Nov. 22 Cliff's Notes — Turner Gill press conference 11/22/11


With Jesse Newell kicking back in Maui, we turn to Journal-World preps reporter Benton Smith for this week's version of Turner Gill Cliff's Notes from Tuesday's press conference.

Here are a few highlights from Gill's comments at the media session before the Kansas University football team's 2:40 p.m. Saturday Border Showdown with Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium, in Kansas City, Mo.

• On the Border Showdown — This has been a great, historic rivalry. Gill thinks KU has a chance to finish the season on a good note in this prestigious rivalry game. KU has endured some up and downs but everyone is committed to getting better and this week is no different.

• On the Tigers: Mizzou's offense is different this year. Their QB, 6-foot-2 sophomore James Franklin, is going to take off and run much more often than Blaine Gabbert, now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, did. The Tigers can run the ball and throw the ball well. The Mizzou defense moves a lot with its fronts and secondary, pre-snap.

•The key to the Jayhawks' past three or four games have been ball security. KU must create turnovers and must win special teams to get a victory against Mizzou. Plus, KU will have to play well early.

• This is the last Border Showdown for the foreseeable future and it will be a well-remembered game because of that. That brings about a little bit more significance for this game. It will leave a good legacy for whichever team wins the game. With series tied at 55-55-9 (at least in KU's record books), that makes it even more significant.

• KU will do what it needs to do to win the game. Kansas is not necessarily going to take a strange new approach as far as trick plays and the like.

• Gill thought the execution wasn't there at A&M, but the effort was there.

• Last year was Gill's first time experiencing the Border Showdown. It has a history that is passed down from the upperclassmen to the underclassmen. Plus, fans and everyone else around the program is keyed in on this game. That makes it more intense than another game or week. It's something that will get more talk after the fact because of that.

• Saturday will mark the last game for KU's seniors and Gill wants them to think they have reached their full potential when they are done, from a football standpoint as well as students and members of the community. If they can leave with all that being true, the KU staff has done its job in preparing them for what lies ahead.

• Gill's coaching approach has not changed much this year because of its struggles. If it has changed at all, it is in the way he and other coaches have challenged players more of late to make sure they are getting the most out of the players. There have been ups and downs and it is positive when players respond in a good way to either of those. KU hasn't made the kind of overall progress that the staff has aimed for, but for the most part, Gill has not changed his approach.

• Gill understands fans might not see progress in the program and that is frustrating. Gill doesn't sugar-coat things with the players about how they are doing. Players are told when they play well and when they don't. KU's second-year head coach looks at the program and tries to compare it to Kirk Ferentz's program at Iowa, which probably comes with offensive coordinator Chuck Long's connection with the Hawkeyes. Iowa was 4-19 in Ferentz's first two years leading that program. It took some time to get Iowa going in the right direction. In the third or fourth year as a staff, you can start to see improvements.

• KU will not wear special uniforms this week for the Border Showdown. They try to do something like that once a year and they wore the throwbacks giving honor to John Hadl earlier this season, against Texas Tech.

• With Missouri leaving the conference, at this point it is hard to think about the void that will be left in the Big 12. Gil has not talked much with the players about it being the final Big 12 meeting for the rivals. He might get into it more later this week. Gill has been more concerned with being prepared from football standpoint.


texashawk10 10 years, 7 months ago

Muck Fizzou, that's all I got. Okay so I have one more thing, since Gill is a good Christian man by most all accounts, he should probably considering calling in a favor from upstairs on Saturday.

Bob Thompson 10 years, 7 months ago

That's the only way we will win, and I don't think I will hold my breath waiting.

97jhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

You also forgot from this "standpoint" and from that "standpoint"

97jhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

You also forgot from this "standpoint" and from that "standpoint"

kujayhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

"Gill thought the execution wasn't there at A&M, but the effort was there."

These are the comments that just blow my mind about this guy. What game was Gill watching?

LAJayhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

"Gill's coaching approach has not changed much this year because of its struggles."

With all due respect, Coach, this may be part of the problem.

vuduchyld 10 years, 7 months ago

exactly. And this one:

"KU hasn't made the kind of overall progress that the staff has aimed for, but for the most part, Gill has not changed his approach."

Should have changed it, I'd say.

Ben Kliewer 10 years, 7 months ago

"There have been ups and downs this season"

Tell me about these mysterious "ups" you seem to have just made up...

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 7 months ago

I hope you were being sarcastic, since we were playing against their third and fourth strings, and the first string was pulled in the first half (I must say that was the first time I've seen that).

Joe Joseph 10 years, 7 months ago

KU is undefeated against FCS teams this season.

HawkSchooner 10 years, 7 months ago

Beat Baylor for three quarters and then some.

deathtomizzou 10 years, 7 months ago

Well if KU fans get lucky Gill won't be around to give one more of these ridiculous non informative press conferences. These have become nothing more than a complete joke and a waste of everyones time. Just go away and let this program move in a direction that alumni, fans, and most important the players deserve. It is amazing how much damage Gill, along with Lew Perkins, have done to damage this football program in 2 yrs time.

OKHawkFan 10 years, 7 months ago

Well if they are a waste of your time why read and comment??? I would think the best thing to do is just ignore the program and don't support it at all. That way KUAD doesn't have to make any excuses when firing him. All they have to say is that nobody is supporting your regime and you gotta go. And for the rest of you that are commenting on here about Gill's speech patterns get a life!!! I can guarantee you if I spent any amount of time with everybody here I would be able to make fun of the same words you use all the time. People here in Oklahoma make fun of Stoops for saying "certainly" all the time but in good fun because he wins games all the time. Seriously Gills speech patterns should be the last thing we criticize him about!!!

Chris Bailey 10 years, 7 months ago

Did you really post a comment defending what Gill says? Who cares? This is about football and the fan base just having a bad taste in their mouth with him at the helm. Sure people are gonna find negatives in everything he does as they grow more and more fed up with his losing ways. You said it yourself when you referenced Stoop and his certainly saying. If Gill won games he could stand there like a wall and no one would care but the fact is he can't win so people are completely fed up and point to everything they can in a negative way. Maybe I should have put a bunch of !!!!!!!! after saying everything to get my point across better. He's bad and he's gone in short time. Good riddance!

Michael Maris 10 years, 7 months ago

Matt, here is a follow question for you on the Gill's comparing his first 2 seasons at Kansas to Kirk Ferentz @ Iowa. Was Ferentz's teams getting blown out by conference opponents by 35 or more points in those first 2 seasons at Iowa?

The issues that continue to leave the KU Football Fans in limbo are getting very old and tiring. Gill seems to be running his program with a lot of mysteries. Yes, I supported Gill and his program. But, clearly the guy has made alot of very wrong choices in who he hired for his coaching staff (other than Reggie Mitchell and David Beatty, who we KU football fans already knew alot about and what kind of coaching Mitchell and Beatty would bring to KU).

Supposedly, KU was going to be able to bring in quality QB's. Well, Jordan Webb was recruited by Mangino and Staff. But, Webb has no time to pass.

Offensive Line just has not been blocking in the past 2 seasons. KU's DL is grossly lacks depth and needed talent. I've watched alot of U. of Tennessee football games this year (as I do most every season). Maurice Couch would've done very well at KU. So, how come KU staff didn't do a better job of recruiting Maurice Couch to get him to KU? Couch is a back-up at Tennessee. He would've been a starter at KU. He is a horse. Sure, teams would've double teamed him. But, that would allow Toben Opurum a better shot at getting to the QB (on passing downs).

I see recruting issues even in Basketball starting to rear its ugly head. So, has the BGL changed the academic requirements at KU that Coach Self can't even recruit the kids that are needed to maintain the level of basketball that KU fans are used to seeing game in and game out.

My guess is this, that if Gill is let go. Zenger will interview Coach Leavitt (since there is a K-State connection). People that are pissed off, I don't want to hear about Leavitt being a Missouri Grad or a former Coach Snyder assistant. Didn't bother you when Mangino was a former K-State Assistant.

KU needs a proven coach to save face with the fan base. Yeah, KU Fanbase seeing an Orange Bowl victory has changed the mind set for KU fans. And, we are getting tired of Silo Tech success. Coach Snyder might be the best coach in College football. He gets so much done with such minimal talent. Yet, Gill has let the mediocrity of what was left over by Mangino get even worse.

Eric Williams 10 years, 7 months ago

Iowa History (see Wikipedia, it's amazing when you do research on your own instead of asking Matt to do it)

1999: only win was against Northern Illinois. Lost to Nebraska by 35, Michigan State by 46, Penn State by 24, Ohio State by 30, Wisconsin by 38.

2000: Beat Michigan State (by 5), Penn State (by 3, 2OT), Northwestern (by 10). Lost to Kansas State by 20, Nebraska by 29, Indiana by 12, Illinois by 31, Ohio State by 28

Those are the losses by larger margins. I included Indiana because that's unacceptable.

Chris Bailey 10 years, 7 months ago

+1 Wikipedia is awesome! Bet Matt uses it too!

Chris Bailey 10 years, 7 months ago

+1 Wikipedia is awesome! Bet Matt uses it too!

oldvet 10 years, 7 months ago

"KU has endured some up and downs but everyone is committed to getting better and this week is no different." And the outcome of this week will be no different...

"Last year was Gill's first time experiencing the Border Showdown. It has a history that is passed down from the upperclassmen to the underclassmen." And until Gill the Fraud came on board, it was passed down by Coach Fam also...

"Gill understands fans might not see progress in the program..." No, ya reckon?

"With Missouri leaving the conference..." Now take our coach... No, really... take him!

haydenhawkco 10 years, 7 months ago

Iowa 1999 (Ferentz's first year)

9/4 vs. Nebraska (12-1) L 7 42 9/11 @ Iowa State (4-7) L 10 17 9/18 vs. Northern Illinois (5-6) W 24 0 10/2 @ Michigan State (10-2)L 3 49 10/9 vs. Penn State (10-3) L 7 31 10/16 Northwestern (3-8) L 21 23 10/23 vs.Indiana (4-7) L 31 38 10/30 Ohio State (6-6) L 11 41 11/6 vs. Illinois (8-4) L 24 40 11/13 @ Wisconsin (10-2) L 3 41 11/20 vs. *Minnesota (8-4) L 21 25


8/26 vs. Kansas State (11-3) L 7 27
9/9 vs. Western Michigan (9-3) L 21 27 9/16 vs. Iowa State (9-3) L 14 24 9/23 @ Nebraska (10-2) L 13 42 9/30 @ Indiana (3-8) L 33 45 10/7 vs. Michigan State (5-6) W 21 16 10/14 @ Illinois (5-6) L 0 31 10/21 vs. Ohio State (8-4) L 10 38 10/28 vs. Wisconsin (9-4) L 7 13 11/4 @ Penn State (5-7) W 26 23 11/11 vs. Northwestern (8-4) W 27 17 11/18 @ Minnesota (6-6) L 24 27

ModerateOne 10 years, 7 months ago

Margin of loss in 6 of KU's 9 losses so far this year: 42, 42, 30, 38, 43, 54.

Number of Games in Ferenz's second year at Iowa with 30 point or greater differential: 1.

Alfred_W 10 years, 7 months ago

Average margin of defeat (FBS games only):

Ferentz: Year 1 = 21 pts; Year 2 = 16 pts Gill: Year 1 = 31 pts; Year 2 = 29 pts

In year 2, Ferentz was two touchdowns closer to his opponents on the scoreboard than Gill has been this year.

drnater 10 years, 7 months ago

How many top 25 teams did Ferentz face compared to Gill?

Eric Williams 10 years, 7 months ago

Ferentz 1999: 6 Top 25 teams 2000: 5 Top 25 teams

Gill 2010: 3 Top 25 teams 2011: 3 Top 25 teams

Note these are at the time they played only. In 2011, GaTech, Texas, Baylor, A&M have all been ranked at one point, but now when we faced them. Just pointing that out.

You also need to factor in that the spread, high-octane offense was pretty much limited to Houston, Texas Tech and Hawaii in 1999/2000.

OKHawkFan 10 years, 7 months ago

Statitistics don't lie and liars use statistics. One thing to keep in mind the Big XII is a very offense oriented conference where you pass pass pass with the hope of outscoring your opponent. So to say Ferentz average margin of loss were lower his second year isn't really a fair comparison to what Gill Faced this year. Not trying to come to Gills defense I'm just saying. Iowa state only scored 13 at home against us. How many points did they score against OSU who has a way better defense than KU does (I know I'll hear the same old lame excuses that it's because everybody overlooks KU and doesn't prepare for them). Also, Edsell actually had more losses his second season at UCONN.

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 7 months ago

Kirk Ferentz just filled a defamation of character lawsuit against Turner Gill for his comparison.

Fred Davis 10 years, 7 months ago

Didn't Jimmy Johnson go 1-15 in his first year with the Cowboys..? Ha.....

We could dig up all kinds of facts and stats that show teams that struggled before having success - but that makes no difference here. TGill has to go. Plain and Simple. I bought into the rhetoric when he first came on board, didn't let the fact that he was AVERAGE at Buffalo bother me and thought he was the guy for KU.


If I need someone to chair my local Fellowship of Christian Athletes group, I can't find Turner Gill fast enough. He's a good man with good values, but he's not a good Division I football coach, and in the words of Stuart Smally - "That's Okay". So let the man go at the end of the year, thank him for trying and go grab Mike Leach!

drnater 10 years, 7 months ago

Why does that make no difference? Besides Ferentz theres a lot of coaches that AD's stuck with and were rewarded. Frank Beamer - went 5-17 his 1st 2 seasons and 30-45-2 his first 7 seasons at VT. Joe Novak- went 1-21 his 1st 2 seasons and eventually led Northern Illinois to 7 consecutive winning seasons from 00-06 Darrel Dickey- went 8-25 in his 1st 3 seasons at North Texas, lost the 1st 5 of his 4th season, then led them to 26 straight victories. Barry Alvarez- went 1-10 his 1st season and had losing records the next 2 at Wisconsin. He only went on to 11 bowl games, 3 of which were Rose Bowl victories in his tenure. Bill Snyder- had 3 losing seasons in his first 4 years and we all know how thats turned out. Whats do all of these have in common? Patience is a virtue. There are some big name coaches there, and none of them started of very well. Give the man another season, if he gets destroyed again then fire him. Until he at least has one class become upperclassmen then you have know idea what could come to fruition under him.

Mat Davis 10 years, 7 months ago

I agree. These aren't his players and they weren't recruited to play in his system. Webb is not a pro style QB, and the receivers leave a lot to be desired. If he was winning, then everyone would say they weren't his players too, so it goes both ways. Damned if you do, and damned if you don't. He's brought in some impressive RB's, now we need a QB who can bring some dynamics to the position. A win vs. Mizzou would soothe some bruised egos and build some momentum.

tecuani 10 years, 7 months ago

Actually, you are incorrect. Jordan Webb is a pro-style QB. And that is part of the problem. Pro-style QBs only work well with coaches who know what they are doing and who have receivers who are exceptional. We have neither.

But that has changed, every QB who has committed/signed with KU since Gill came along is a "dual-threat" QB. Keep in mind that Kale Pick is considered one of these, so there is no guarantee he will be good.

Mecham could be the guy who rights the ship, but with what tools? The only two WRs in last years class are 6'0 or less. We have big receivers in the previous class, but I haven't heard their names at all this year.

beenahawk 10 years, 7 months ago

Agree..Webb is much closer to Middle School.....

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