Thursday, September 20, 2018

Can KU football lay another streak to rest?

Jayhawks haven't won a Big 12 road game since 2008

Kansas linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. (29) and the Jayhawks show their frustration as Iowa State wide receiver Marchie Murdock (16) runs in another touchdown during the third quarter on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.

Kansas linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. (29) and the Jayhawks show their frustration as Iowa State wide receiver Marchie Murdock (16) runs in another touchdown during the third quarter on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.


No, the Kansas football team’s three-week nonconference schedule as a whole didn’t play out perfectly.

But the Jayhawks’ victories over Central Michigan and Rutgers have allowed them to enter Big 12 play at Baylor on Saturday in a more ideal head space than seemed possible after their Week 1 home loss to Nicholls State.

Especially for the players who have suffered through the program’s struggles the longest, burying KU’s 46-game road losing streak in Mount Pleasant, Mich., and delivering consecutive victories for the first time since 2011 felt meaningful.

Now, there is another streak for the Jayhawks to vanquish. And redshirt senior linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. didn’t need to hear the entirety of a question earlier this week to identify it.

“A Big 12 road win,” Dineen interjected, when a reporter brought up the next accomplishment he and his teammates had in their sights.

Kansas has lost every conference road game it has played since Oct. 4, 2008, when the Jayhawks won at Iowa State, 35-33. The conference road losing streak currently stands at 40 true road games and 41 consecutive Big 12 games played outside of Lawrence — KU lost to Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium, in Kansas City, Mo., in 2009, 2010 and 2011, after defeating rival MU in K.C. to close the 2008 regular season.

According to Dineen, currently the league’s leading tackler (13.3 per game), the momentum the Jayhawks (2-1) created the past two weeks puts them in better position to lay another streak to rest.

“Honestly, we expected to do this at the beginning of the season. We knew we were going to be pretty good,” Dineen said in reference to KU handily defeating both CMU and Rutgers. “And then, we went out and dropped that one to Nicholls State. But we still knew that we were a good football team and we could play. I think, now, it’s finally showing. And, obviously, with this being an opportunity to go play away in the Big 12, it’s something that we’re really excited about.”

A KU victory at Baylor’s McLane Stadium (2:30 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, FOX Sports 1) would mark the program’s first three-game winning streak since 2009, the final season for both coach Mark Mangino and quarterback Todd Reesing.

But finally winning a Big 12 road game would carry relevant weight, as well.

Redshirt senior defensive tackle Daniel Wise acknowledged the Jayhawks’ two wins to close nonconference play meant they would head to Waco, Texas, better equipped to compete. But he also said the players “came to their senses” on Monday through discussions about their 2-1 start to the season.

“It’s like, we still haven’t done nothing yet,” Wise said. “We still have to continue to prove ourselves. We don’t want to be an average team that started off good and then, ‘What happened to them?’ We want to continue this momentum, continue this mentality we’re playing with throughout this entire season.”

— Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly listed KU's consecutive true road losses in Big 12 play at 38. That number came from KU's media notes and was incorrect. KU has lost 40 true conference road games in a row.


Andy Tweedy 3 years, 11 months ago

Man, I was at that 2008 Iowa State game, it was a bananas comeback. I sure left that game excited about our team and surely wouldn't have believe you if you'd said we'd be where we are in 2018. Streaks have to end sometime, right?

Michael Leiker 3 years, 11 months ago

Me too, Jake Sharp on the wheel route down the sidelines. What a play.

Lance Cheney 3 years, 11 months ago

I'm okay with ending it in Manhattan on November 10.

Aaron Paisley 3 years, 10 months ago

I'd much rather end the streak prior to that. All of the supposedly winnable games for KU in B12 play are on the road this year.

Joe Ross 3 years, 11 months ago

Two thoughts:

  1. Baylor does not want the "honor" of being the team on the losing side of the breaking of the Kansas road loss streak. You can be damn sure they are gonna prepare. Losses to Kansas are career-ending for some coaches, and stigmatizing for all of them (Callahan, Strong, et. al). On the other hand, no bulletin board material is necessary to motivate Kansas for this game. Kansas smells blood in the water with regard to Baylor, and they are as confident as they've ever been coming off two strong performances, sub-par competition notwithstanding. All of the above amounts to an enjoyable game on tap.

  2. If there was a fantasy football league for college ball, I'd pick both Joe Dineen (defense) and Pooka Williams (RB) to be on my team, and I'd start 'em both.

Bryson Stricker 3 years, 11 months ago

IRT 2) There are college football fantasy leagues but there's not many if any fantasy leagues that you can pick an individual on defense. NFL or college.

Kansas Defense is #1 if IIRC. Pooka is a solid RB2 or Flex option but there are RB who score more TD's than him.

Jeff Coffman 3 years, 10 months ago

Baylor had not won a game last year and they came to Kansas and won 38-9. Your prediction is a 46 point swing not including the home perspective.

Vegas has Baylor as a 7.5 point favorite.

Just curious how you are picking this and your basis.

Andy Tweedy 3 years, 10 months ago

You make sense, but it's exactly the kind of swing against CMU, so I guess it wouldn't shock me. Baylor isn't particularly good, we were just awful last year.

Kevin Robert Fest 3 years, 10 months ago

Idk about winning by 17, but with Pook l just hope it's competitive. Could beat Baylor but have to play mistake free ball and that's a problem for us. Just keep it close. Baylor was less experienced last year and they rolled us at home, so l don't know about the game this year. Wins against CMU and Rutgers are great, but they are worse than us and we played relatively mistake free football, so limit the mistakes and we might have a chance. The teams confidence could be the difference.

Bryson Stricker 3 years, 10 months ago

I say Hawks by 17 before every game. I don't think they'll win by 17 and actually don't have this as a game they should win. Baylor is significantly better than what people give them credit for, just very young. I think Baylor 38, Kansas 34.

Titus Canby 3 years, 10 months ago

I was at that Baylor game last year. Even took out of town guests to show off our campus (which impressed them) and attend a winnable game (not so impressed). Baylor started almost all freshman last year and still beat us more than soundly. I think that's a strategy we should have pursued. Regardless, can't wait to see Saturday's game.

Steve Corder 3 years, 11 months ago

Good remark from Wise, "haven't done nothing yet." Make it happen Saturday!

Dirk Medema 3 years, 10 months ago

Wasn't there a win against mizzoo at Arrowhead in 2008 after the ISU game? I think that resets the losses away from home count so that it's not 38 + 3 though I have not gone back to actually check the schedules.

Jeff Coffman 3 years, 10 months ago

I think we were considered the home team that year. When we played at arrowhead, it alternated between the teams to which one was considered home and road. I see your point, but that might be why the count didn't reset.

Andy Tweedy 3 years, 10 months ago

We wore white in that game, so I wouldn't think we were the "home team" though

Aaron Paisley 3 years, 10 months ago

The Arrowhead games weren't considered true road games regardless of what color KU wore. ISU is the last true road win in B12 play for KU.

Dane Pratt 3 years, 10 months ago

We have losing streaks against every conference opponent. With the exception of Texas, Iowa State and West Virginia they are all at or near double digits. Those are the streaks I want to end whether it's at home or away is of no concern to me.

Bryson Stricker 3 years, 10 months ago

we do not have a losing streak against Texas. We are only on a L1

Randy Bombardier 3 years, 10 months ago

I think there is a possibility of a win. If our defense is sound and our offense can consistently score and make a game of it then it will be a matter of if we can pass when we need to pass, run when ought to run. If we even have a +3 turnover margin I like our chances. Must convert in the red zone.

And God Bless this team. Amen.

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