Saturday, October 28, 2017

Notebook: Ribordy returns to offensive line; ‘Fire Zenger’ banner flies before kickoff

Kansas running back Taylor Martin (24) runs in a touchdown during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas running back Taylor Martin (24) runs in a touchdown during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.


After two weeks of offensive ineptitude in back-to-back shutouts on the road, Kansas witnessed the benefit of playing with its starting center, redshirt sophomore Mesa Ribordy, once again Saturday versus Kansas State.

The return of Ribordy to the starting lineup — and a switch at quarterback to Carter Stanley — didn’t propel the Jayhawks to victory, but the same offense that went nowhere without its No. 1 center produced 482 yards in a 30-20 loss to the Wildcats at Memorial Stadium.

“It sure felt like it was a stabilizing force, it really did,” KU head coach David Beaty said of Ribordy returning from an undisclosed injury. “You know guys are big parts of your ball club and you get that and you know it, but once you are not with them and then they come back and you see things change dramatically, you know how important they are to you. I just — I’m excited that we have him back, put it that way. It really helped us.”

The past two weeks, KU (1-7 overall, 0-5 Big 12) tried Jacob Bragg at center at Iowa State, and Zach Hannon (who missed the home loss to K-State) there at TCU.

“It’s great to be back,” Ribordy said. “I can’t stand having to stay here and sit on the couch and know there’s nothing I can do for the team.”

With Stanley at QB and Ribordy snapping and blocking in front of him, KU looked nothing like the backfiring offense of the past two blowouts.

“I think we had a really good week practice-wise, preparation-wise.” Ribordy said of another difference for Kansas this week. “I think we clicked as an offense better this week.”

Armstrong injured

Standout junior defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. had to leave the game against K-State in the second quarter after appearing to suffer a leg or foot injury and limping off the field.

Beaty said KU’s defensive players kept working after their impactful defensive lineman left.

“I thought our D-line did a really nice job of holding gaps for the majority of the day, and you know, without Dorance in there, that's something that you look at and you go, wow, man, that's a lot of production that walks out the door. That very first drive, he knocks a ball out and we get a fumble there created by him,” Beaty said, referencing an early Armstrong strip recovered by Tyrone Miller Jr.

“But those guys stepped up and they kept playing. I didn't notice a difference without him in there in the huddle, right. If you asked me if I would want to play without Dorance, hell no, I wouldn't want to play without Dorance. But I was proud of the guys that stepped in there because they looked like they stepped in and they did the job,” Beaty said.

KeyShaun Simmons made two solo tackles and a sack in the loss. J.J. Homes made three solo tackles. Daniel Wise had 2.5 tackles for loss, a sack and three total tackles.

Beaty said immediately after the game he didn’t have a sense of the severity of Armstrong’s injury.

“I don't yet. He was just unavailable for the second half,” Beaty said. “We'll see how he responds. I haven't actually spoke to the trainers too much about it yet.”

‘Fire Zenger’ banner flies before kickoff

Up to an hour before Saturday’s kickoff an airplane could be seen flying above Memorial Stadium with a message of “Fire Zenger” in tow.

The banner referenced KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger and the football program’s ongoing struggles. Numerous KU football fans over the past several weeks have stated their displeasure with Zenger, Beaty and the football program via social media and other outlets.

None by Benton Smith

Beaty claimed during his post-game press conference he didn’t see the plane, but described the idea of it and its message as “asinine.”

“I mean, I don't know a man that loves this university as much as he does. I don't know anybody that thinks about it, cares about it, has done everything that we've asked him to do more than Dr. Zenger. That's crazy,” Beaty said. “I mean, I don't have any other words for it. He's our leader, and we believe in him, and we always have, and it's never been a question. I mean, it's unfortunate, I think maybe is the best thing to say, because all of us that are doing the work, we know the real truth.”

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Beaty discusses starting Carter Stanley at QB, problems on special teams

Following a 30-20 loss to K-State, Kansas football coach David Beaty discussed the team's decision to start Carter Stanley at quarterback, what impressed him from the defense and problems on special teams.

Download podcast

Richmond starts at safety

KU sophomore safety Shaquille Richmond made the first start of his career against K-State.

Beginning the game in the position typically occupied by sophomore Mike Lee, Richmond finished with one tackle.

Lee split time with Richmond at safety in the game, and Lee made two tackles for loss and seven solo tackles.

Charlot now at safety

He didn’t make his defensive debut in the game, but KU sophomore Daylon Charlot, who transferred from Alabama to Kansas as a wide receiver, wore a No. 7 jersey instead of his typical No. 2 for the K-State game.

The change in uniform, a KU official confirmed, coincided with Charlot moving from receiver to safety.

— See what people were saying about the game during's live coverage.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. K-State


Bill McGovern 4 years, 8 months ago

Fire Zenger! I'm sure he's a nice guy and trying to do good by the university, but it has been a long time and things are not improving in the football category. Sorry Z.

David Kemp 4 years, 8 months ago

Exactly, he was hired to fix football not be a nice guy. And why wouldn't Beatty support that given his big raise and worst power 5 performance

Gary McCullough 4 years, 8 months ago

Are you going to put up the money to buy out Dr. Zenger's contract, and then HC Beatty's as well because I assume that's the reason you want Zenger out. Get real. We're in trouble because we don't show patience with coaching staffs. It's not like we're Alabama and can expect success on the gridiron so get the pick of the best football coaches. We're Kansas, we only get to make that call on the hardwood.

Bill McGovern 4 years, 8 months ago

Zenger has failed twice with Weis and Beaty. Beaty is a WR coach and a recruiter - he is in over his head here and it is showing. We need a proven AD who knows how to rebuild and a real HC. KU has money. Get real.

Gary McCullough 4 years, 7 months ago

Do you work for a living? You sound like a child who wants a new toy and thinks his parents should splurg for just any trinket. Your the one that needs to get real. Send a note to fire Zenger along with your check to the Williams Fund to pay for it.

Bill McGovern 4 years, 7 months ago

I'm the one who sounds like a child?! "Your the one that needs to get real." It's "you're" Gary..... I know it's hard to use correct grammar, but please try to keep up! Funny, a college professor who doesn't even understand basic elementary grammar. Sad!

Randy Bombardier 4 years, 8 months ago

He may be well be a wonderful guy, dedicated, quality character, hard working, etc. But if he's not doing the right things for success none of that matters. I contend the number one reason for football floundering is the position of Athletic Director, not the coach, not even hiring the wrong coach. There seems to be a culture problem. That infection needs to go or sooner or later it WILL affect the beloved basketball program. Nothing quite explains how three consecutive coaches could do so poorly. I've started wondering why some programs lose a quality coach and don't seem to miss a beat with the new hire. Is it the ability to hire or more than that? I think its more, much more. Look at the success of Matt Campbell, then look at the ongoing success of Toledo, then the AD of Toledo.

Danny Delgadillo 4 years, 8 months ago

Thank You!! I wondered how long it would take for someone to consider putting Charlot on Defense? I have thought about suggesting it a 1000X but there is always so much more to complain about and I am sure someone would say...."what do you know about coaching."
How about getting some of the small, faster guys on special teams? How about sure tacklers. Do we have anyone of those? Any willing to step up and find out? I feel like there should still be a few shifts in personnel. Schadler IMO is one of my favorite guys on the team but I worry about him returning kicks. I love the speed but he seems to lack vision. Although, he is far from the biggest worries. I wonder how T. Martin would do returning kicks? He s not our best back for sure. Also, as much as I rag on Tornedon. I must compliment him at least once. He had some good plays tonight. One in particular he came up big on. RCJH!

Chris Bailey 4 years, 8 months ago

I work with a guy from his hometown and I don't think he can return kicks anymore. I think it has something to do with him taking those big hits on kickoffs. I know he gets hit as a receiver but the chances for him being hit at full speed are reduced at least every time he touches the ball. I think his injury was far more serious than most people know. Anyway, my friend attends church where his family does and apparently knows intimate details of the situation.

Chris Shaw 4 years, 8 months ago

Man, it’s always easy to just “Fire” someone and the expectation is that things will automatically be better with a new hire? Out of curiosity, what does that look like if Zenger is fired? What is the plan? I think Sam Mellinger’s column less than a few weeks ago was wrong. I’m not really sure what Sam Mellinger was proposing as a solution if Zenger is fired? It’s always easy to make comments or write a column as a journalist about firing a guy because that’s what’s “juicy” and will get clicks.

The individual who had the stage yesterday should have poured money into the athletic department instead of paying for a couple hours of a cheap back alley trick with a rented plane and a sign. Seems counter productive.

I’m not sure Kansas fans understand that the football program even when Charlie Weis was hired back in 2011 was almost an impossible job. The Kansas football program is not going to be fixed over night. It’s not going to be fixed over a 5 year period. Kansas Football is lucky to be turned around by 2022. I remain hopeful but I really think most Kansas fans expectations are completely unrealistic. It’s a process! Let me remind you what we are talking about here...Kansas Football!

Is firing Zenger the answer? Not in my opinion! Is firing Beatty the answer? Not in my opinion! You have to look at the bigger picture and it’s just not inside the lines at Memorial Stadium or on the road against the other Big 12 schools. Zenger has brought KU Rock Chalk Park, Hall of Fame renovation, Dorm facility and is in the process of the 350 million renovation project of memorial stadium and a new football practice field. In my mind, that’s the bigger game being played than the one between the lines.

Sure, it would be great to have a better football product but let Beatty do his thing. This is his third season. Changing coaches is not the answer. Maybe at other schools but not at Kansas. Not right now. Firing Zenger is not the answer. Not right now! I think most are forgetting that the Grant of Rights for the Big 12 will be up by about 2021/2022 which will be the time of the next conference realignment talks. With all the projects currently in the plans and Zenger’s Big 10 ties why fire Zenger?

Now, if in 5 years Kansas doesn’t get in the Big 10 and Kansas is still putting up 1-10 records, and memorial stadium didn’t get the complete renovation that was promised...then yeah, I may agree to fire Zenger but right NOW? No way! It would be completely wrong timing to do so.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 8 months ago

So, your plan is to wait until he fails again at his primary mission (remaining in a Power Conference) before there will be enough evidence that he should be fired? You'd prefer to fire the captain after we hit a second iceberg?

Matt Campbell, Bill Snyder, Glen Mason, Mark Mangino and many others would dispute your claim that it takes a long time to rebuild a program. In fact, Bill Snyder took over the worst program in America and had it completely invigorated by year three- Beaty's current year. And Snyder had far, far, far less to work with.

If Zenger wants to keep his job, find a way for us to get a new football coach without Zenger being involved in the hire. Otherwise, he's gotta go and deservedly so for absolutely gutting the football program over the past 6 years.

Dale Rogers 4 years, 8 months ago

Regardless of how one feels about Zenger my opinion is that flying a Fire Zenger banner above the stadium just shows a total lack of class. I would be embarrassed to be associated with such a classless act regardless of my feelings about Zenger.

Chris Bailey 4 years, 8 months ago

Well I'm classless because I chipped in $25 for the flight. I'm tired of us floundering and doing nothing about it. Just sitting on our hands. He's responsible for the last two poor hires.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 8 months ago

Nothing asinine about the banner. Zenger was hired to fix the football program, and he made it worse than ever before.

Austin Lopez 4 years, 8 months ago

Everyone that's frustrated with the Football program, Please be kind enough to call or email the chancellor of Kansas. Douglas A. Girod, Email: Phone: 785-864-3131. If you care about the Kansas football program voice your concerns.

David Kemp 4 years, 8 months ago

Look at the picture leading the article. We are scoring a td and you see 4 of our 5 lineman watching, not blocking til the whistle blows, watching. This is a fundamental reason why these guys don't perform. Block somebody, don't watch the play! Once again this is on the coaches, don't keep telling me we have no talent!

Michael Sillman 4 years, 8 months ago

To whomever flew that banner I expect that sort of punk behavior at Missouri but not from Jayhawk alumni. The man has been trying to do his job. It might be necessary to fire him but public humiliation in front of his family, his coaches and his athletes is pathetically immature. What the football program really needs is a full stadium of screaming fans at every game regardless of the won loss record like they do at Iowa State. Perhaps we are getting what we deserve.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 8 months ago

I'm a season ticket holder and a small-time donor, so I deserve to watch us go 5 and 50-something in football? Maybe I should reconsider my investment because that's not a very good deal.

Patrick Bryant 4 years, 7 months ago

We do not DESERVE anything. We are fans - like it or lump it. The players earn those wins. What the players, coaches, admin. need is our support by being at the games and staying positive. Not doing the Jayhawk walk in the 4th quarter no matter the condition of the game. Do you ever see empty seats at the end of KSU games? NO. They stay till the bitter end. A flying banner is not positive. It makes the University look like a buynch of spoiled brats wanting control over things they should not have their hands in. The gentleman suggesting you email the President is spot on. Write about your concern, don't complain. Be positive!

Chris Bailey 4 years, 8 months ago

Again, I chipped in for the flight. I don't care what you think of me. The administration needs to see how pissed off we are with the job he's doing! I'm sick and tired of being the laughing stock of college football. You wanna call me a punk, fine whatever but I've supported this team when others didn't. I'm so fed up with losing and not just losing complete and utter humiliation. Zinger needs to go and the powers that be seemingly are doing nothing to make that happen.

David Kemp 4 years, 8 months ago

Except that Iowa State is 38-56 over last 8 yeasts with 2 bowl appearances. That might keep more folks in the stadium.

Ashwin Rao 4 years, 7 months ago

Love the yeast & bowl references. Are you baking a bread? :)

John Brazelton 4 years, 8 months ago

I've watched KU football since 1969. I missed Pepper Rogers, Bobby Douglas and the Orange Bowl by one year. I started with Don Fambrough and David Jaynes (who Pepper Rogers recruited). KU football coaches used to be given 5 years to turn the program around. Next season, Coach Beaty will have over 20 seniors, plus 85 recruited scholarship players, two experienced QBs, an upper-class offensive line and an experienced defensive back field, a bunch of experienced wide receivers and defensive linemen and linebackers. Almost all these players he recruited, not previous coaches. He should be given the opportunity to coach the roster that he and his assistants have recruited and developed. Sure, a newly-hired coach could come in and look like a hero if he had a winning season, but he would do it on someone's else's hard work. One guarantee, Matt Campbell will be in the SEC in one or two years and Iowa State will be starting over. That's the history of KU football also.

Chris Shaw 4 years, 8 months ago

Well said! This isn’t 30 years ago when Snyder took over at K-State either.

Patrick Bryant 4 years, 7 months ago

Well, put. Look at Ole Roy and his National Championship in year 1 with Doherty's boys.

Tim Orel 4 years, 7 months ago

I've been paying attention to KU football just as long. Just a couple comments - the money and pressure were far less back in the Fambrough years and KU had some pretty miserable stretches, but no stretch that I can recall has been as bad as this stretch. How many losses in a row on the road? How many conference losses in a row on the road?

Beaty may not have 85 players next year, with so many rescinding their "commitments". The optimism at the beginning of the year has gone away and the murderous stretch coming up (after Baylor) will finish it off.

Matt Stone 4 years, 8 months ago

Flying that banner was wrong and not just because it wasn't warranted but because KU had #6 prospect Romeo Langford on campus. One thing a recruit doesn't want to see is uncertainty within the athletic dept. So in flying that banner they may have just said goodbye to their chance of getting him. 2nd thing is Beatty has made big strides in recruiting, culture and pride. I honestly expected more this year (3-4) wins. Let me know what quality coach is interested in this job especially if fans only give you 2 years to turn it around? Process is the correct word here and we honestly need to give at least another year to Beatty unless an obvious homerun coach is ready to take the reigns. Top 5 coach choices in no order 1 Les Miles 2 Bret Bielema 3 Manny Diaz/Miami 4 Chad Morris/SMU 5 Butch Jones/ Tennessee Honorable mention Craig Bohl/Wyoming

Frederick Heckel 4 years, 8 months ago

There is no chance in hell that someone could be as stupid as you are. Do you really think Langford was anywhere near that huge pile of garbage called the football program? That banner had absolutely no effect on his recruitment at all. Zenger could be let go today and no basketball recruit would care. They know Coach Self isn't going anywhere so there is no uncertainty to worry about. I say fly another banner next week, put up billboards, buy commercial time on TV and Radio and do whatever else it takes to finally wake up Girod and the delusional bmd!

Titus Canby 4 years, 7 months ago

Matt Stone, thank you for making a well-thought-out statement of reason. Flying the "Fire Zenger" banner did us more harm than good. It was an embarrassment.

Maybe he should be fired. Maybe he shouldn't. I don't know.

For those of you contemplating how to make your point, if your goal is to fire Zenger, do what Austin Lopez suggests and write to the chancellor.

If your goal is to humiliate your university and scare away recruits, you accomplished your goal by flying the banner. Thanks a lot.

Michael Sillman 4 years, 8 months ago

It seems like an odd thing for an alumnus to consider a saeason ticket and school donations as an investment. I consider it payback to my alma mater and the individuals following my time.

Chris Bailey 4 years, 8 months ago

I paid my institution handsomely for my education. If I choose to donate money that's my choice but I definitely don't feel as though I owe the university for my degree. It's not as if I was able to negotiate some special price on tuition. I paid a set amount to go (which for pharmacy is a lot considering all of mine was at the graduate level). Donating is something one does and many who do then feel a sense of entitlement to make decisions. Thus the big time donors start talking the university starts listening. No surprise there.

Matt Stone 4 years, 8 months ago

Frederick you think they just locked him away for 3 hours? Most recruits want to go the football games so I am betting you are wrong. Either way it wasn't necessary to fly the banner. Who do you have in mind to take Zengers place or are you to stupid to come up with a realistic list.

Lynn Stuart 4 years, 7 months ago

I was there and it stopped flying by warm up omg

Daniel Schmidt 4 years, 7 months ago

I am a season ticket holder and just as unhappy as everyone else about our football program, but I'm ashamed and embarrassed that certain individuals would take the time and pay money to fly a negative banner over Memorial Stadium. It defames our city, our university, the athletic programs, and ALL the players and coaches associated with those programs. It is a personal, selfish attack on an individual that does nothing to enhance the reputation of Lawrence and the University of Kansas. There are professional, ethical ways to make positive things happen....this past Saturday's banner wasn't it!!

Lynn Stuart 4 years, 7 months ago

ok honestly, what is any different then what the school and people did to Mangino? a real coach, that got on his players for not performing. because of rumors he was hung in the public, it looks just as bad. There were a lot of people talking yet when you ask the players except a couple they had no idea where the rumors were coming from, drop the holyer than thou crap, fans are dropping big money on football and if they dont like it changes need to be made or no money will come in. How in gods name can you fire a national coach of the year? so all the ones saying it was horrible to fly it just need to look back at what they did to a good coach.

Daniel Schmidt 4 years, 7 months ago

I agree. Another debacle by the KU Athletic Dept. Thank you, Lew!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.