Tuesday, October 17, 2017

How KU’s offense moves on from Iowa State dud

Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender (7) throws under pressure during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.

Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender (7) throws under pressure during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.


Perhaps the most difficult part of enduring the kind of nightmarish game the Kansas football team’s offensive players did this past weekend at Iowa State, in a 45-0 shutout, is not allowing the clunker to further haunt them as they try to move forward.

In the days since the Jayhawks averaged just 1.8 yards gained per snap, head coach David Beaty thinks his players have found the right head space to respond appropriately.

“Last week's offensive performance is unacceptable,” Beaty said at his Tuesday press conference. “There is just no other way to say it. And we all shoulder that burden — myself, our staff, all of our players — and we have to do a good job of looking inside. And, really, our entire team does.”

Kansas (1-5 overall, 0-3 Big 12) managed a distressingly low 106 yards at Iowa State, with no semblance of ability to string together first downs. Starting quarterback Peyton Bender and back-up Carter Stanley combined to complete just 11 of 26 passes for 44 yards, with one interception (thrown by Bender on the first offensive snap). Junior running back Taylor Martin on 17 carries never ran farther than 14 yards and finished with 53. Iowa State’s defensive front continually won in the trenches with starting KU center Mesa Ribordy out of the lineup due to an undisclosed injury.

Podcast episode

The KU Sports Hour

Was Iowa State David Beaty's worst loss?

On this episode of the KU Sports Hour, hosted by KU football beat writer Benton Smith, the staff discusses KU's 45-0 blowout loss to Iowa State. Topics include: What happened to KU's offense? (2:30-12:15), worst losses of the David Beaty-era (12:15-23:05), how potential staff changes would work (23:05-28:45) and ...

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“Some of the issues that you run into, it's just real easy to say, ‘Man, can you believe that happened?’ You know? But that's not how you deal with it,” Beaty said. “There is a reason why some of those things can be happening, and it forced us as a team to really look inside and really go back to the very foundation of how we're building this program. And it starts with entitled to nothing and grateful for everything.”

The third-year KU head coach, who enters this Saturday’s game at No. 4 TCU (6-0, 3-0) with a record of 3-27, said all the Jayhawks have worked on “tightening up all the details” this week, going on to cite how they need to keep the locker room clean, park their cars in the right spots and always run off the field.

“You have people that go make things happen instead of people waiting on things to happen,” Beaty added of such an approach.

In the meantime, Bender said KU’s offensive players have done their part to quickly regroup from the disappointment of what transpired in Ames, Iowa.

“Our confidence is fine. We know what we’re capable of. We just didn’t show that on Saturday,” Bender said. “The good thing is, though, we’ve watched the film. We know what we need to do to improve on. We know how to fix the mistakes.”

Asked to identify the recurring issues that disrupted KU’s brand of Air Raid at ISU, Bender first brought up missed assignments here and there before getting to the crux of the matter.

“Honestly, after watching the film, we just didn’t play hard,” Bender admitted. “They played a lot harder than us and they whooped us because of it. We can’t let that happen. We’ve got to play much harder and play with a lot more effort.”

Stanley, who experienced much of his action in the fourth quarter, agreed the Jayhawks have learned from the awful showing.

“Last week was certainly unfortunate. I think we had two key players out in Khalil (Herbert, sophomore running back) and Mesa, that certainly hurt. All the guys behind them, they are capable of doing things that I think last week wasn’t a reflection of it,” Stanley added. “It was tough, but we put it behind us. Watched film on Sunday, looked at a lot of mistakes around the whole offense that we could easily fix.”

The Horned Frogs lead the Big 12 in scoring defense (17.3 points per game), total defense (336.3 yards) and rushing defense (98.3 yards). TCU is 3-0 at Amon G. Carter Stadium this season and averaging 50.0 points a game at home, with victories over Jackson State, SMU and West Virginia.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., on FOX.

Who is ‘available?’

Beaty this season has opted not to share the specifics of injuries and ailments that impact a player’s chances of playing for KU, instead labeling them as “available” or “unavailable.”

With the Jayhawks midway through the 12-game season, Beaty opened his weekly press conference Tuesday with a rundown of which players are out for the season.

The head coach identified the following players — some previously named, others newly revealed — as unavailable for the final six games: junior defensive end Willie McCaleb, junior receiver Keaton Perry, redshirt senior long snapper John Wirtel, senior receiver Bobby Hartzog Jr., freshman linebacker Jay Dineen, freshman receiver Kenyon Tabor, senior defensive tackle Isi Holani, sophomore offensive lineman Cam Durley, senior running back Denzell Evans and junior running back Octavius Matthews (retired due to heart condition).

As for Saturday’s game at TCU specifically, Beaty said potential starters Ribordy and Herbert, as well as redshirt freshman backup linebacker Dru Prox, will be game-time decisions.

Freshman defensive end Vaughn Taylor, the coach added, is awaiting a diagnosis to see “what his availability is.”

Return of Defense

This past weekend at Iowa State, sophomore Hasan Defense returned to the lineup in a reserve capacity at cornerback after missing KU’s homecoming loss to Texas Tech. Beaty stated previously Defense had mono, making him unavailable versus the Red Raiders.


Kansas cornerback Hasan Defense (13) bobbles a nearly-intercepted end zone pass to Iowa State wide receiver Allen Lazard (5) during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.

Asked whether Defense is playing while dealing with mono, Beaty responded the 5-foot-11 corner from Jacksonville, Fla., has been cleared to play.

“But he looks like he's getting close to being back to the same Hasan that I knew before,” Beaty added. “You can tell definitely in his stamina, just some breathing things, that he wasn't able to play the number of plays we're normally used to him playing.”

Defense broke up a potential ISU touchdown pass in the end zone. He at times played in relief of both Shakial Taylor and Kyle Mayberry. In each of KU’s previous two games, Mayberry, a sophomore corner from Tulsa, Okla., started in Defense’s place.

“The good thing is Kyle Mayberry stepped in and did a bunch of good things the other day, which is good, too,” Beaty said after Mayberry was credited with a breakup of his own at ISU. “We need to get that to happening anyway. It's a tough league. You could lose guys at any time. You’ve got to have your depth ready.”


Lloyd Kinnison 4 years, 8 months ago

Head coach and Assistant Coaches You need to take a lesson from Kansas State. Recruit good players who are not five star, but are have a desire to play. Your approach to the year is based on the skills of your players.....not on a “game plan or approach” of what you think you should be. The history and success of our military and successful athletic programs are based on adaptation. KU is not a high powered passing team. K U has solid players. In my opinion, the Jayhawks coaching staff has not evaluated the players and then said “this is what our players do best”! Learn from the best. KState.

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 8 months ago

We don't need a lesson from Kansas State.

Joe Ross 4 years, 8 months ago

Kansas needs to take lessons from every school that runs an effective program. We can't afford to be proud.

Doug Stahler 4 years, 8 months ago

So many coach decisions seem illogical to me.
QB selection - Assuming they are equal armed. A. We have a qb who can scramble and had some success last year B. We have a post Achilles Marino pocket qb C. We have a very poor offensive line. Who should be the qb? Don't even get me started on running the "hurry up" with outmatched players and leaving an undermanned defense to the TofP wolves.

Craig V. Campbell 4 years, 8 months ago

It was clear after the 2nd series of the game the coaching staff decided their goal was to not give up 50+ points. How else do you explain the playcalling that ran the ball on as I calculated it all but 4 first or second downs for the remainder of the game? I think those passes were all within a couple of yards of the line of scrimmage.

It wasn't like we had success running it either. I would rather a staff try to win and get blown out rather than concede defeat.

Steve Corder 4 years, 8 months ago

I start to laugh sometimes when I read some of the coach's statements. He reminds me of the scene in baseball movie, THE NATURAL. You remember the "carnival hypnotist" lecturing the players in the clubhouse locker room about "losing is a disease?"

John Brazelton 4 years, 8 months ago

KU's weak link on offense is still the offensive line. When a #1 gets hurts, the #2 replacement isn't as good or experienced. No matter how good the QB, if he doesn't have faith in his protection, he can't concentrate on making each play work.

John Fitzgerald 4 years, 8 months ago

Beaty’s next weekly press conference everyone should just not show up. See how he feels when you guys don’t show since he can’t get his team to show up in a game. It’s the same garbage every week. Not saying he should say anything different, and it’s better than saying the team is a pile of crap, but I’m just over it.

Barry Weiss 4 years, 8 months ago

well, this is the very first time I have seen in print where Beatty accepts some of the blame. second, when a player(s) says "we just didn't play hard", man, that seems like the coach is not getting through.

as the wheels continue to come off as this season goes on, I'm curious what coach Beatty will point to as the reason. I mean he was trying to sell this as a bowl year. I'm just curious what happened to that prediction, from his eyes.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 8 months ago

"As the wheels continue to come off"? Bro, the wheels came off with the 7-game losing streak to end 2009, and no one has been able to put them back on since!

Scott Burton 4 years, 8 months ago

I been thinking and this whole thing has been hard myself. Can we count his first year first year of good recruiting? Let's say this is his 2ND year and make next year his true 3Ed year. Maybe I am wrong, just saying. Rock Chalk!!!

Bryan Schmiedeler 4 years, 8 months ago

Am I missing something here:

"... said all the Jayhawks have worked on “tightening up all the details” this week, going on to cite how they need to keep the locker room clean, park their cars in the right spots and always run off the field."

Is he joking? Is the author joking?

If not, what in the world is going on with KU Football???

Jerry Walker 4 years, 8 months ago

Whew, boy...I had the exact same thought.

Chandler Accipiter 4 years, 8 months ago

No Joke! Beaty really said it at his presser.

Sadly KU is right near the bottom of the standings in the all important Parking Cars in the Right Spot category. I have been saying all season long the current Parking Coordinator needs to go!

Gary Wilson 4 years, 8 months ago

It's been an entire wasted decade of this level of performance. There were Turner Gil squads that would beat this team up. No where to go but up for a decade is enough.

Barry Weiss 4 years, 8 months ago

Heck, our basketball team has beat up some of our football teams in rumbles over chicks.

Bill McGovern 4 years, 8 months ago

KU fans need to let the chancellor know that we are not happy! The management of the football program has been unacceptable ever since Mangino was forced out. I refuse to give up on our football program, and be told that we should do away with football by morons who don't know what they are talking about - real fans stand by their team even in the darkest of times. Funny thing is these same people were KU's #1 Fans when they won the Orange Bowl 07-08 season. We have seen success before here! Start taking football seriously like we do with basketball! Hire a new AD and a seasoned successful coach! No more half azzed fixes. Give KU fans something to cheer for and fill the stadium again like it was when Mangino was here. For God's sake light a fire under the program! Rock Chalk! Who's with me?!

Joe Ross 4 years, 8 months ago

The coach's demeanor is the attitude which will be reflected in the football players mindset. With that in mind, everyone should look at this photo again and tell me what you see.

That's what "coaching" looks like.

No more cupcakes. No tolerance for softies. Get mentally tough or GTFO.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 8 months ago

Ah yes, Mark Mangino ripping into Raimond Pendleton for showboating on a punt return for a TD and getting flagged for unsportsmanlike penalty. The video of the f-bomb-laden NSFW ass-chewing is still on YouTube!

Casey Jaimes 4 years, 8 months ago

As a current student, who goes to the home games still, I cannot put all the blame on Beaty. A coach can teach and chew off your ear but if the player does not have the fire and bite to lay a hit and WRAP up the opposing player then what can a coach do? Some of the play calls are suspicious but I see players on the defensive side of the ball just lower their head and hope they can make the shoulder tackle. I am proud to be a Jayhawk and hate to see guys wearing that Jayhawk consistently get trucked. Play with some fire and pop the opposing player in the mouth from the first play! You can walk around campus like you're hot stuff when you can tackle.

Ashwin Rao 4 years, 8 months ago

That comes with recruiting. Need to get players that care to win.

Brent Held 4 years, 8 months ago

I appreciate you going to the games. I was there from 2013-2015 for undergrad and attended every game with teams equally as bad. I love KU football and it woud make it so much easier for recruiting if the rest of the students showed up through thick and thin. Hopefully this changes one day in the future.

Kenneth Hillman 4 years, 8 months ago

Why is Stanley not getting a chance to start?

Randy Bombardier 4 years, 8 months ago

We have the players, we lack the coaching. Some boys never become men. Some girls never become ladies. The Marines make men, Rangers, Seals. They have several things in common. Letting down their leaders, their team, and fear embarrassment from getting an ass chewing. If we want to see real men playing for KU we better get over once and for all this absurd belief you have to have a nice guy. Patton said, oh, they'll lose their fear of the Germans. I just hope to God they never lose their fear of me.

Titus Canby 4 years, 8 months ago

"And it starts with entitled to nothing and grateful for everything.”

I love the "earn it" philosophy of Beaty. If he can instill this idea into the players, he - and the players - will be successful.

And I'm with Randy. Some of General Patton's tactics wouldn't hurt either.

Casey Jaimes 4 years, 8 months ago

I would even get desperate enough to cut the minutes of the seniors and let the younger guys play. STOP with the 4-2-5, that spreads the D too much and we get burnt on the run. We do not have the athletes on D to spread the field like that. 4-3 and turn Tornaden into a LB. On offense, I don't We need to forge some papers and get Todd back to Larryville

Lloyd Kinnison 4 years, 8 months ago

General Patton fired/removed his officers who did not produce. We do not have that philosophy ay KU. Consider this: all contracts are based on production/effectiveness. If one area (offense) is ineffective then pay is deducted for ineffectiveness. Reward is achieved when positive steps are achieved. Losses result in head coach reduction in salary (same concept applies to AD). The present win.loss record would result in reduction of compensation. This would lead alll NCAA to change philosophy in compensation-

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