Sunday, September 2, 2018

Jayhawks intent on recovering from disappointing season debut

University of Kansas players Daniel Wise (96), Hasan Defense (13), JJ Holmes (88) and Osaze Ogbebor (31) walk back to the locker room after the loss against Nicholls State on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

University of Kansas players Daniel Wise (96), Hasan Defense (13), JJ Holmes (88) and Osaze Ogbebor (31) walk back to the locker room after the loss against Nicholls State on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.


A 12th consecutive defeat, this one in overtime of the opener to an admittedly successful FCS opponent, on the surface looks like the type of blow that could crash a team’s season.

Football players at the University of Kansas who lived through Saturday’s 26-23 home loss to Nicholls State are here to tell you that won’t be the case.

While the Jayhawks who have spent the entirety of their college careers in Lawrence made their cases based on little more than conviction, the team’s starting quarterback referenced his redshirt freshman year at Washington State as proof that a painful week one setback doesn’t guarantee doom.

Just a backup at the time, Peyton Bender played a little in the Cougars’ 2015 debut, a 24-17 home loss to Portland State of the FCS. By the end of the season, head coach Mike Leach’s team delivered a resounding recovery, finishing with a 9-4 record and a win over Miami (Fla.) in the Sun Bowl.

It may have transpired at a different program three years ago, but Bender plans on leaning on some lessons he picked up at WSU as the Jayhawks attempt to get back on their feet.

“One is that the season just started. We’ve got a lot of football left to play. You can turn the season around to be one to remember if we go on to win some games and do what we think we can do,” KU’s senior quarterback said after throwing for 187 yards and two touchdowns, completing 19 of 35 passes without an interception.

“So I think we just have to keep our heads on straight, go into every game ready to play,” the QB added. “Just learn from tonight and move forward.”

The examples of shortcomings that show up in the team’s video review of the loss, the players predicted, would be both many and disappointing.

An unconventional score seemed to come at just the right time for the Jayhawks (0-1), early in the fourth quarter when Nicholls botched a punt. An errant snap flew by punter Winston Jones. The specialist had to scramble after the loose ball and attempted to slap at it, hoping to make sure it traveled out of the end zone before a Jayhawk could pounce on it for a touchdown.

The play resulted in a safety, and stopped KU from potentially tying the game, cutting Nicholls’ lead to 17-12 instead.

Enough good came in the following minutes for KU to even offset a play ruled a fumble by Bender when he lost the ball just before he was about to make a pass under pressure.

Stephon Robinson blocked a Jones punt. Later, Kyron Johnson recovered a muffed punt return by Nicholls’ Damion Jeanpiere, setting up the Jayhawks for a 10-yard TD drive and, following a two-point conversion, a 20-17 lead with 4:26 remaining.

But the Colonels (1-0) went 49 yards in 10 plays, aided by a facemask penalty on KU redshirt senior linebacker Joe Dineen (16 total tackles), to get well within range of kicker Lorran Fonseca, who tied the game at 20 in the final minute with a 43-yard field goal.

“We certainly can't make those kind of mistakes down the stretch,” fourth-year KU coach David Beaty said. “You know, Joe was hustling. I'm not … I certainly would never want him to grab a facemask. But I know he was hustling, and the (running back Kendall) Bussey kid cut back and he just got him by the facemask. Those happen from time to time, but we've got to bow our neck and we've got to be able to stop him right there, right. They had a couple of really big plays in the passing game down the stretch there that we've — those are mano-a-mano plays, and you've got to go make that play, and he made it and we didn't. We had a big call down there in overtime with the pass interference that was critical, and we've got to be better there. You've got to be better.”

The OT penalty referenced came on 2nd and 8 at the 10-yard line, with KU junior cornerback Hasan Defense trying to stop Jeanpiere.

Defense took the blame for the flag that made it 1st and goal at the 5 just before Nicholls won on a touchdown rush by quarterback Chase Fourcade, and said KU never should have allowed the game to reach OT with the way the fourth quarter played out mostly in its favor.

“We kind of just felt the winning feeling and we let up,” Defense said. “We should’ve put our (feet) on their throat a little more. But, you know, we’re going to learn from it. Learn how to keep our foot on the pedal.”

One of KU’s best and most vocal players, redshirt senior defensive lineman Daniel Wise, insisted after the defeat that the program, which has won just three games in Beaty’s 37 games as head coach, continues to make progress.

“We still believe. We’re still moving forward. I know this probably sounds repetitive,” Wise admitted, “but we’re still taking steps.”

How do they go about recovering in time to compete with Central Michigan (0-1) on Saturday, in Mount Pleasant, Mich., when the Nicholls loss appears so potentially devastating?

“As the leaders, as the seniors, as all the guys who return and have been through situations like this, we know best that you can’t sit here and dwell on this game,” Wise said. “After we go into film on Monday — obviously it’s going to be a rough film session — we’re going to look at the mistakes we made, shake it off and go to the next one.”


Suzi Marshall 3 years, 11 months ago

Didn't the LJW run this same article several times over the past few years? I swear I've read this article several times before but with modest adjustments.

Lance Hobson 3 years, 11 months ago

Incredible resilience by these athletes. Never give up! Never!

Barry Weiss 3 years, 11 months ago

Bryson still remains in hiding as do all of the other Beaty homers.

Andy Tweedy 3 years, 11 months ago

“One is that the season just started. We’ve got a lot of football left to play." God, that depresses me!!! I can't watch!!!

Craig Carson 3 years, 11 months ago

I feel bad for the kids who KNOW that fans dont want to watch them because they KNOW they arent gonna win...but it feels like if KU could forfeit all their games it might be more of a relief on the fan base than having to watch this another 11 times..because you know there is gonna be A LOT of 50-3 Final score,35-3 at halftime, no 1st downs till 4th quarter games this season....I mean, they looked horrible on Saturday..there wasnt anything they could hang their hats on..

Adam Bengtson 3 years, 11 months ago

Quit writing these articles. Kansas blows. This is all a fantasy.

Titus Canby 3 years, 11 months ago

I heard Bender mention that Washington State season on the post game radio show last night. He showed great poise after such a tough loss. If our line can block for him (big if), he's definitely the right guy to start.

Chris DeWeese 3 years, 11 months ago

I agree. While he might seem aloof at times, he's an experienced Senior who showed some grit on the field. He wasn't perfect, but if his O line and other members of the offense can play without too many mistakes he's actually a fairly effective QB.

Payton Jimison 3 years, 11 months ago

I wish everyone with critism would go to a kstate sports page and look at the articles after kstate, a team that was "dark horsed" team to win the big 12 deals with a close game with a top FCS team.

Dick Murdock 3 years, 11 months ago

This team is an affront to football fans everywhere. Whatever that was out there Saturday wasn't an organized team effort led by an organized coach.

Chris Condren 3 years, 11 months ago

I cannot read this crap. I appreciate the players but I am not reading this garbage any more. The KUAD produces losing football. The administrators and coaches are paid millions of dollars and they have not improved the program in ten years. All the the football program knows is losing. Please stop with these articles.

Jason Venable 3 years, 11 months ago

KUAD ought to just end football as we know it and start up an intramural flag-football team. It would be more entertaining.

At this point, I'm just waiting to see how bad we get demolished on the field. It's so sad that it has turned comical to me. Ugh.

Jack Brooks 3 years, 11 months ago

We should swap football with men’s soccer. Because why the hell not at this point.

Bryan Schmiedeler 3 years, 11 months ago

I feel for the players.

The play that proved to me that the coaching staff is inept was when a KU defensive player was caught on tape using an expletive to tell the defensive staff to get the ****ing play in. I believe it was the play where Nicholls State ran up the middle almost untouched for a touchdown (could be wrong on the play though).


If I were a Kansas coach I would ensure that I absolutely minimized any mistakes/distractions on my part so I'd give the players the best chance to win. Make sure the players were as prepared as possible, make sure my game plan was clear and understandable, ALWAYS GET THE ****ING plays in on time, not change my mind constantly on play calling, set a lineup and stick with it, etc.

This coaching staff (at least HC and DC) are reducing the chance the players have to perform well, and maybe win some games.

I think it is time for Beaty to go, even before we know who the next HC is going to be. Send a signal to current players and potential future players that this level of coaching is not tolerable and Kansas WILL get a better staff in place.

Jason Venable 3 years, 11 months ago

I think the players that have been with KU for a few seasons know that this level of coaching is not tolerable.

Steve Corder 3 years, 11 months ago

Don't blame these LJW guys. They probably have no reliable sources regarding donors and administration from which to write insightful pieces. At this level, players aren't about to say anything critical of coaches or specific teammates. Filler words for a news outlet.

I hope one of them is trying for an interview with Mr. Long.

Mike Barnhart 3 years, 11 months ago

-Oklahoma recruits athletes who want to play football in the NFL.

-W. Virginia recruits athletes who want to play football in a power 5 conference.

-Nicholls recruits athletes who want to play football in college.

-KANSAS recruits players who want to BE CALLED power five football players. Too many soft guys with no real passion for the game.

No more "players coaches." The next coach needs to be a hard A$$ who recruits hard A$$ players who play for the love of the game.

Aaron Paisley 3 years, 11 months ago

You can be a hard a$$ without crossing the lines Mangino crossed. Mangino never acted like he cared about his players which is why nobody in the locker room was defending him even after the investigation and they had graduated.

Craig Carson 3 years, 11 months ago

a good coach doesnt need to be a "hard@$$"..a good coach needs to be organized, in control and most importantly, give his players confidence..being a bully and making players terrified to make mistakes isnt the dont see Bill Snyder grabbing players by the helmet and cussing at them, but yet he has built KSU into a respectable FB program that gets good players

Mike Barnhart 3 years, 11 months ago

I didn’t say an abusive bully! TOUGH! Bill Self TOUGH! - Love and respect the game and prepare the right way TOUGH! More than anything in the world, Bill Self hates soft people. Face facts, there are a lot of soft guys on the KU football team!

Layne Pierce 3 years, 11 months ago

Of course, some people are able to develop players after they recruit them.


Dane Pratt 3 years, 11 months ago

I feel bad for the players who have put in so much effort and have so little to show for it.

David Kemp 3 years, 11 months ago

With this regime kinda like running full speed into a brick wall every day.

Craig Carson 3 years, 11 months ago

might as well copy and paste this same article title after every many more years are we gonna have to watch this program suck? I know we arent a FB school but no other power 5 program struggles to beat FBS teams that they are SUPPOSE to beat on a regular reason they should be 3-0 every year..Beatty has had enough time to get this program on the right track and he has failed to do so..he was suppose to be this great recruiter..where they hell is all this talent at????

David Kemp 3 years, 11 months ago

There is talent. Dorance Armstrong is an animal now yet Beaty and co never got the potential out of him just like everybody else on this team. Those that are succeeding are doing so on their own guts and athleticism, NOT their coaching

Brian Skelly 3 years, 11 months ago

Coaching matters.    As long as KU's AD is under the impression otherwise, there's no point and belaboring the point.     These guys are failing at their jobs.    And clearing 6-7 figures to do so.    Unreal.

John Fitzgerald 3 years, 11 months ago

Man, this was just a tough game to watch. I kept hoping for KU to figure it out but they just didn’t. I think this one did it for Beaty. It’s not if he’ll get fired but when ( and hopefully Long starts looking at candidates ASAP especially some of the ones I have listed here:

Matt Gauntt 3 years, 11 months ago

Is Coach Beaty gone yet?

Every day I log onto and I am hoping to read those words.

It's like the pivotal scene in the movie "Good Will Hunting" where Ben Affleck turns to Matt Damon and says:

"But you know what the best part of my day is? It's for about ten seconds from when I pull up to the curb to when I get to your door. Because I think maybe I'll get up there and I'll knock on the door and you won't be there. No goodbye, no see you later, no nothin'. Just left."

Every day I hope to read on this page that Beaty is gone.....just like Ben Affleck hoped.

Armen Kurdian 3 years, 11 months ago

Matt, that is too funny, I have seriously been doing the same, looking for the Beaty got Fired article.

These players are good enough to win some games, and be competitive in most. There is absolutely no other explanation that a completely and utterly failed job of coaching over the last few years. Undisciplined, disorganized, directionless, and no assertiveness. I'm not watching again until they win a game. Quite frankly, I think we should all boycott the games, that might be the best thing we can do for the players.

Randy Bombardier 3 years, 11 months ago

About hard a$$ coaches. I love the line from Patton. Oh, they will lose their fear of the Germans. I just hope to God they never lose their fear of me. Patton won. No pansy leaders win. You have to be hard nosed, driven. You hold players accountable. If that's abusive God help us. You have a free college education with room and board worth $250k. You have a support network for life. All you have to do is meet expectations, work out, go to practice, stay out of trouble. Do your best. Learn your assignments. If something's not clear ask for directions. Apparently we have a knack for recruiting players with unrealistic expectations of how hard it is to win. Now, if you don't believe that then the obvious is that our coaches have no clue as to what they are doing. It's one or the other or both. Which is it?

Lawrence McGlinn 3 years, 11 months ago

I'll go with the latter mostly. I see spurts of little effort, but our guys seem to be giving everything they have. They just don't seem to know exactly what they are supposed to be doing, and I have not seen improvement. That is on the coaches. I believe in demanding coaches, too, but they don't have to act like bullies to instill discipline. Our basketball coach is a great example of a demanding but pretty fair taskmaster.

John Kelley 3 years, 11 months ago

The Lower Level teams are all looking for cupcake games like Kansas to start the season for an easy win.

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