Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Weis: Duke good chance for road win


Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis knows all too well the deal about the Jayhawks’ lack of success on the road.

“We haven’t won a road game around here in an eternity,” Weis said on Monday morning’s Big 12 coaches conference call.

It hasn’t been quite that long, but it has been nearly five years since KU’s last victory away from Memorial Stadium — Sept. 12, 2009, at UTEP. Mark Mangino was the head coach. Todd Reesing was the quarterback. And the 24th-ranked Jayhawks were on their way to a 5-0 start in a season that ended in disarray and sent the program spiraling toward the drain.

Despite all of the recent failures and the 27 consecutive losses away from Lawrence — there have been a handful of close calls; five games in that stretch were decided by seven points or fewer — Weis believes Saturday’s game in Durham, North Carolina, where the 1-0 Jayhawks will take on 2-0 Duke at 2:30 p.m., offers a golden chance to end the madness.

“This is a good game for us,” Weis said. “We’re playing against a nice, solid team in Duke. They’re very well coached, very methodical in what they do, but we also think this is a good matchup for us.”

The reasons for that feeling will be revealed at his weekly news conference this afternoon, but Weis summed it up in broad terms Monday morning.

“Their strengths play into our strengths and their weaknesses play into our weaknesses,” he said. “I think that gives us a legitimate chance.”

Duke enters the game on the heels of back-to-back easy victories in which they knocked off Elon and Troy by an average score of 43-15. KU appeared to be on its way to an easy victory last week at home against Southeast Missouri State after unleashing a 24-0 start in the first quarter. But the Jayhawks limped to the finish line and held on for a 34-28 victory against the FCS program that won its opener 77-0.

Although the SEMO game did not finish quite the way anyone on the Kansas sideline had hoped, Weis said it inspired the coaching staff to drum up a motto for the rest of the season. And he’s hoping the message will be received in time for this Montell Cozart-led team to go down to Duke and put the road losing streak to bed the way Cozart and KU ended a similar Big 12 losing streak with a home victory over West Virginia last November.

“Fellas, you can never be complacent,” Weis said, referencing the battle cry. “You’ve gotta finish. (Sunday) was a great day for us, because you’re in a good mood because you won the game, but there (were) tons of things you could coach off of to get better. Hopefully there’s a big move forward here this week.”

McDonald honored

Senior cornerback Dexter McDonald earned Big 12 defensive player of the week honors, the conference announced Monday morning.

McDonald, who led the Kansas defense with two interceptions and two pass break-ups against SEMO, became the first Kansas player to record two interceptions in a game since current KU safety Isaiah Johnson did it in a loss at Texas last season and the first player to win Big 12 player of the week honors since James Sims last November.

In addition to the two INTs, McDonald added a career best 72 return yards, including picking off one pass in the end zone and returning it 62 yards to the SEMO 38-yard line.

CMU kickoff: 2:30

The Big 12 Conference announced Monday morning that KU’s kickoff for its Sept. 20 home matchup with Central Michigan at Memorial Stadium was set for 2:30 p.m. The game will be televised by FOX Sports Net.

The game will mark the Jayhawks’ first appearance on FSN in 2014. KU appeared on the network twice in 2013.

Kansas leads the all-time series with CMU, 1-0, with KU winning the only meeting, 52-7, in 2007 in Lawrence.


Doug Cramer 8 years ago

Just shaking my head at this guy. Weis spends too much energy showing off and politicking in front of the media. He fails to spend time taking care of the tasks at hand, that gives his team the best chances at winning.

We don't want to hear about our "good chance" at beating Duke. We need to quietly focus / concentrate on items that makes the most of our abilities. Show progress on the field and get better every week. We don't want to hear how "Salty" your D-line is, because nobody sees it and nobody believes it. (unless you're Aaron Paisley)

It's no wonder our players have shown such undisciplined performance with too many mistakes that are self inflicted these past two seasons.

Building a college football program is similar to building wealth. If you try to get rich quick, you tend to make mistakes that ends up delaying your goals.

We need more sawin wood instead of the games played in front of the press.

Alex Berger 8 years ago

You're right. He should never talk to the press and if he does he should only talk about the different ways we'll probably lose the game. Everyone will be better for it.

Alex Berger 8 years ago

Sorry, I was being sarcastic. I don't mind Weis taking an hour out of his week to tell the fans they are preparing their best for a win. And it's not exactly bulletin board material to say "We think we can win." Especially when 2/3 of the comment is filled with compliments of the Duke team.

Aaron Paisley 8 years ago

The Big 12 does their weekly conference call on Mondays and the media gets to ask the coaches questuons. It is a required part of the job for all 10 coaches in the Big 12.

Jonathan Allison 8 years ago

Sure, Duke can use this comment as motivation "We’re playing against a nice, solid team in Duke. They’re very well coached, very methodical in what they do, but we also think this is a good matchup for us... I think that gives us a legitimate chance."

That doesn't sound like bulletin board material to me, though. Even if he had said, "I believe that we will win the game", that's hardly very good bulletin board material, because every underdog ever has to believe that they are capable of winning, otherwise why even play.

Nothing that Weis has said about Duke is any more motivation than the opportunity to be 3-0. Duke should be motivated by the chance for a 3-0 start more so than the opposing coach saying that they are a solid, well-coached team that is a good matchup.

kellerman411 8 years ago

We don't need anymore cats. We need some dogs.

Danny Hernandez 8 years ago

sure doesn't seem like Weiss is trying to get rich quick but slowly which irritates Mangino fans. I want to give Weiss 5 years because that's how long it will take to fix the mess Mangino left the program in while Gill perpetuated it with little to no depth.

Doug Cramer 8 years ago

"sure doesn't seem like Weiss is trying to get rich quick" why has he recruited more JUCO players as opposed to home growing some talent from within ?

Because that was his attempt to hurry up and get good.

Weis's recruiting strategy has two major problems:

  1. In order to develop personnel in the trenches that can compete at the BCS level, it's best to grab young talent out of high school and develop them. Instead, we're relying on JUCO players to quickly fill the void, and it's not working.

  2. What's going to happen next year when we lose all these seniors ? And the year after when we lose all those seniors ? We're so junior and senior heavy that the future looks bleak when analyzing underclassmen learning and developing within the system.

Brandon Mahon 8 years ago

When you kick off 30 players because of whatever reasons, you have to add JUCo players that can help bring competition. He is trying to add depth so he can grow the good HS kids he has gotten. Idk if u noticed our top espn 300 lineman isn't playing. Hmmm he must be developing some players. People just want to complain.. I would love to see some of your guys lackluster football minds try and do his job and see how it goes

kellerman411 8 years ago

Doug doesn't make 2.5 million dollars a year to run this team. That's Charlie's job.

Jay Beakum 8 years ago

Great point. Doug DOESN’T make 2.5 million a year to run this team. Great job Sheahon! Crisis averted.

Lucas Town 8 years ago

I agree about the next two graduating classes. It scares me, I hope these last two recruiting classes will help us get to where we consistently compete week after week. Heeney will be a huge loss for our defense next year, along with all the other seniors on defense. Hopefully we can keep recruiting solid players. Watson, Bragg and Avery should be solid for us in years to come.

Jim Jackson 8 years ago

JUCO route worked very well for your idols, Mangina & Snyder. Don't worry about the numbers- they've got it under control another juco heavy class coming.

I like the strategy due to the limited number of Big 12 caliber players there are in state.

Doug Cramer 8 years ago

Jim - you and a few others truly amaze me.

We could go 1-11 this season...and you would still validate Weis's performance and actions as KU's coach.

Ultimately - what I've learned through this the power of people skills. Mangino didn't have the same people skills that Weis has. If you got them, you can get away with a lot, and still have support.

I tend to judge performance based on where the rubber meets the road.

Alex Berger 8 years ago

What you seem to fail to realize is that good high school players don't want to come to KU. They recruit good high school players and they go to other schools. JUCO players are coming because they get a higher chance of getting on the field for their last two years of football. So the hope would be that we have a mix of JUCO + talented high school kids that could balance the team. Then as high school recruiting gains more traction they can rely less on JUCO players. Check out some of the high school kids we pulled in the last few years on Rivals or 247sports. It's a process. You haven't said anything groundbreaking that the KU football staff doesn't already know.

At the end of the day we won't attract any good players if we just fire the coach if he can't immediately turn around the program. Players want to play at a school where they know the coach that recruited them will be their coach in a few years.

Dale Rogers 8 years ago

I keep reading comments on this site about how great the Mangino years were. But, other than a couple of years, like the Orange Bowl season, I don't recall the teams being all that terrific. So I looked up Manginos record at KU to refresh my memory. And I still don't see anything that merits the hero-worship sometimes displayed here.. He had a couple of good years. And then his record spirals downward. And he had only a single winning conference season out of eight seasons. To me he was not a bad coach but certainly nowhere near good enough for all the accolades on this site. I suppose when seen in the context of the win-loss records since he left, maybe the halo effect takes control. Here are the win-loss records for the Mangino years:

Season Non-Con Conference 2002 2-10 0-8 2003 6-7 3-5 2004 4-7 2-6 2005 7-5 3-5 2006 6-6 3-5 2007 12-1 7-1 2008 8-5 4-4 2009 5-7 1-7

Jay Beakum 8 years ago

Yes, and keep in mind Mangino could always grab a win or two from teams that were cellar-dwelling at the time. Iowa St., Colorado and Baylor were not very competitive during his entire tenure. K-State, Missouri, Oklahoma St., Texas A&M and Nebraska had their turns with bad seasons too. He didn’t get a win against ANY of the top conference teams during the magical 2007 season.

He also had 4 true non-cons a year to pad that W total.

So yeah, he was pretty good, but without Reesing he was nowhere near great.

kellerman411 8 years ago

By your numbers, that gives him a 36% winning percentage in Big 12 play and a 52% overall. I'm curious, has any coach in the history of KU football done better? What about other blue blood basketball schools, have they had football coaches do much better than this? It's all relative my friend. Mangino held his own in a tough conference at a school where no one gives a crap about football. You knew, at the very least, Saturday afternoon this team would play hard, disciplined football and give themselves at least a chance.

Aaron Paisley 8 years ago

UCLA, Kentucky, and Syracuse have national titles in their football history in the poll era. North Carolina has had decent success and is about 170 games over .500 all time. Yes, it is possible to have success in football at a basketball school.

Mangino was absolutely a good coach, but something very telling about how Mangino was viewed nationally was that he was never offered a better job than KU. There were much better jobs available than KU when Mangino was having his success from 2006-2008, but nobody came calling. Why, because he wasn't viewed as an elite coach, just a good coach.

kellerman411 8 years ago

Also, look at the way Mangino's teams lost. For instance, his team in 2009 lost on average by 12 points. 12 POINTS. Now, wouldn't it be nice to see the KU team keeping it that close with the Big 12 TODAY. I think if you look a little more into you'll understand why people are still sour about Mangino.

Jay Beakum 8 years ago

Your gonna use Mangino’s 8th season at KU for comparison? Hardly seems fair.

Why don’t you use his first season? Mangino lost by an average of 32 points to Big 12 competition in 2002. He only played 1 ranked team, losing to #14 K-State 64-0.

In Weis’ first season he lost by an average of 24 points in the Big 12. He played 4 ranked teams, and NINE (9) bowl teams!! One of which he took to overtime on the road.

Even in 2009 with Todd Reesing and Co., Mangino only played two ranked teams. #25 Oklahoma (lost by 22) and #3 Texas (lost by 31)

You cannot compare the margins of victories or losses without calculating in the strength of schedule. Mangino’s SOS was anemic compared to Weis’.

Bill Kackley 8 years ago

Don't comment often, but get off Weis's back. He is getting us there, he is a good football man as was Mangino. It is not Weis's fault Mangino got screwed. It was the fault of our then Ad and our current president. Weis's is telling his players hE believes in them when he makes positive statements to the press

Titus Canby 8 years ago

I think the team might come out angry after the last quarter of the SEMO. Maybe our let up was a good thing. Maybe.

Bryce Landon 8 years ago

Or maybe it's a prelude to yet another long and miserable season.

Lance Meier 8 years ago

I live in the state of OK, Its hard enough wearing a KU shirt/hat/jersey in the fall, but I believe RCCW is doing all he can do... JUCO's is the right route right now, he has to bring in players that can play/compete/challenge... In the BIG IX, the high school kids are leaving the state and going to OU/OSU/MU/NU and any school within driving distance... U have to prove to kids in Ur own state that Ur going to compete week in and week out!!! KU HAS NOT COMPETED IN THE LAST 4-5 YEARS!!! I'll cheer for the HAWKS, but it gets so old every damn weekend when they don't compete or play a complete game... The first game, KU scores 24 in the 1st quarter, then............................................................ What the hell happened??? U better play a complete game, Duke is "NO JOKE", their a tough team, they do not quit and the coach is doing a great job in BASKETBALL COUNTRY!!! He's got them on a 2-3 year "ROLL"!!! This Saturdays game is SCARY, their good and we JUST played good enough to win, last week... JUST GOOD ENOUGH IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!! ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK, GO KU!!!

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