Sunday, September 15, 2013

Kansas linebacker Heeney glum, mum


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Charlie Weis

Kansas coach Charlie Weis talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 23-14 loss to Rice on Sept. 14, 2013.

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Box score


— Kansas University junior Ben Heeney was in no mood to talk following KU’s 23-14 football loss to Rice on Saturday night at Rice Stadium.

And it’s too bad, too, because Heeney had a game for the ages that included all kinds of big-time plays that the intense linebacker could have explained with much more passion had he not been so miffed about the outcome of the game.

Heeney’s stat line, which included a career-high 15 tackles — 10 of which came in the first half — was good enough to fill up two games’ worth of statistics for most players, but the Hutchinson native said his personal performance, which included a sack, 2.5 tackles for loss and a near interception, was no reason to celebrate an otherwise disappointing night.

“No,” Heeney said. “We lost.”

Asked why he thought the defense was able to put together such a solid performance against the experienced and talented Owls, Heeney was just as quiet.

“We played good,” he said.

Asked where, he elaborated a little and again hinted at the disappointment stewing inside of him.

“We played pretty good everywhere, I thought,” he said. “We just gotta finish the game as a team.”

Heaps at a loss

KU quarterback Jake Heaps, who finished 13-of-28 for 157 yards and a touchdown in his second game as a Jayhawk, had no answer for why KU’s passing offense struggled for the second consecutive week.

“I’m very surprised,” he said. “If we can clean (the little) stuff up, we can really be a great team. We’re very close. Offensively, it was a struggle tonight, and it wasn’t very clean, and it’s unfortunate.”

Heaps was not the only one perplexed by the Jayhawks’ inability to get much going in the passing game. Outside of Tony Pierson’s four catches for 95 yards and a touchdown, the KU pass catchers managed just 10 catches for 75 yards, many of them not meaning much in the grand scheme of things.

“For the second week in a row, our passing game has been inadequate,” KU coach Charlie Weis said. “Obviously, (Heaps) could get some more help. I don’t know how many dropped balls again, but we dropped some big ones in this game. Those third-down conversions are drive killers just like those interceptions are.”

There was one highlight — Pierson’s 77-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter was KU’s longest pass play since Todd Reesing connected with Marcus Henry for an 82-yard touchdown in November of 2007 during a victory over Oklahoma State.

Combs does not travel

KU junior Marquel Combs, who sat out last week’s victory over South Dakota but was bumped up to second-string nose guard all by himself during practice this week, did not make the trip to Houston for Saturday’s 23-14 loss to Rice.

This and that...

The Jayhawks lost the opening coin toss for the second week in a row, and Rice chose to receive the first-half kickoff. ... The Jayhawks are now 27-63-4 all-time against teams from Texas. ... KU picked up three more sacks — two from Michael Reynolds and one from Heeney — giving them five on the year, five fewer than the KU defense had all of last season. ... Temperature at kickoff was 88 degrees, under sunny skies with winds of 11 mph out of the southeast.


Michael Johnson 9 years, 2 months ago

second string nose guard is not good enough to make trip? what's the real story?

KGphoto 9 years, 2 months ago

Actually that would be fantastic. I think our Dline can hold up pretty well this season without him, and that would leave us two marquee D linemen for 2015, which is looking pretty bare so far.

Jeremy Hays 9 years, 2 months ago

He only has 2 to play 2 so if they red shirt him then he would have only 1 year (unless there is a hardship plan)

Brad Farha 9 years, 2 months ago

Are you sure about that? If he hasn't used a redshirt yet, why can't he use it now?

Roman Castillo 9 years, 2 months ago

More of Weiss' life lessons I'm sure. He should teach some lessons on catching the ball and maybe some play action lessons.

741hawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Matt, Jesse, Put your investigative hats on and find out about Combs. Please.

DXJhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Just a bit concerned that if Combs doesn't redshirt and continues to get no or little playing time if it will affect other highly rated recruits interest in coming to KU.

Michael Sillman 9 years, 2 months ago

Clearly something is awry with Combs. Missing the first two games does point toward a redshirt. Not traveling sounds like an injury or discipline. As requested above, I'd like the LJW people to tell us the deal even though defense clearly did not cost us this game. It appears that the D line would be just fine without Combs.

Saguaro_Jayhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

iirc, M Combs has 2 years to complete his 2 years of eligibility. Thus, no red-shirt possibility.

kay_you 9 years, 2 months ago

I agree with Jake's assessment. If Mundine catches the pass on 3rd down and Jake throws the ball away on the intercepted pass it could have been a different outcome.

eastcoasthawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Heeney played a game that brought back memories of great LB's not too long ago. Keep saw'in wood boys. The defense is looking good.

Stan Unruh 9 years, 2 months ago

Thank goodness we have coach Campo. The offfense will get it together. Rice is a good team.

Kevin Crook 9 years, 2 months ago

Heeney is so fun to watch. What a stud. I hope Combs can turn it around. There's a reason why big time talent like him ends up in junior college, and it sounds like he's got some growing up to do still.

VaJay 9 years, 2 months ago

You just touched on the key to the game - the "inexperienced" O-line. I hope its a just a matter of time before they start making an impact or we're in for a long season. It's not Sims fault he wasn't gashing the defense for big runs early in the game - he was fighting for his life just to get past the line of scrimmage. Sometimes it was due to run blitzes by the defense, but not always. Unless the O-line gets things figured out and starts opening holes, I see us winning one more game this season.

Darin Bradley 9 years, 2 months ago

Our "inexperienced" O-line was giving Heaps an ETERNITY to throw on several occasions. Jake has to learn to throw the ball out of bounds instead of giving up the sack. Yes, there were drops but Heaps pocket presence needs a ton of work.

90sHawk 9 years, 2 months ago

The other part of this is why our receivers could not get open on those occasions the line gave Heaps all that time. Between that and all their dropped passes, they are a poorly performing group so far this season. But yes, Heaps needs to throw the ball away in those instances, not take sacks.

troutsee 9 years, 2 months ago

Yet another bad KUFB team. Yet, we tolerate it. After all, our battle cry, is wait until BB season. Well, I can tell you that us diehard KUFB fans are sick of putting ragtag teams on the field. Do you hear me? Sick of it.

Robert Brock 9 years, 2 months ago

The FB program has little to show for the last 50 years.

90sHawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Count me as sick of it too. That's why you, me, and many others are on this board the following day expressing our frustration and anger at the performance some of these guys are producing. I say 'some' b/c a few players show up game after game, do there jobs, a few shine and have really good individual performances, but its a team game and until more guys get there act together and start executing the plays called (however ridiculous at times) we will continue to lose games to every team with a pulse. I really hope behind closed doors players are angry, stepping up and calling out the guys that aren't performing. The media isn't the forum to do it, but these guys need a fire lit under their butts !

Erin Carter 9 years, 2 months ago

I say lets start Heeney on both sides of the ball, LB and TE!! I bet he could maintain a block and at least make an effort to catch the ball. I'm not sure Heaps could have run over and handed the ball to Mundine without him dropping it.

pizzashuttle 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm looking forward to seeing how Mundine's replacement does in the next game. Heaps needs a TE that can catch the ball.

Pbbut 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm still hopeful for improvement but I'm disappointed in Heaps' comments. We should have been in the process of cleaning up the little things since Dec 2, 2012, the day after the loss to West Virginia. We should be in the process of building on the big plays, not cleaning up the little problems.
We had eleven 1st downs for the game, and 270 total yards. Remove Pierson's touchdown and Sims 39 yd-run, and we gained 154 yards. The only surprise is the score is that close.

Brad Farha 9 years, 2 months ago

@ralster -- I don't know how you find the time to keep everyone honest on the board, but I for one appreciate it. Just curious -- did you (or do you) coach football?

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