Oklahoma State defeats Kansas, 20-14

  • 2:30 p.m., Oct. 13, 2012
  • David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, KS

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Turning the tide: Michael Cummings-led rally falls short as KU falls to OSU

Kansas receiver Kale Pick walks off the field after the Jayhawks came up short on a combeback win over Oklahoma State on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas receiver Kale Pick walks off the field after the Jayhawks came up short on a combeback win over Oklahoma State on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.


For three quarters Saturday at rain-soaked Memorial Stadium, Kansas University’s football offense did next to nothing against Oklahoma State and found itself staring at 20-point hole in the final quarter with a feeling of hopelessness washing over whatever remained of the 31,115 announced attendance.

And then Michael Cummings entered the game.

Todd Reesing he was not. But it’s OK if that thought crossed your mind, because, like Reesing against Colorado in 2006, Cummings, a red-shirt freshman from Killeen, Texas, gave KU life and represented the Jayhawks’ best shot at a comeback.

It almost happened. But after reaching the Oklahoma State 41-yard line with 2:42 to play and the Jayhawks trailing by six, a fourth-down pass from Cummings to tailback Brandon Bourbon sailed high. KU’s chances sailed away with it, and Oklahoma State held on for a 20-14 victory.

“I think he had a little bit more time to throw it than he thought he did,” KU coach Charlie Weis said. “He’s made that throw 100 times.”

The fact that the Jayhawks — especially Cummings — were in position for that throw to matter was somewhat remarkable in itself.

Although starting quarterback Dayne Crist (10-of-22 passing for 136 yards) had led the offense to 236 yards through three quarters, the Jayhawks could not crack the scoreboard, as Crist’s lack of mobility and four drives that ended after failed fourth-down attempts kept Oklahoma State firmly in control. But with 4:20 to play in the third quarter, Weis handed the ball to Cummings, and the Kansas offense took off.

“I just felt that I had to do something to try to bring some energy,” Weis said.

One of the most crazy elements of a crazy day was this go-figure nugget from Cummings: “This was the first game my parents didn’t come to,” he said. “I’m sure I’ve got 100 text messages from them on the phone. I’m sure they were watching.”

Asked how tough it was to inform Crist of the decision after all the two had been through together, Weis was brutally honest.

“Hey, it’s difficult to make it,” he said of the decision. “But this is about the team. This isn’t about the player.”

After a rough first series in which the Jayhawks went backwards 12 yards on three plays even though Cummings connected with senior wide receiver Kale Pick on a 21-yard completion, things began to get fun. On his second series, Cummings led a nine-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a 21-yard touchdown strike to tight end Jimmay Mundine. That play ignited the KU bench and all of those who remained in the stands.

“Once one person made a play, somebody else stepped up and made a play, and that’s how it needs to be,” Cummings said. “I felt like it sparked the team, and it definitely got the fans back into the game.”

After a three-and-out from the defense, Cummings (5-of-10 passing for 75 yards and a touchdown) led KU on a two-play, 73-yard drive in which junior tailback James Sims did the heavy lifting. Sims, who finished with 180 yards of total offense on 27 carries and three receptions, ran twice for 58 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown.

Cummings’ escapability drew a face-mask penalty for the other 15 yards, and, just like that, after being left for dead just a few minutes earlier, the Jayhawks were down 20-14 with nearly nine minutes to play.

“He kind of made one play and then another and then another,” KU senior safety Bradley McDougald said. “We were just like, ‘If it’s gonna be Mike, it’s gonna be Mike.’ It definitely gave our defense a lot of mojo because after that guys just had a killer-instinct look in their eyes.”

It showed on Oklahoma State’s next drive, as the Jayhawks (1-5 overall, 0-3 Big 12) again turned the Cowboys away, this time after five plays.

“If you were telling me that we were gonna hold ’em to 20 points, I’d say, ‘Sign me up,’ 100 out of 100 times,” Weis said in praise of his defense. “They really kept us alive into the fourth quarter and gave us a chance to rally and have a chance to win.”

McDougald was pleased but hardly impressed.

“That’s your job,” he said. “You shouldn’t really get credit for it.”

Although KU’s final drive fell short, it had plenty of highlights.

Sims ran like his scholarship depended on it, and Cummings made one of two throws he really had to have, a 14-yard-and-one-inch completion to Pick on third-and-14 deep in KU territory.

“That was big,” Cummings said with a smile. “(Pick) was first in the progression, he won his route, and you know if you get the ball near No. 7 he’s gonna make a play.”

Even though the drive stalled, KU’s thrashing defense, which limited Joseph Randle — the Big 12’s leading rusher — to 80 yards on 29 carries, forced a punt with 1:46 remaining. Instead of taking over with a chance to drive for victory, the Jayhawks roughed punter Quinn Sharp, allowing OSU (3-2, 1-1) to retain possession and run out the clock.

“I didn’t think it was that risky,” Weis said of going after the kick. “It’s just a kid trying to make a play.”

Although the postgame moods did not reflect what showed on the scoreboard, Weis was quick to point out that the result was not acceptable but the effort was.

“They’re all miserable, and that’s good,” Weis said of his team. “But it’s a different type of feeling in the locker room today. They all hurt, but this is the first time we’ve gone out in the fourth quarter and played like a team that wants to win.”

Cummings’ play and the team’s response definitely give Weis something to consider at the game’s most important position. However, when asked after the game if he knew who his starting quarterback would be next week in Norman, Okla., Weis offered a hint of perspective to cap off a game that took four hours and 22 minutes to finish and included a weather delay of more than an hour.

“It’s 7:22 after an 18-hour game,” he said. “So, no. But I think you have to honestly evaluate where you are right now and what gives you the best chance of winning. And whatever that answer is, that’s where we’ll go.”


s6u6r6f 9 years, 7 months ago

A flash of life; a hint of hope: rock chalk.

Hawk_Star 9 years, 7 months ago

Our secondary played better today than i'd seen them play in years. Obviously the rain played a part in that, but keep in mind how aggressive and close to the line Mcdougald was throughout most of the game, leaving man-to-man on the outside as our last line of defense. Even as the rain let up, our cb's continued to bat down pass after pass. Moreover, the energy that both sides of the ball played with as the game grew tighter and tighter was especially encouraging; O-linemen getting a push, James Sims doing his best Adrian Peterson impression, the offensive extending drives, and the Defense routinely initiating hits at the line of scrimmage. Lastly, I hope when the team watches the game film, a sense of identity develops, because the aggressive blue collar effort put forth by the hawks was clearly wearing down the OSU morale.

-I hate the loss, but admired the this team's fearlessness; 2nd-half intestinal fortitude is one of the key attributes of all great teams. Keep getting better Hawks! RCJ

jhox 9 years, 7 months ago

I loved our corners playing tight like that. Why not make the QB prove he can throw the deep ball instead of conceding 7 or 8 yard pass after pass? We finally did that and had our best defensive game in years. Go figure.

Rivethead 9 years, 7 months ago

Yeah we can do that against freshman QBs. But don't start bitching if we don't do that against Landry Jones........

John Randall 9 years, 7 months ago

Do you really think Campo will game plan differently against a QB on the Heisman list?

Joseph Kuebel 9 years, 7 months ago

Sure woulda been interesting to see what woulda happened with Cummings in for the whole game. Well it was nice seeing us do something in the 4th quarter for a change.

LeadFarmer 9 years, 7 months ago

Defense played great....Cummings played decent....Running back was moving the ball well....but then Charlie Weis got involved. Defense got 2 big stops in the last quarter and CW wasted it by a) Passing on 2 & 9 which wasn't caught b) Running on 3 & 9 with someone other than James Sims c) Screen pass on 4 & 9 (they haven't been working all season, why continue to do it - #25 isn't Tony Pierson...don't do it!) d) Trying to block the punt and getting a personal foul. I don't blame the team at all...they rode Sims back and had a chance to take the lead twice in the 4th quarter. I blame poor play calling. Every loss KU has sustained has generally been because of poor play calling. How is it that this supposed offensive genius that made Tom Brady and such can't even get the ball into the end zone? DAVE CAMPO FOR HEAD COACH!

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Well - you basically said everything that was in my head. The punt rush was a really stupid call. You might try that in the first half, but not when you have ALL the momentum and a chance to win the game in the 4th Qtr. OSU was gassed, we were pumped and had a good chance for a nice return.

Crist should not play another down - unless he can punt or kick. He's not a D-1 QB by any stretch of the imagination.

Yeah, Cummings blew a couple of passes, but with the limited amount of playing time he's had, it was to be expected. If he'd had even another quarter of experience, it may have had a different outcome.

I don't know if I'm ready to appoint Campo head coach, but dang it Charlie - don't be stupid. Quit calling the fake punts and field goals - everyone knows we can't kick and that we have to go for it. And NO MORE last ditch punt rushes to kill our chances.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Yeah brainville - except i've been saying it all year long. Great post.

VaJay 9 years, 7 months ago

That fake field goal was close to being a great play. If our Right tackle had even tried to make a block, then Blake might've taken it to the house. It was a fabulous play call & scheme. This stuff is fun to watch. I say - keep going Charlie!!

Brandon Pope 9 years, 7 months ago

Probably better to take a chance at a short field than to pin a brand new QB deep with 90 seconds and no timeouts. It was the right call to go for it. It's not like he asked them to hit the kicker, it's just a risk you take.

texashawk10 9 years, 7 months ago

Why do you have a problem with the punt rush when the situation dictates that's what KU should've done. Shepherd was close enough to getting a finger tip on it that I thought it should've been reviewed. Sharp would've likely buried KU inside the 10 yard line with about 1:30 left and no timeouts for a freshman QB playing his first meaningful snaps and had been shaky at best in the passing game. I would much rather see KU go down playing as aggressively as possible instead of losing by playing conservatively like KU did last year against Iowa St.

Micky Baker 9 years, 7 months ago

Limited amount of playing time? You know how many games Crist has actually played in the past 5 years? Fewer than Cummings has.

troutsee 9 years, 7 months ago

I agree. Stay on the farm. The best chance we had to win that game was to go after the punter. The OSU coaching staff knew it. That is the reason they called timeout before the punt. As far as your comments regarding play calling you could say the same thing about some of the plays called by the OSU staff. This team is light years ahead of last year's team. Even though this is Charlie's first year, teams will know when they play KU this year. They better be ready to play. Calling for Campo to replace Weis is also goofy.

Cummings made a statement today and the team seemed to rally around him. I guarantee you, that if Cummings had had some of the open fields that Crist had on a couple of 4th down opportunities, we would have sustained some drives that we did not.

Jeremy Hays 9 years, 7 months ago

Cummings is not a sprinter... I don't see him as a RGIII. He may be more mobile than Crist but really the running game is what turned them around. So Don't pass on 2nd down and don't run on 3rd down and don't throw short on 4th down??? Why not go after the punt. They just drove to mid field and stalled. You have a freshman QB in with no real go to WRs. Where is the bad play calls? Every team passes (sans the academies) Teams run on 3rd down (especially if they don't have big time WRs which KU doesn't). Why Dave Campo? I like his defense however it was everyone on here last week saying how BAD the defense was after giving up so many points to KSUck.

Mike Barnhart 9 years, 7 months ago

Charlie has to start Crist next week ... at punter!

I was in the stadium real early yesterday and got to see the kickers and punters warm-up. It was an ugly warm-up except for Dayne Crist. He's a tremendous punter! I'm talking NFL quality distance AND hang time.

Dude's a bust at QB but imagine him making it to the NFL ... as a punter. That'd justify his move to Kansas (for him, not Charlie!)

lurkerhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Just goes to show how much one man on the team can make a difference.

Kevin Kelly 9 years, 7 months ago

Weis....did YOU learn anything today about teaching children? It takes talent AND leadership.

  • Find the spark that lifted the team on the field (obvious) and anyone who lifted the team off the field and make them the new captian of the team.

  • It would be nice to find some faith in the kicker. We could have used 6 points. Even if we didn't get them in this game we need that to get going and it won't work if no one gets game experience this year.

  • Use....the....bench.....

Bill Kackley 9 years, 7 months ago

I think there are to many people on this site just so they can blow negativity at the rest of us. Get a better attiude or shut up. Yes, the coach might have made some mistakes but there isn't a coach alive that will call a play on every down that works. I personally thought the attempt to block the kick was a good idea and so would you naysayers if the kid would have been 2 inches closer and 1 second quicker. The way their punter was booming the ball 70 yards per kick we would have had to been trying to drive the ball 90 yards down field in 2 and 1/2 minutes with no time outs and a redshirt freshman who had not been in that position previously in a college game. Thank you Coach Weis for giving us the opportunity to get a quality win.

jhox 9 years, 7 months ago

I agree. It was the right time to be aggressive. Especially Without Pierson it was highly unlikely we could drive 80 yards for a TD in under a minute. It was the right time to take that chance and not be conservative.

soapisurfriend 9 years, 7 months ago

This is a great post! I loved the call to go after the punter, and it almost worked. Sharp was the difference in this game and there was little doubt that he wasn't going to pin the Hawks deep with a full field to go. When your team has been losing for this long, you have to take chances. I love Chuck for that.

Bville Hawk 9 years, 7 months ago

And they were kicking from almost midfield so more than likely the punt would have gone into the end zone so we would be looking at a long field with no time outs. If they would have been kicking from their 10 yd line then I think the best choice would have been to try and set up a return.

texashawk10 9 years, 7 months ago

Sharp's too good of a punter to do that very frequently. With no pressure, he angles the punt to the coffin corner and puts it out of bounds somewhere inside the 15 yard line.

tical523 9 years, 7 months ago

Say what you want about the play calling but I am seeing a passionate and determined coach that is doing whatever it takes to win. Mangino used to piss people off with some of his ultra aggressive and risky play calls but I like a guy who fires every bullet when you are down or just overmatched. I too believe that Cummings should have played more and even before today but that is a real tough call to make becuase even if we don't want to admit it there is a deep friendship between coach and Crist, and I was impressed by Crist's attitude after Cummings TD pass as he seemed genuinely happy and excited for his teammate. Very excited about the progress and direction of this team, Charlie and S. Zenger are a good combo for KU.

p.s. I wish Crist the best of luck in the future, maybe a coach for Charlie down the line.

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 7 months ago

It seems like Charlie has been waiting to see the Crist he used to know, and I'm afraid all his injuries took that away. It doesn't look like Crist will ever be the player he used to be. Don't know if he has become too cautious to avoid getting injured again, or if the injuries have affected his physical performance. I'm sorry to see it because it looked like a big redemption opportunity for him and our team.

kadub6 9 years, 7 months ago

The biggest mistake Weis made was not rushing the punt team out with 3 minutes left. At that point you have a chance to pin them with 3 time outs left and make them punt into the wind. Then you have the short field he ended up gambling the block for.

We end up wasting a time out to change our mind after 17 seconds came off the clock and that missing time out costs another 25 seconds on the OSU series. With the punt instead of going for it, the 3 time outs could have afforded us about 2 minutes to score from mid field provided the D comes through again. That's got a much higher probability than blocking a punt. or going 80 yards with 1:35.

troutsee 9 years, 7 months ago

Agree. That was a questionable decision since we had all of our timeouts remaining. However, one first down by OSU and the game is over. I think I would have gone for it on 4th down just like Charlie did. But it is a coin flip as to which decision is the better. For sure, going for the block was the right call.

wildjayhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Not to bad, looks like there is some improvement.

Ian Ballinger 9 years, 7 months ago

It hurts to see us lose after rallying back in the fourth quarter... I was in my living room jumping up and down... I was excited. I hope Cummings starts next week. We where playing with more passion in the 4th quarter alone, then we have all year, so I'm hoping with this loss, it gets Kansas even more hungry to win. Proud of my 'Hawks for playing with passion, keep it up. Rock Chalk!

Bville Hawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Kicking game was much improved in this game as well. For the most part OSU was looking at a long field most of the time when they got the ball. Both kickoffs and punting were better than they have been and both played a part in us being able to hang with OSU.

hawkmaster 9 years, 7 months ago

First the very positive, the defense was outstanding, young Jake Love from Tonkawa, Okla. played great except for one decisive tackle, but 2 other Jayhawks stood nearby and failed to gang tackle on Moore so its not all Jake's fault. I think a number of younger players got more time, including Mundine, the tight end. And they showed they were ready.

I was one of the few that stayed to the end of the game, and my only reason was hopefully to see Cummings play, and see him play well enough to earn the starting spot. He wasn't great, but he definitely earned the starting spot: 1) when he came in, it seemed like the whole team got fired up, I think the team actually felt for the first time they might have a chance to win with this QB; 2) he is a scrambler gunslinger, and can definitely pass on the run, like Reesing - - Crist CANNOT pass running right or left. I only wish Cummings would have been brought in at half-time to give KU a better shot, sort of like that Reesing kid was brought in after half-time of the Colorado game years ago.....the rest is history.

I'm still not impressed with Weis on offense, Campo and the improvement of his defense have shown Weiss up, especially when offense was supposed to be better than defense this year with Crist. Please don't use "genius" when describing Weis any more! I am not convinced that Weis can be both head coach and offensive play caller, that is very tough duty. And with KU being so young someone needs to be talking to the offense when they are on the sidelines. I am sure Powlus the QB coach talks to the QB's, but KU does not even have an Asst. Offensive Coordinator....hmmm! In fact, that makes Cummings debut so much more impressive because he does not get a lot of coaching on the sidelines during the game, he essentially gets thrown in to the fire.

I too agree that Weis made some boneheaded play calling. All this week the newspapers and Weis were talking about opening the offense with some trick plays and unique schemes, and KU did not run one trick play. The red zone play calling was awful and predictable, normally most coaches save a few special tricks, misdirection, or something unique....not KU. I don't think KU ran one misdirection play the entire game, no reverses, no cutback against the grain by running plays, and no throwing back across the field.

After the 1 hour rain delay, OSU made half-time like changes and were stopping Sims, and like last week after half-time in K-State game, Weis came out seeming more determined to run the ball. Guess you can argue the rain did that, but OSU was airing it out. How many times did I see KU run the same play with Sims up the middle. And eventually he did break one, but maybe he would have broke 2 or 3 with some creative play calling.

I only hope these young kids continue getting playing time, they are ready!

VaJay 9 years, 7 months ago

Wow. Do any of you complainers remember the score last year in the OSU game?? Give this team and its coach the benefit of the doubt. I bet it was killing CW to bench Crist, and yet he did & that gave us a real chance for a huge upset. Does anyone miss last year's debacles? Apparently some of you do.

Kansas1241 9 years, 7 months ago

Oh please don't compare last year and this year give me a break. Last year OSU was a national championship team with Brandon Weedon and Dez Bryant. KU was coached by Turner Gill. So it was obvious it was going to be a blowout.

soapisurfriend 9 years, 7 months ago

National championship team? Alabama, if I recall, beat LSU in the title game, OSU did not even play for the championship. Dez Bryant, if I recall, played and injury-plagued season for the Dallas Cowboys. Maybe it was Justin Blackmon who you were referring to, who, as you alluded to, teamed up with Weeden to make a great scoring punch. Yet, before the game yesterday, OSU had the top offense in the country.

John Randall 9 years, 7 months ago

It really is refreshing to see two teams on the field for four quarters, isn't it?

Andy Godwin 9 years, 7 months ago

First, I would commend the 100 or so students that braved the weather and kept the energy level high during the delay. As an alumnus who stayed to the bitter end, it was nice to see some of the student body have fun. Although it was a shame how few people remained for the fourth quarter and how few students attended the game in the first place, it was the most excitement we have had in Memorial stadium that late in a Big XII game for awhile.

Second, I truly thought, actually expected that KU was going to win 21 to 20 as the momentum shifted in the fourth quarter. That is what made the loss that much worse. KU should have pulled the upset. Good teams make all the plays down the stretch, and unfortunately KU made to many mistakes to beat a good (not great) team. Although OSU did KU a huge favor by never running down the play clock giving KU more chance to win.

Third, the defense did well and other than that one horrendous missed tackle that lead to a long score after a short pass the defense played well enough to win.

Finally, Weis again make questionable decisions that may have made a difference in the final outcome. Why in the world did he waste the first time out? He ran the punt team on and then had to take a time out to change his mind. It was a no brainier to go on 4th down when driving for the winning score. That lack of a timeout then allowed OSU for the first time to run the play clock down after a failed 3rd down play. That was nearly 30 seconds wasted that could have lead to setting up a punt return and 2 minute drill, instead of ending any hope by roughing the kicker.

Although disappointed in not finishing off the rally when the momentum was clearly on KU's side and the OSU faithful were squirming, I hope the defense continues to improve and that the offense finds a true leader.

Micky Baker 9 years, 7 months ago

I'm 100% with you on this. The fans can't expect it to get better unless they show loyalty to it.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 7 months ago

The defense did all it could with the amount of time the offense put them on the field. I'm proud of them! Crist and the O did absolutely NOTHING.

rawheadrex 9 years, 7 months ago

Maybe Charlie should investigate Erin DiMeglio. She is the 3rd string quarterback for the South Plantation Paladins and first female to earn varsity standing in Florida. She was also crowned homecoming queen the other evening. Even if she never plays, it would get KU football in the record books for something in the Big XII-II. She is also a point guard and plays softball. A paladin is a respected leader and the Richard Boone role in "Have Gun, Will Travel" from 1957-63.

741hawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Get used to it. Charlie will take chances. That will make for exciting football.

We all can criticize individual decisions. (They are MANY during a game.) However . . . we should take great satisfaction in this improving football team and football program. Ultimately, our future success will depend on recruiting . . . because we have coordinators (Weis and Campo) who have outstanding resumes.

Spencer Goff 9 years, 7 months ago

Did Eric Winston have any informative and accurate comments after this game? Wait, wrong backup QB that should have been playing. Sorry, the Patriot Connection always confuses me.

Michael Sillman 9 years, 7 months ago

Cummings certainly did enough to deserve a start against Oklahoma but based on the UT-OU game it won't really matter who starts at QB for the Jayhawks. I would guess that we'll see Crist at some point too.

I actually think that rotating Cummings and Crist throughout the game with a little Wildcat thrown in it might be our best shot. Keep the defense off balance.

The playbook will probably need to be simplified a bit when Cummings is in. Then you can open it up again with Crist on the field.

Sitting on the bench at the start might be some good tonic for Crist. He can relax a bit before he joins the action. I really think the guy is just trying too hard.

vd 9 years, 7 months ago

Remember Adam Barman's first start? He played a great game.

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 7 months ago

Well I think anyone paying attention has been disappointed by a lot of Weis' decisions on offense. But, he has put together a good staff, he is a capable coach, and I believe in the long run he will continue to learn and become a good head coach. So I'm not happy with a lot of what he's done with the offense and game time coaching, but I will continue to have faith and hold out hope for future improvement from him and the team. Even Roy Williams took a while until he was ready to leave a little slack in the reigns for guys like Boschee, Hinrich and Gooden to play where earlier in his career he had been a bit tight and early to bench guys in the mid-90s. Is coaching evolved, I think we'll see this team and Charlie Weis evolve.

Theonlythingthatexceedsyourbad 9 years, 7 months ago

Close one. We had a few shots. Crist can't go back out on the field. On those two forth downs when he ran for it he looked like a 45 year old man rumbling down the field.

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