call could come in faster, but that’s nothing to point the finger at, I wouldn’t say.”

The quick pace not only limits substitutions, it also forces defenders to analyze things quickly.

“At the time, we weren’t necessarily aggressive,” KU senior linebacker Steven Johnson said. “When they started going fast, it was like we were on our heels and against the ropes. We were trying to fight it off, but it got hard.”

The third-quarter numbers for KU’s defense aren’t pretty.

The Jayhawks have allowed touchdowns in 12 of their opponents’ 14 third-quarter drives (85.7 percent) this season.

Each of KU’s four opponents also has scored on its first possession of the second half. That includes drives of 76, 66, 63 and 91 yards.

Offensively, KU failed to score in its three third-period possessions.

“We had a roll in the third quarter,” KU offensive coordinator Chuck Long said. “We came out and we had some hits, had some yardage, and all of a sudden, we throw a pick, then they eat up the clock.”

In the 15-minute span, KU had 15 plays for 73 yards (4.9 yards per play). That was after a first half when the Jayhawks posted 39 plays for 303 yards (7.8 yards per play).

“(Texas Tech) did adjust well, and hat’s off to them,” Long said. “But we just beat ourself. If you look at our drives, we just sputtered because we beat ourself.”


Robert Brock 10 years, 9 months ago

Better not wait until basketball season to make all those adjustments...

leonard 10 years, 9 months ago

To quote a popular phrase...the hiring of Turner Gill at Kansas "is what it is"...a bad decision.

To those looking at the program with a squint instead of wide-eyed rosiness, there wasn't a good reason to hire him two years ago and his performance hasn't done anything to dispel that fact.

In a less competitive atmosphere at Buffalo he was a loser. In the highly charged atmosphere of the Big XII...he is a loser.

For those insisting that he should be given time to work his magic one only has to look at his time at Buffalo to see the fallacy. While compiling a 7-17 record in his first two years I'm sure there were fans saying "just give him time".

There must have been a collective sigh of relief when he produced a winning record (his only one) of 8-6 his third year.

Then heading into his fourth year at the helm...with a roster full of his recruits and players with three years of experience in his system...they flopped their way to a record of 5-7.

He had four years in the MAC with Buffalo and he was a failure. I find few reasons to believe that giving him four years in the Big XII with Kansas will produce something different.

Oh well, I'll just soldier on as a KU fan...realizing that the hiring of Gill "is what it is"...a bad decision.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 9 months ago

Too early to be on the Hire Jim Tressel Bandwagon?

jay381 10 years, 9 months ago

I sure would want to know a lot more about the what did he know and when did he know it of the Ohio Sate problems. However obviously he sure can coach, but with what baggage. The more I have read about problems even prior to Ohio State make me a little apprehensive about this specific coach.

jay381 10 years, 9 months ago

Good post. I remember looking up the same data when he was hired and said why on earth did they hire this guy when other obviously more experienced and talented coaches were REALISTICALLY available? What is even more amazing to me is the extension after the first year of his contract adding significantly to any buy out cost.

Specifically, living in Memphis, I had seen Tommy Tubberville teams play a few times when he was at Old Miss. Oxford is a good college town on game day with a good tradition and is fun on a fall Saturday afternoon to get out of Memphis. I had listened first hand to Tommy Tubberville (he was a guest analyst for a radio sports show in Memphis at the time) almost beg for an opportunity to be a serious candidate for the position. I had seen the tremendous success he had at Old Miss that vaulted him to accept a position at Auburn and turn in an undefeated season. I just saw so many similarities between the FOOTBALL programs at KU and Old Miss and the success he had matching KU needs. Both FOOTBALL programs (although Old Miss does not play real basketball) play in a conference they will realistically probably never win due to lack of tradition, lack of huge facilities, enormous budgets etc. Both schools have had their moments of great players such as Archie Manning, Gayle Sayers, etc. but not the foundation to sustain that level of talent. However his teams were always competitive in the west division of the SEC, played in decent bowl games, and filled the stadium for home games. I just never understood why we were so focused only on Gill, however, as you say it is what it is.

I guess the question of is it acceptable is up to others. Personally yesterday one coach made the adjustments coming out in the second half and the other did not. One has a mid range Big 12 program sustaining or perhaps improving on the record of his predecessor and the other does not. One team is looking at a brighter future and well the other is at best questionable. Personally I like the coach that makes the adjustments, improves on the record of his predecessor and is looking forward to a brighter future. It is what it is.

Schulz44 10 years, 9 months ago

Jesse or anyone who might have the information. I was wondering what are the overall numbers under the TG era in the 3rd quarter? It seems like last year I was saying the same thing about the 3rd quarter. NO adjustments!!

James McGuire 10 years, 9 months ago

I forgot to hit the reply button - see my comment below.

James McGuire 10 years, 9 months ago

The Jayhawks have scored 66 points in the third quarter in the TG era (16 games so far). The most points scored in the third quarter were 14 against New Mexico State last year and 14 against Northern Illinois this year. The Jayhawks have not scored in the third quarter in half of the games played during the TG era.

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