Thursday, October 11, 2012

Driving force: Jayhawks wary of OSU RB Joseph Randle

Oklahoma State running back Joseph Randle (1) runs past Texas cornerback Josh Turner during their game Sept. 29 in Stillwater, Okla. Randle, the Big 12’s leading rusher, and the Cowboys will face Kansas University on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Oklahoma State running back Joseph Randle (1) runs past Texas cornerback Josh Turner during their game Sept. 29 in Stillwater, Okla. Randle, the Big 12’s leading rusher, and the Cowboys will face Kansas University on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.


All season, Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis has gushed about KU sophomore Tony Pierson and his ability to score from anywhere on the field at any time.

Saturday, when the Jayhawks play host to Oklahoma State at 2:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium, they’ll face a similar back: Wichita native Joseph Randle.

“He kind of reminds me of a grown Pierson,” KU safety Bradley McDougald said, “because he’s just so fast, and he can take it to the house any play.”

While Pierson, KU’s speed back from East St. Louis, Ill., stands 5-foot-11 and weighs 178 pounds, the 6-1, 200-pound Randle — younger brother of former KU running back John Randle (2003-04) — weighs and plays a few pounds heavier.

“Tony is a home run hitter,” Weis said. “But when you are 30 pounds bigger, it makes a big difference. Look, I love Tony, and I would not trade him for anybody, but it is easy to recognize a really good football player, and this kid is a really good football player.”

So good, in fact, that Randle currently leads the Big 12 in rushing with 534 yards on 75 attempts, good for averages of 7.1 yards per carry and 133.5 yards per game. Those numbers, which include six touchdowns in four games, have anchored the best offense in the country, as the Cowboys’ up-tempo attack has averaged a nation’s-best 659 yards per contest.

“It all starts with Joseph Randle,” Weis said. “Somebody told me that KU offered him (a scholarship) in fourth grade. Well, they should have offered him in third grade. He’s a really, really good running back.”

Pierson expected to play

KU’s starting running back wore a bulky brace on his left elbow during Wednesday’s practice but said it was more of a precaution than a sign of any lingering injury.

“Everything’s good,” said Pierson, who said he was 90-95 percent healthy. “I’m planning on playing.”

Pierson said it was devastating to be forced to sit on the sideline unable to help his team against Kansas State.

“I just tried to brace myself when I fell, and my arm went a weird way,” he said. “Scary. First time something happened to me like that, and I didn’t know what was gonna happen in the future.”

Pierson tried to talk his way back onto the field, but when he was asked how Weis and the trainers reacted to his pleas, Pierson simply smiled and shook his head.


okiedave 9 years, 7 months ago

When Gundy took over the OSU program, he had two very terrible years and a couple of mediocre years. Most of the fans were calling for his head. But OSU stuck with him and he gradually built the program by recruiting diamond in the rough players. KU needs to stick with Weis for at least four years and let him build this program. I would love to see KU give OSU a surprise defeat, but if not, just remember OSU was just a few years ago in the same building mode were KU is now.

Doug Cramer 9 years, 7 months ago

okiedave - Will Charlie and Campo be around in 4 years ? Another 1 win season next year...and another bad recruiting class may give those two guys encouragement back into the familiar confines of the NFL.

It's early, but recruiting for next season is not looking good. There are a slew of teams like Tulane and Western Kentucky that have better recruits than us.

kellerman411 9 years, 7 months ago

"Another bad recruiting class" Please see Andrew Bolton, Marcus Jenkins-Moore, Collin Spencer and Taylor Lewis. All defensive players, go watch some film please and maybe look over a few of the offers these kids passed on to come to KU.

Doug Cramer 9 years, 7 months ago

Don't know why - but some of our fanbase is becoming almost as delusional as Mizzou's.

KGphoto 9 years, 7 months ago

You certainly can't put a grade on 2013 yet.

What about guys from 2012 who will finally see the field in 2013?

Guys like Justin McCay, Greg Allen, Tevin Shaw, Courtney Arnick, Brian Beckman, Sean Connely, Jordan Smith, Charles Brooks and, maybe above all, Ty McKinney.

You are grading 2013, and you haven't even seen half of the 2012 talent yet. Don't forget (and I posted this elsewhere recently) the 2005, 2006 KU defenses were one of the best in the country, and it was built primarily on 2 and 3 star players.

Micky Baker 9 years, 7 months ago

You're correct. KU had a top 10 defense for 2 or 3 seasons and the offense caught up.

Frankenhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

I agree with you about Gundy, however, the turnaround would not have happened if T. Boone Pickens hadn't dropped $90 Million on renovating their stadium. They have struck gold with a few diamonds in the rough but the wide receivers they have recently sent to the NFL for example, were top flight recruits that they lured with their shiny new digs.

The good news is that unlike Mangino, Weis is starting his tenure off at KU with shiny digs of his own to sell and (allegedly) more stadium renovations on the way. oSu took a "build it and they will come approach" and it has worked beautifully for them.

Jim Erickson 9 years, 7 months ago

Completely agree with Frankenhawk above. Gundy has done a great job but the difference in OSU is the investment. A lackluster set of facilities had a massive upgrade and now we are seeing OSU as a top program. I know it's difficult to raise that kind of money (I'm guessing $50 Million minimum) to get Memorial Stadium to a Big 12 level stadium, but it has to be a top priority.

johnnyhrdwd 9 years, 7 months ago

True, at the same time our basketball is second to none.

Jim Erickson 9 years, 7 months ago

Completely agree. A lot of it has to do with tradition and a great coach, but when a recruit walks into a first class basketball venue and hears our fans go nuts... Chills run through their spine and they know they are part of something special.

Memorial Stadium is the polar opposite. An eye sore that is too far from the field (the track puts the seats FAR back) to generate noise on the field.

texashawk10 9 years, 7 months ago

Someone needs to convince Phil Anschutz to start pumping millions of dollars into the program like T. Boone has. Anschutz is the one KU alum who is rich enough to donate $250 million into the athletic program and build up football. OSU is a school that for a long time was a basketball first school with decent history in that sport (2 national titles, 6 final fours, 20 conference titles, and 1500+ wins all time). KU needs to get all the other people in the fundraising department on Anschutz and convince AEG to do the renovations of Memorial Stadium because AEG is one of the absolute best companies in the world for what KU needs right now.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Look, I love Tony, and I would not trade him for anybody, but it is easy to recognize a really good football player, and this kid is a really good football player.”

Translation - I'd trade his butt for Randle in a nano-second.

kellerman411 9 years, 7 months ago

This will be a great test for this defense. If they don't completely have their way with us, that should be considered a sign of progress. I think a really ambitious goal would be to hold them under 40. Gonna need some turnovers....

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

kellerman411 - holing them under 40 would indeed be a sign of progress. Some might even consider it a miracle, as KSU put up 56 on us and they don't really have a lot of offense besides Klein.

But I hope you're right.

kellerman411 9 years, 7 months ago

Yeah but KSU really had us fooled with the exchange. Flow to the ball looked slow because we didn't know who had the ball. Klein seems to be really good with the exchange. Hopefully we do a little better with a more traditional offense like what OSU has.

KGphoto 9 years, 7 months ago

This is why I was screaming for the defense to slam Klein on every exchange, regardless of who they think has it. He's too good at it, so you might as well get your licks in and make him weary.

texashawk10 9 years, 7 months ago

If KU isn't -5 in the turnover department, I think that's a possibility. Not a great shot at it, but a possibility.

NebraskaJayhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

He never would have come here. Mangino got rid of John..Lew didn't. I'm bashing Mangino either..huge fan of Mangino here, but those are the facts.

kellerman411 9 years, 7 months ago

Maybe you guys have known this for a while now but I guess Jake Heaps is reaching out to recruits to try and sway them to come to KU. Marcus Jenkins-Moore is probably the best linebacker recruit KU has had in several years and I only say that because he has prooved himself at the juco level, not the highschool level. The problem is he still has a visit scheduled to K-State and all of the K-State fans are all over his Twitter page begging him to come but there is someone else on there, Jake Heaps.

jtheaps9 I guess is Jake and he is recruting this kid hard. Do these two know eachother some how other than when Marcus visited for the TCU game? I'm excited that Jake is going after kids like this, that is what we need. Anyone got any other info about this?

Again, Marcus is a game changer at outside linebacker. Watch his mix tape, he is a grown man.

Jake, don't know if you read this man but keep going, bud. Get the word out that what you want to do next year has nothing to do with whats going on this year. We're behind you bud and looking forward to having you under center. Lets get a win on Saturday.

Micky Baker 9 years, 7 months ago

Hawkhead, Snyder went into retirement once, and that was after the season that KU broke the streak. Snyder is 82 years old, his time is near.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

Actually..I think he is 72...but the time is near.

kellerman411 9 years, 7 months ago

Yeah man, Combs and the other Juco committ Andrew bolton along with Mckinney would make for an improved D-line. I actually like our current linebackers, especially Heeney and with the Miles kid coming along. Marcus would start easily though.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 7 months ago


Completely different sitution in my opinion, but I truly appreciate the sentiment.

You're a class act, Dave.

jayhawkrob 9 years, 7 months ago

yea but what happens when snyder retires and they hire mangino...its possible. and id be pissed.

KGphoto 9 years, 7 months ago

Interesting, but it would be Snyder doing the hiring. I personally don't see him hiring a guy with baggage, even if it is one of his disciples. It's called Bill Snyder "Family" Stadium after all.

Mike Plank 9 years, 7 months ago

Snyder isn't retiring anytime soon... he's only 73. He's like JoePa... he'll be coaching into his 80s.

texashawk10 9 years, 7 months ago

KSU will never hire Mangino. Their next coach will already be on staff when Snyder retires because Snyder will designate a coach in waiting like Mike Belotti and Barry Alvarez did. My guess would be Dana Dimel as the next head coach if Snyder and KSU do go that route. I do believe however that KSU is likely headed back to oblivion when Snyder retires no matter who KSU chooses unless they pull a major coup and land Bret Bielema or Gary Patterson.

troutsee 9 years, 7 months ago

Mangino will never be hired as the head coach of K-State.

It is going to be terrible weather on Sat. My daughter and I will be there. I hope the stadium will be full but doubt that it will be, as KU FB fans are nortoriously fair weather fans in more ways than one.

troutsee 9 years, 7 months ago

27 mph wind for Sat. will mean that Crist will get the start even though his performances have been shakey. We better make hay when we have the wind. Hopefully we will defense the run better against OSU than we did against KSU.

edmondjayhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

With all due respect, I have to disagree with a couple of earlier posts. First to okiedave...You said that when Gundy took over the O-state program that he had "two very terrible years and two very mediocre years". Yes, his first year was not good. (4-7)... His second year he went 7-6 and beat Alabama in the Independence Bowl. Another 7-6 record with an Insight Bowl win followed that and in his fourth year he went 9-4 and lost to Oregon in the Holiday Bowl. Three bowl games in four is not terrible or mediocre. Having lived in Oklahoma the past 15 years, I NEVER heard any O-State fans "calling for his head". Secondly to Frankenhawk, the wide receivers that O-State has recently sent to the NFL were hardly top flight recruits. Dez Bryant was a great talent coming out of Lufkin, but most schools backed off of him because he was and still is a punk. Justin Blackmon was from a small school in southern Oklahoma (Plainview) and was only a three-star recruit. Oklahoma State was the only Big 12 school that offered him. I do agree that the facilities are a big factor, but Gundy deserves some big time credit...especially after losing two very good offensive coordinators in Fedora and Holgerson.

Mike Plank 9 years, 7 months ago

Whatever happened to Adarius Bowman, the kid who put up 300 receiving yards against us the last time these guys were in Lawrence?

kureader 9 years, 7 months ago

Nice post ... some of the posts here are more informative than the articles!

Micky Baker 9 years, 7 months ago

I bet that we see Sheperd getting some PT Saturday, but one of the things that I saw in an earlier article is one of the younger guys at Center and moving the Center to Right Guard to fix that mess on that side. This also means that we might have to bring in a full back and maybe instead of throwing it to Sims, misdirect and throw it to the full back and get some yards that way and make them have to cover everyone.

Having Pierson in the game is huge, but we have to understand that the offensive package isn't fully installed yet but Pierson, Sims and Cox are going to know the whole thing next year as well as Turzilli, Omigie, McKay and Parmalee. This is a solid foundation. Heaps will also know the whole offense next season, and the execution will be better. Execution is our offense's biggest problem right now.

On defense, we will continue to improve, and we'll have some newer, fresh people that didn't have three separate college coaches this coming season.

Weis's approach is far better than Gill's. Weis says it how it is, and I respect that. At least one of the recruits we have coming in next year is one that both LSU and Alabama recruited heavily.

The tackling is better, but one thing that really needs improved is shedding blocks. It is about effort and confidence.

wildjayhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

It will take time for Weis to get this team going as it did Mangino. Ku will be sick when Snyder retires as we will see a familar face across the way, Mark Mangino.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Nuh uh. Mangino would eat all the desserts.

Lucas Town 9 years, 7 months ago

Mangino will make it a point to hang 100 points per game on us if KSU hires him. The way he was treated at the end, that is the last thing I want to see.

kellerman411 9 years, 7 months ago

KSU learned their lesson with Prince, they won't hire Mangino... Besides Snyder probably has more life ahead of him than Mangino.

CrystalJones 9 years, 7 months ago

You're right, Kellerman, I fear that KSU did learn a big lesson with the Prince hire. They won't make that kind of mistake again. Snyder came back because that school, unfortunately, realizes that it absolutely must have good football in order to prosper. It's the engine for the whole university, so I have no doubt that they'll hire someone from the Snyder coaching tree (not Mangino, though) who has learned from Snyder how to do it in the state of Kansas -- whether it's at KU or KSU. They might even turn the hiring over to Snyder this time. They'd be stupid to hire from outside his coaching tree, in my opinion, and I don't think they will.

edmondjayhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Bowman wasted away in the CFL...had drug issues....the first of three straight O-State receivers that can't seem to stay out of trouble.

kureader 9 years, 7 months ago

Joseph Randle should be wearing a Jayhawk uniform on Saturday. He's a Kansas kid, and his older brother, John, played at KU ... and we still lost him. That just can't happen.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

Darn..I got excited there for a second. I thought that the NCAA had instituted a new rule to allow a uber underdog team to pick one opponent player to be on their team for a day.

Still, there will be a ray of sunshine. I'm going to tape Alabama's dismantling of Misery this Saturday, sit down with popcorn and soda and enjoy the massacre!!

Justin Daniel 9 years, 7 months ago

Why the hell did we encourage Jordan Webb to leave? He would be a definite upgrade over Dayne Crist.

Carl Anderson 9 years, 7 months ago

because Weis said Crist was better and we didn't need him anymore, and we all sat there starry-eyed & said "ok".

I don't think Webb is better than Crist in most categories, but at least when he can't figure out where to throw the ball, he's athletic enough to try to run for something. Crist is a statue.

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