Friday, October 12, 2012

KU football preps for up-tempo OSU


Last season, in a 70-28 loss to Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., the Kansas University football team marched down the field on its opening drive, took a 7-0 lead, blinked and found itself trailing by 49 points at halftime.

Yes, there were still 15 minutes in each quarter, but the Oklahoma State offense chose not to use much of that time while racking up touchdown after touchdown against KU’s overmatched and out-of-breath defense.

Consider this: The eight straight OSU touchdown drives that followed KU’s initial score took an average of five plays and 1:44. Four of them took less than a minute and the longest was a 12-play drive that took just 3:14 off the clock.

Although a few key pieces of OSU’s crazy-paced offense are gone, the Cowboys still utilize the same fastbreak style and the Jayhawks are expecting to see plenty of it this weekend when they play host to OSU at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

“As soon as you finish the play, it’s get right back to the ball, get lined up and get the call because there’s no time for any wasted movement or any wasted time,” senior safety Bradley McDougald recalled.

While most of the OSU tempo comes from its no-huddle, quick-throw attack, the Cowboys also prominently feature tailback Joseph Randle — he leads the Big 12 in rushing and is sixth nationally — and are not afraid to take whatever the defense gives them.

“They attack all areas of the football field,” defensive coordinator Dave Campo said. “And I think, No. 1, we gotta make sure we don’t give up the big play in the passing game. That’s first.”

To that end, the Jayhawks have been preparing all week for the faster pace. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be ready.

“It’s something you can’t simulate at practice,” senior Toben Opurum said. “You kind of have to mentally prepare for it and get yourself ready for what they’re gonna do.”

Although the Cowboy way almost always shifts the advantage to Oklahoma State’s side of the field, several KU defenders said there were ways to flip the script.

“The good thing about that is you don’t have too many plays that they’re gonna spin off of that,” McDougald said. “Of course, they’ll add motion to try to confuse you, but usually when teams are going that fast they’re running the same two or three plays.”

Added senior linebacker Tunde Bakare, who said the OSU game last year was one of the more unbelievable experiences of his life: “What you have to do to stop that, is make a big play, get a turnover, something like that. Because once you get them off track it’s hard for them to keep speeding up the tempo.”

Doing that is certainly easier said than done, and that’s why Bakare began preparing for this week’s game long before it arrived on the schedule.

“Actually, this offseason, that was one of the games I got in shape because of,” Bakare said. “I didn’t feel like I was in good shape that game and I’ve just really tried to get more prepared for games like that.”


pocorio 9 years, 7 months ago

It is time to bring back that other guy again. What was his name? Fambrough?

vd 9 years, 7 months ago

CW won't make the same mistake Gill and Long made last year, by trying to play an uptempo game on offense. The D never had a chance to catch its breath, because the O was never on the field long enough.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 7 months ago

That should be the game plan. This season isn't over yet. The K-State blowout and UDK debacle hurt, but it's not over.

Stay the course. Keep the faith.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 7 months ago

After a quick distraction from the Jordan Shoe ad on the side of the page showing a totally wicked new shoe, I was wondering if anyone else heard Soren Petro on the radio yesterday. He picked Kansas to cover the spread and then he told people to tune in today when he makes his weekly picks because he was going to pick Kansas. I don't know if that means he will pick them for an outright win or just to cover, but it's nice to actually get a little local recognition from someone with no hometown bias.

I think this team is making strides, and believe it or not, I'm still excited to see what they can do with the second half of the season. There may only be one or two more wins (if that) but I do see the improvement. In the second half against KSU, we had several turnovers that killed us, and even though the score was bad in the end, the game had a totally different feel than last year. KSU scored becuase their players were better than our players. Not because our players were out of place or had no idea what to do. It doesn't appear we are out of shape and gassed in the second half. We're just not as good as KSU right now. Heck, we're probably not as good as a lot of teams, but we are getting better. Our coaches seem to have things going in the right direction with a possible few exceptions. I have been hugely disappointed with the special team play this year. I am sure Weis isn't happy about it either. I've been disappointed with our inconsistency on offense and our quarterback play. Still, anyone can see that our team is getting better.

We clearly execute better. We are rarely penalized (although there have been a few huge penalties--TCU anyone?). We are more disciplined and playing better assignment football. All in all, I'm encouraged by what I have seen, even if I am disappointed with the losses.

I'll be there tomorrow, hopefully not in the middle of a thunder storm (although that could be to our advantage), cheering us on until the end. I think I'll continue to see improvement. Hopefully I might even see a competitive game. Hey, you never know what might happen.

Lucas Town 9 years, 7 months ago

Seeing the first half of the KSU game I am starting to come around. I agree that we are getting better, but it is probably going to be a 2 to 3 year process. I like our chances to cover the spread. RCJHGKU!

JayhawkGrad05 9 years, 7 months ago

I'll be there, too. Hopefully the weather doesn't keep anyone away.

texashawk10 9 years, 7 months ago

I'm hoping the lightning stays away because if the game gets pushed to Sunday, then OSU is likely to cover. If the game does go on in the monsoon that's expected, KU very easily could cover because games like that tend to be lower scoring and that should help the game stay closer.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 7 months ago

Well played, raprichard.

My sentiments exactly. No one likes to see a loss, but before the season began, any realistic fan was telling themselves "the win-loss column" is not the important thing this season. Fundamentals, position play and effort are the key variables.

And even though our record doesn't reflect an improvement, be honest with yourself and admit that we are making strides. In fact, that first half against Kansas State was arguably the best I've seen us look in years, and I told myself at halftime that no matter what transpired the rest of the game....this was what we wanted to see.

The defense was picked apart, but made good plays here and there. And our offense sustained long, impressive drives. We got our butts kicked from then on, but do not discredit what happened in the first 30 minutes.

That half of football would have never been played under Turner Gill, and that, my friends. is fact.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

With Late Night looming in about seven hours, I find it encouraging that anyone is posting anything on football.

I consider that, in itself, proof that progress, albeit very painful and excruciatingly slow, is being made on the football field by Charlie and Co.

The fact that we will probably go 1-11 this year while playing better football will give creedance to the notion that KU Football was below rock bottom......we were at the level of the water table in Death Valley!!!

Lucas Town 9 years, 7 months ago

I think you can see that there are many more posts on the basketball articles opposed to the football articles at the moment. Shows where more fans than not are, unfortunately. The sad thing is there are 9 basketball games before football season even ends and at that point football will be an afterthought. Which I don't think will bode well for the mentality of the football team.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 7 months ago

It's like being in a candy store, Oakville. Football in mid-season and the first official day of the basketball season. The only down side is the lack of work I am getting done (or not done). The fact that it is Friday afternoon isn't helping my concentration, either.

kureader 9 years, 7 months ago

Very nice posts by Ruben and Raprichard ... a refreshing change of pace from numerous posts by others earlier in the week.

Charlie Weis is an experienced and accomplished football coach. He took over when the 2012 recruiting season was almost over and still managed to bring in 25 recruits. He also brought in other very good coaches that can recruit. He and his staff and our kids are working their butts off ... no one wants KU to win more than they do. Rain or shine, I'll be near the field watching the game Saturday ... along with my friend, Jack (Daniels).

Tom Pritchard 9 years, 7 months ago

I agree with OakvillejHawk..Patience Jayhawk grasshoppers patience....

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