Sunday, September 2, 2012

Jacks’ big run ‘pretty cool’


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Charlie Weis

Kansas coach Charlie Weis talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 31-17 victory over South Dakota State on Sept. 1, 2012.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU players talk following win over SDSU

KU players talk following their 31-17 win over SDSU on Sept. 1, 2012.

Download podcast

Box score

KU 31, SDSU 17

Zach Zenner accepted a handoff two to three yards deep in the end zone, busted through Kansas University’s line and 13 seconds later completed the longest touchdown run in South Dakota State football history.

Zenner, a 6-foot, 215-pound sophomore from Eagan, Minn., re-wrote the Jackrabbit record books by racing 99 yards from scrimmage to open the scoring in a 31-17 loss to the Jayhawks in Memorial Stadium.

“Now I have to quit saying he’s never going to outrun anybody because he outran some people tonight. He outran some pretty good football players,” SDSU coach John Stiegelmeier said. “He’s a good football player, a tough football player.”

Zenner’s run erased the old school-record run of 95 yards, set by Mike Lunde in 1976. It also was the longest run ever against a KU defense, the Jayhawks having allowed two 95-yarders through the years

“That’s pretty cool,” said Zenner, who tied KU’s Eric Vann for the longest run in Memorial Stadium history. Vann burned Oklahoma back in 1997. Gale Sayers also had a 99-yard TD run for KU, but that was at Nebraska in 1963.

“We’ve been working on a lot of the same running plays the past few weeks. We thought that one maybe had a chance to hit big, and it did,” Zenner said.

His dash came on a first-down call. Quarterback Eric Kline risked a safety by handing him the ball so deep in the end zone.

“I mean, you’ve got to fall forward. That’s a priority always, especially when you are backed up,” Zenner said.

Zenner finished with 183 yards off 23 carries.

“For a running back to do well, it starts up front,” he said. “The offensive line has to have a great day, which it did. I played OK. There’s a few solos I wish wouldn’t have happened. You can’t have solo tackles.”

The Jackrabbits used a pair of quarterbacks on Saturday. Backup Eric Kline started and hit four of nine passes for 32 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions. Projected starter Austin Sumner, who Stiegelmeier said would not play because of a hand injury, hit 14 of 31 passes for 175 yards, a TD and four interceptions.

Stiegelmeier said Sumner wanted to play. A trainer called a team doctor back home in South Dakota, who apparently said it was OK.

“Austin said he was ready to play. I didn’t think he would play. I really didn’t until ... I felt we needed to make some throws that weren’t being made,” Stiegelmeier said.

“Austin wanted to play the day after he was injured ... you balance the spirit of the young man, the health of the young man, the welfare of your football team. Had we made more plays other than the 99-yard run in the first half and a few other plays, I don’t think Austin Sumner would have ever played. We may have won or we may have lost. We weren’t making those plays. I thought we needed a shot in the arm and he said he was ready,” the coach added.

As far as his overall opinion of the 14-point loss, Stiegelmeier said: “I was proud of our team in a ton of ways. Kansas is very well coached, has a good scheme. They know when to hurry up and know when to slow down. I think their quarterback (Dayne Crist) is a poised young man. He will make a lot of plays for them.”


Bangkok_Jayhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

If you take that 99 yard run and trade it for a 3 and out, the game feels a lot different and our defensive stats look a lot better as well. That doesn't really mean anything other than to say a good defense that doesn't show up for a couple plays (or even one) may not be considered a good defense.

I think our boys showed some good things with 5 turnovers, but I still feel that we gave up too many yards and didn't get the kind of pass rush you would have expected.

squawkhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Really? What if you take Pearsons 145 yards off the table? Wouldn't the game look a lot different too?

Bryan Mayes 9 years, 11 months ago

Apples:Oranges. (At least the way I read it.) Bangkok is talking about 1 play, albeit one REALLY poor play by our D. That is different than the 124 yards Pierson gained on 20 carries.

KGphoto 9 years, 11 months ago

e·ra   [eer-uh, er-uh] Show IPA noun 1. a period of time marked by distinctive character, events, etc.:

Pbbut 9 years, 11 months ago

The real shame about this is that on the 3rd down play before this. Crist missed a wide open receiver in the end zone. We should have been lining up for a kickoff instead of looking at the back of #31 running downfield.

waywardJay 9 years, 11 months ago

First comment, Z squared- incredible Run.

Even though it was against us, it was impressive...

Second comment... Did I see that right we were blitzing to the outside, inside the 5 yard line? It looked like they were running a play call Off tackle... If that was the blitz call, then Dave Campo should be tarred and feathered now...

Final Comment... Factor that play out and I think we had about three bad plays on defense otherwise... the missed tackle for first down, and the two seam pass plays in the second half. That's all that sticks out defensively... Everything else seemed to be what we would give them.

rockchalk_dpu 9 years, 11 months ago

In the post game, Weis said that the players had both split out by mistake and one player should have stayed home up the middle. Mistake by the players in the way they lined up, not the coaching scheme then.

waywardJay 9 years, 11 months ago

Perhaps... new system... Still, why call a blitz in that situation... which clearly they were blitzing... send 4, set the other 3 roaming spies, and play press in the secondary... make them hit a 7 second pass downfield for 99 yards instead of an untouched handoff up the middle.

tical523 9 years, 11 months ago

Maybe just being aggressive and trying to make a huge play (safety) or interception near their goal line, but the blitz did burn us on that call.

KGphoto 9 years, 11 months ago

Don't know why McDougald dove so early. It seemed to me he was starting to close, ever so slightly. I'd have to see it again, but I think Zenner was gassing a little, and Bradley should've stuck it out.

Sparko 9 years, 11 months ago

I loved Zenner--reminded me of a smaller Riggo. Would take him in a heartbeat. A 99-yard run is courtesy of a defensive lapse of some magnitude--there was no support once he hit the hole, but the kid can flat-out play.

63Jayhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Wasn't Gale Sayers 99 yard run against Oklahoma State in Stillwater?

John Mueller 9 years, 11 months ago

Hey Bangkok,

If if's and but's were candies and nuts, we'd all have a merry Christmas...

If my aunt had balls, u know the rest.

Come on.

If we played Alabama last night, we might Still be counting their score....

As Ty said in Caddyshack, "uh, you're not good."

But, we are better than we would be if h We'd hadn't changed coaches. I love this staff and I assume they're gonna keep working and we're gonna get better, but it was rough to watch for the most part.

Pierson can flat run. Doherty can punt.

Looking forward to getting Sims back.

McDougald can play.

Tanner Hawkinson looked awful against a much, much smaller guy than he's gonna be blocking in conference. Just awful.

Crist wasnt much better.

Baby steps...

But, come on with the if crap....

tical523 9 years, 11 months ago

Yes, we did give up and yes they did earn that big play but the play took probably 10 seconds out of the entire game and totally made it feel different. The opinion does not say that we should have won the game by 50 points or watch out BIG XII, simply that we are better and played better overall than the margin of victory would indicate. I hope we improve greatly the next couple of days at practice and with this staff and new attitude I beleive we will.

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