Sunday, October 6, 2013

Jayhawks lament lack of consistency

Kansas linebacker Ben Heeney (31) can't hang on to Texas Tech running back DeAndre Washington as he heads in for a touchdown during the third quarter on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas linebacker Ben Heeney (31) can't hang on to Texas Tech running back DeAndre Washington as he heads in for a touchdown during the third quarter on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 at Memorial Stadium.


Embarrassed by their latest performance and upset that they looked powerless to stop the onslaught, the Kansas University football players who suffered a 54-16 loss to No. 20 Texas Tech at Memorial Stadium on Saturday were not shy in explaining where the team must go from here.

“It’s almost gotta be a mentality for guys to say they’re not going to accept that happening again,” said tight end Jimmay Mundine, one of the few Jayhawks who has progressed instead of regressing during the first four games of 2013.

Asked if inexperience was a viable excuse for KU’s early-season struggles, Mundine shook his head and emphatically said no. Asked why he felt that way, the KU junior pointed to his team’s performance throughout the offseason and in practice.

“I’m definitely surprised,” he said. “The execution that we were showing, the consistency that we were showing, it was very positive. And you see a lot of signs of that still, but it’s just not consistent enough.”

Consistency definitely is a problem, and it’s a problem at almost every position. The offensive line is a mess, the wide receivers have yet to show up, and the Jayhawks (2-2 overall, 0-1 Big 12) have been flagged for penalties way too often. That last part is particularly troubling when you consider KU committed the fewest penalties in the Big 12 last year. Heck, even the punter, who had been a major bright spot through the first three games, suffered a mental lapse on a fake punt attempt deep in KU territory that led to easy points for the Red Raiders.

Regardless of what’s gone wrong, which players have underperformed and who is responsible for any and all of it, the Jayhawks refuse to point fingers at each other and instead are pointing at the efforts they need more of to get things turned around.

“I’ll give you an example,” KU coach Charlie Weis said. “Ben Heeney. Ben Heeney went as hard as he could at the end of the game as he did at the beginning of the game. That didn’t change. I’m not saying he plays perfect, but he’s gonna play all-out on every single play, and that’s the one thing that you’re gonna have to be judging when you’re watching — how many guys are doing that?”

That concept rang true throughout the KU locker room following Saturday’s loss and was emphasized by the team’s captains.

“We can’t sit here and dwell on this loss, (or) it’ll be another long season,” defensive tackle Keon Stowers said. “We’ve gotta look at ourselves as men, and, if that’s getting new guys in there or getting guys out of there, we gotta do whatever it takes.”

Added junior quarterback Jake Heaps: “Trust me. It hurts real bad to lose in this fashion. It eats at you.... I’m glad we don’t have another (off) week to think about it. Really, it’s a gut check. It’s time to see what kind of guys we have in this locker room.”


Doug Cramer 8 years, 11 months ago

From a psychological standpoint, backs are to the wall, with nothing to lose, individuals on this team will eventually come out fighting like Mayweather one of these games. These juniors and seniors have got to be sick of getting rolled every week for the last 2-3 seasons.

But from a raw talent we have enough to finish a conference game...even with an emotional edge?

It's starting to feel like 2010 and 2011 again...Turner Gill era esk.

741hawk 8 years, 11 months ago

Reminds me of the Phat Man's first bowl game. Philip Rivers and NC State had us down badly in the fourth quarter. Mangino called time-out specifically to huddle the team. TV video and sound picked up the comments. It went something like this:

"Who's ready to quit? Cause if you are let me know now. But if you tell me you are in this until the end and I see anything less than max effort, you'll be runnin' stairs until you can't f--kin' even stand-up."

I'm looking for the same fire; the same "will never give up the fight" attitude, and a team that doesn't make mistakes.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 11 months ago

Yep, it needs to be.

This is especially true considering the next month of FB we have to look forward to. It could be brutal. Folks are already grumbling up a storm, and that was just TT. We still have BU, OU, and TCU's D (Is it possible to go an entire game w/o a 1st down?).

If that doesn't completely destroy the team, then maybe we can finish on a high note the last 3 weeks of the season. The middle could be really ugly.

leonard 8 years, 11 months ago

I'm all for the players developing a "never give up the fight" attitude. History is full of examples of mortal men claiming great victories in the face of daunting odds by willing themselves to win.

Yet, I also remember the Alamo and Col. Travis' inspirational "victory or death" letter to Sam Houston. You know...the one where he implored Houston to send reinforcements of offensive linemen and an offensive coordinator lest all be lost.

And we all know how that turned out.

area51 8 years, 11 months ago

Let's just tear up the football field and make a bigger track. Who cares about football at KU anymore!!

Duane Rice 8 years, 11 months ago

Unfortunately there is only 25 of us left and I don't have anything good to say about them. I can feel the complacency setting in which is worse then just getting pissed off.

Brad Farha 8 years, 11 months ago

@area51 -- don't be that guy. You're probably trying to be funny, but all you are doing is giving KU fans a bad name.

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 11 months ago

I assume everyone's seen the television commercial that states " It's only weird if it doesn't work" ?

It's weird.

Gary Amble 8 years, 11 months ago

I would be embarrassed to cash my check if I were Charlie.

flyingfinn 8 years, 11 months ago

I read a lot of posts of how bad last year's O-line was, well that line was light years ahead of this year's line. At least we could run the ball. We need some players to step it up big time.

BayPark 8 years, 11 months ago

Indeed. The absurd comments before the season started about how much better this offensive line would be and how McCay was going to be all Big-12, etc.--without having seen them play a down--are now all the more ridiculous.

leonard 8 years, 11 months ago

You said a mouthful there, pard.

I was a little the size of our O-line. But that has proved to be of little value.

It's discouraging to watch these big boys...getting pancaked by defensive linemen...getting blown 5 yards off the line of scrimmage on run plays...watching quicker foes run around feeble attempts to block...and many motion penalties.

Sure 'nuff...we're in trouble if they don't show some rapid improvement.

Al Martin 8 years, 11 months ago

The o-line problem was made obvious at the Rice game, and in the ensuing two games it's actually gotten worse. I wouldn't hold my breath on improvement.

Bee Bee 8 years, 11 months ago

6 5 & 300 lbs and can't lay a finger on the opponent. Weak!

VaJay 8 years, 11 months ago

The whole thing centers around our offensive line. They are not able to open holes for some of the best running backs in the Big 12. Combine that with the dumbfounding ability to have that many false starts AT HOME and that makes for a disastrous offense.

There HAVE to be five lineman they can put in there that will function better than the current five starters. As I recall, many of these guys were rated OK when they were recruited - what happened?? Grunhard's got his work cut out for him this week.

We have to be able to RUN the ball to be able to win & set up the passing game, or we're in a world of trouble for the rest of the season.

Rivethead 8 years, 11 months ago

Those best running backs in the Big 12 were rarely on the field. Instead Weis elected to go with empty backfield sets. So no, the whole thing does not center around the OL.

VaJay 8 years, 11 months ago

Have you seen our running backs try to make a play when they're in the games this season? They're trying to dodge defenders already in the backfield before they even get to the line of scrimmage. That's why Weis went with the empty backfield in the first quarter. And we actually fooled TT for a while. Then when we went to the wildcat & the traditional backfield & the offensive line showed it couldn't block or even hold still until the snap!

Tony Bandle 8 years, 11 months ago

I find the headline somewhat misleading...."lack of consistency"....Kansas is very consistent.....consistently BAD!! This article, by definition, would imply that at some point we are Not Bad........I beg to differ!!

The punter must NEVER have the green light to fake the punt inside the twenty or so.

The downfield "Gunners" need to always have the first guy go RIGHT AT THE RETURN MAN...make him move laterally rather than directly forward.

If you have a false start or a man lines up offsides..make him run the stairs...RIGHT THERE during the game!! That will quickly teach everyone a lesson!!

Charlie, get an Offensive Coordinator.....ASAP!!!!!!

Micky Baker 8 years, 11 months ago

Not Charlie. He isn't very good at it. Time for him to swallow his pride.

Wildwesthawk 8 years, 11 months ago

after the Pete Carrol took over the seahawks the former KU great Nolan Cromwell (ransom rambler) He was also Big 12 O coordinator of the year a few years ago at Texas A&M. He is still unemployed...... Just saying

kay_you 8 years, 11 months ago

I would love to have the Ransom Rambler on the sidelines but bringing him in at mid-season. I dunno.

dumbarton 8 years, 11 months ago

Everybody jumping on Charlie. Charlie this, Charlie that. Granted his play calling and game management sucks. However, I put the onus on Grunhard and Hopp (freaky conditioning coach). Aren't these two guys most responsible for the development of the line? The OL lacks smarts, fundamentals, toughness, execution and strength. What the hell are these two coaches bringing to the table? They're getting a free pass.

namohcan_99 8 years, 11 months ago

I tell you, I get tired of the same comments from coaches and players saying they are mystified at what's going on. I get nobody is going to call anybody out, but maybe they should. Embarrass them to either get better or get out of the way.

AZJHWK 8 years, 11 months ago

Like many fans I don't believe a word CW says anymore. He has missed on 2 QB's in a row, this year is a bust, what's next year like? It is rare that a HC can be OC and do both jobs well. In this case CW has never proven he is a good head coach. I don't want to wait another year and hear CW tell us next spring how much better they are all going to be, and how he's got this great class of juco guys. (Nothing against juco guys, there are a lot of them making an impact at other schools.) And we have the same mess we have now. If we get a new coach, which won't happen until 2015, I suggest rather than another unsuccessful retread, we look at "successful" DII schools, ones that are playing for national championships and regularly beating good DI opponents. Someone on the way up that has a high success rate over a number of seasons. We have to face it, that KU football is a difficult sell for a successful DI coach, and anyone with DI or pro experience is going to be available for a reason, probably the wrong one.

Robert Brown 8 years, 11 months ago

Matt- Can you confirm the attendance at the game? The reported attendance was 25,000 which is also listed on the KU Athletics website.

That seem extremely low. If only 25,000 showed up, it would appear that the fan have really given up on this team more so than since Terry Allen was coach.

Al Martin 8 years, 11 months ago

I remarked on that number on another thread but did not know that the number was part of some official release.

I was at the game and the attendance was much higher than that. The stadium was still pretty empty at kickoff, so perhaps that's where the number came from. But by mid-first quarter there was a solid crowd. No way it was just 25-26K.

Then again, by the fourth quarter, there might have been 5K.

Robert Brown 8 years, 11 months ago

Austin- I know you have disputed the number. I don't see why the athletic department would underestimate the attendance. I was not there and watched on TV. I really did not think about the attendance until Matt posted an article after the game and mentioned the attendance. That shocked me, but every box score I have seen verifies that figure.

I even went back and looked at attendance figures over the last 15 years to compare and 25,000 would be the lowest home attendance since before Mangino took over.

Al Martin 8 years, 11 months ago

Yeah. I'm far from infallible in this regard, but I'm almost certain that the number has to be in error, unless people were just being let in for free after kickoff.

I don't blame you for going with the official number; I wouldn't believe me either if I were you :-).

TexiCaliHawk 8 years, 11 months ago

Amen, Ralster! We may not have the 4 or 5-Star recruits that the 'big boys' attract; however, given our NFL coaching pedigree (Weis, Grunhard, Campo), we should absolutely out scheme and out-'smart' our opponents . . . NO EXCUSES!

Unfortunately, the O-Line stinks (hey, wasn't that supposed to be an area of STRENGTH with all the huge 'hosses' we recruited a few years ago?); however, our coaches should be figuring out a way to mask our weaknesses while getting our playmakers the ball, so they can be ATHLETES.

I posted this the other day and will highlight it again here -- we need to think more like Northwestern, Baylor and TTech and spread out the offense, so that we can get our playmakers some 'space' to operate. Lining up and trying to slug it out in the 'trenches' will just not work with this OL. These schools have figured out how to compete/win when the recruiting wars do not favor their side.

Jumping offsides, missing downfield blocks and generally looking 'dazed & confused' is no recipe for success. Our NFL-caliber coaches need to step up, or step out as the COLLEGE game is flat-out different and, consequently, WE need to show up 'different' in order to maximize what talent we have. The way we started the TTech game gave me a sense of hope that Charlie & Co. were moving in the right direction . . . then, Cummings came in with a 'run' package?! Gee, I'll be TTech didn't see THAT coming.

C'mon, man!

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 11 months ago

ralster, I think you nailed it. A proven QB and a proven head coach can make a world of difference in a team's mentality. I'm not trying to bad-mouth Heaps or Weiss, but I have thought about those comparisons when watching the Chiefs this year.

miltnewton 8 years, 11 months ago

I am fine with putting pressure on the coaches to find a fix to this mess but let's keep in mind the big picture. No matter who we hired, that coach deserved 4 or 5 years to see what he could do. CW is no different. He knows it's broken, he knows his schemes are not working, he knows his offensive line is terrible. If nothing else, this perspective is an improvement from Gill who I'm not sure ever realized these same things even when he got fired. The sky is not falling, a lot of you just need to get perspective. Just because we raised the expectations in our own minds doesn't mean that is what the bar should be set at this year. Weiss certainly has improvement to make...and he will. While he was billed as an offensive guru, he is still learning on the job. One year at Florida and one year at KU do not make you an expert offensive genius at the college level. For one you are working with two different levels of athlete in two completely different conferences. It is hard to wait for us, especially when you can identify some things that you would have changed if you were head coach, but come on...this roster was a travesty when he took over. He's had some things not go his way and he's caused some things to not go his way. I'm not giving up on 3 more wins this season. This team has it in them despite all of the coach haters. As stated many times, the offensive line situation will determine this year's success. Everything else is fixable...except maybe lack of quality WR, but that can be masked too. Put pressure on them to fix it now but keep in mind this was a 5 year commitment we made to him and we should honor it. We are the ones who raised expectations when we saw who Weiss was bringing in and what he was doing...not him. He knew this job would test every last bit of his experience, and it is, but we aren't even half way through our commitment to him so relax. This thing ain't over yet. Offer criticism, offer suggestions but offer your support...anyone needs that to be successful.

leonard 8 years, 11 months ago

"despite all of the coach haters" -- miltnewton

Give this "haters" BS a rest. It's lame, unimaginative and most typically used by morons.

Objective dislike or criticism is not hate speech.

And for the record, Charlie spent 5 seasons coaching ND and produced little offensively there.

miltnewton 8 years, 11 months ago

Wow, did I touch a nerve? Who would you have hired leonard? To my knowledge Saban wasn't interested. Your drivel is BS. I said make suggestions, criticize, do what makes you feel like you are more football saavy than CW but realized this was a 5 year job, not a year and a half which is where we stand now.

miltnewton 8 years, 11 months ago

Frankly, I think like last year, most of the rest of our opponents will overlook us. Unlike last year, I think we can take advantage of that. I like the last three as wins. It's looking more and more like I'm crazy and I may change my mind after next weekend but I'll stick with that.

Robert Brown 8 years, 11 months ago

One of the problem with what you said is that the head coach never considered this a long term project. By bringing in Dayne Crist and other transfers for one year, he is essentially saying that we could be competitive quickly. He is doing the same with JUCO players.

I would have much rather had a coach who communicates to the fan base that this will take time, who recruit players who will be here 4-5 years and grow with the program and who the fans can see develop and then take the hit on the scoreboard for a few years than what is currently being done.

Head coaches have the security of being able to do that. I think the fan base, when being given realistic expectations, would be patient. But, this staff brings in a few 5 star players and has the fan base expecting a quick fix.

This is all on the coaching staff

miltnewton 8 years, 11 months ago

You are wrong. CW never said this was fixable in the short term and as far as you knowing what he "considered" is just ridiculous. He was very open about the reason he brought in the JUCO players...because you can't build momentum to go get BIG VII caliber 4 year guys by losing every game for three years in a row. You are contradicting yourself. You want heads to roll not half way through his second season yet you are saying he should have recruited all seniors in high school and waited for 3-4 years for them to develop. Laughable. You are the problem here. Give him the 5 years he signed up for, the way he wants to do it, and then judge. He very clearly stated that this is a long term project when he got here. Seriously, what do you expect? Would you rather he came out at media day and said "well this year's team sucks too and so will next year's but my fourth year is going to be special." Come on man. The only reason you are disappointed is because you set your own expectations way out of line. This is on you.

HutchSaltHawk 8 years, 11 months ago

Embarrassing is the only word I can think of to describe that game. Did the team (and punter) practice that fake punt? It was a huge blunder for the administration to fire Mangino. Turner Gill was a disaster and this group of NFL dropouts need to start coaching or retire. I have supported the team for the past 20 years, and this display of play reminds me of the Terry Allen days.

John Fitzgerald 8 years, 11 months ago

Ranked 105.... I wonder what Weis thinks of this? Or the team?

Ranked 105.... I wonder what Weis thinks of this? Or the team? by jmfitz85

Brad Watson 8 years, 11 months ago

Keep the faith people.....turner gill left a bare will take a while....i think charlie will get a dual threat quarterback recruited...thats the only way you can win in this league right now....i like jake....but he can't run...i like michael but he can't throw into tight windows...but he can run...charlie has that dilemma...i think we should play mike...and just play smash mouth.....but its just an opinion...and bring jake in at times when needed...and really build good special teams...our kicker is so unpredictable...this guy misses! ...i like these kids...and i believe they will start winning...i think tcu is ripe...they invested a lot at oklahoma last week...and they aren't respecting matter what coach patterson tells i think we have a real hang in there jayhawk fans!

kay_you 8 years, 11 months ago

I'll be content if we are competitive. If we can do that week after week this team will find a way to win.

kay_you 8 years, 11 months ago

I can weather the storm. Problem is I’m not convinced CW is the answer. I was encouraged after last season but this team inspite of having won 2 games seems to have regressed.

troutsee 8 years, 11 months ago

Yes, it has regressed. Obviously the regression is an inept offense, even more inept than the offense of last year. However, I also am not impressed by our defense. I knew after the SDU game that it was going to be a long year. I had no idea it would be this bad.

I agree with Wat211. We need a dual threat QB. I think Heaps can throw the ball but unfortunately he has no time.

Chris Browning 8 years, 11 months ago

What the Jayhawks should lament is their pathetic showing week after week... Let's face it, this team has won 8 games in the last 40, 3 against 1 AA teams. Another win consisted of the greatest comeback in the history of our university (Colorado) and another win was the result of a completed pass on 4th down (Northern Illinois). We also beat the worst D1 program on earth in New Mexico State, La Tech and a miracle vs. GA Tech.

A bad bounce here or there vs CU and NIU and we are looking at 6-34. Our last conference win was Nov 6, 2010. The last one before that was October 10, 2009.

That's 2 and 34 in conference games since 2009....2 and 34.

With all of the coaching "greatness" on this staff, there is no effing way we should lose a conference home game by more than 38 points, especially to a team we lost to overtime the previous year....

This team would have a hard time qualifying for the 1 AA playoffs.

CharlieHawk 8 years, 11 months ago

2 - 34 in the last 36 games! OMG!, I knew it was bad, but that it crazy. Why does the LJ World staff, keep predicting 5 and 6 win seasons with a track record like that. I think Matt picked KU to when by a touchdown agaisnt TTU this past weekend. How can someone so close to the program, be so wrong. Is he feeling pressure from above to sugar coat things. I want real reporting, I can handle the truth and prefer it. I think the only shot at a win we might have left is WVU at home and I feel 3-9 would still be a bad season, since the Big 12 is down now. Ad Zinger should maybe have a list started, just feel some things out.

Micky Baker 8 years, 11 months ago

Charlie. You know what you got. You don't need to start from scratch. You need to get the offensive line to protect the quarterback and to block. You need to get the receivers to run sharp routes and then catch the ball. You need to have two backs in the backfield and run and pass out of that look. It's in the playbook. If they're going to stack the box, you need a guy to knock a linebacker out of the way. You know what you need to do in the passing game, too. One one thousand, two one thousand, and the ball is on its way to a receiver on a short route. Don't call any plays where a receiver goes deep until you can protect the quarterback long enough for that to be effective. 15 to 20 yards is okay, but not 40 or 50 right now.

As far as this last game against Texas Tech, we would have lost to Rice by that margin if they played that way down there. South Dakota would have beaten us if we played like that in KU's opener.

Here is another tip, if it's 4th down and 15 on your own twenty and you're ahead 10-0 or 10-3 DO NOT FAKE A PUNT. If it's 4th down and 5 and at the opponents 40 yard line, and you're trailing by less than a touchdown early in the game, then I'd be okay with that.

Charlie, you still have a chance to right this sinking ship. We are playing Texas Christian on Saturday, and we're not going to win this game. We can lose it by less than three touchdowns if we don't do the same things we did last week however. Heck, we might even lose by less than two touchdowns if we don't fumble it away 3 times due to bad snaps or Michael Cummings.

If the receivers get two hands on the ball, catch the ball! This isn't junior high any more. This is Division I NCAA Football. If you play at this level, you better be able to adjust to the ball and catch those.

Many of you will not like the next video because it's Jacoby Ford of the Oakland Raiders. The key plays are those plays that he dives, he jumps over the defender, and he adjusts to the ball. DO THIS. Jacoby is shorter than almost all of you receivers at KU.

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