We knew when the 2012 season started the Kansas Jayhawks would fight through some growing pains but after five weeks, my bottle of Advil is in need of a refill.
As expected, the final score of 56-16 was heavily in the Wildcats favor but what wasn’t expected was the surprisingly feisty Jayhawks turning heads in the first half.
Kansas led K-state early in the 1st half 14-7 and were playing with a purpose we haven’t seen from the Jayhawks as yet. Coach Charlie Weis was calling trick plays, sometimes two in the same drive, and I think I counted a total of 4 different quarterbacks for the Jayhawks. The new Kansas Coach called out all the stops. And it worked for the most part—at least that first third of the game.
Then the second half started and we saw many of the same miscues and overzealous turnovers we’ve grown all too familiar with.
Despite starting the 2nd half with the football, the 3rd quarter was probably the worst we have seen the Jayhawks all season. By the time the 4th quarter started, the Jayhawks were outscored 28-2 and never threated again.
Wildcats QB Collin Klein slashed the KU defense on the ground rushing for 116 yards on 10 carries with 2 touchdowns. Klein also added 129 yards passing on 7 completions for an additional 2 touchdowns.
The defense, which had been creating turnovers (5th in the nation) and making plays at crucial times, seemed deflated. After a clutch safety early in the third, freshman Tre’ Parmalee fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the defense seemed to spiral out of control.
The Jayhawks gave up 475 yards of total offense and failed to turn the ball over for the first time this season.
Though this loss is certainly the low point for Charlie Weis’ new and improved Jayhawks, the fact that they hung with possibly the best team in the Big 12 for a half is a vast improvement upon what we have seen from them in the past.
For the Jayhawks to walk out of Manhattan with a victory Saturday they would have had to play four quarters of mistake free, inspired football—they got two.
What Weis emphasized throughout the spring and fall sessions was avoiding the runaway quarters and today they failed. But what should satisfy the Kansas faithful (even just a little) is the fact that this team got off the bus this morning expecting to shock the world. Unfortunately, those delusions of grandeur could not fight off the brute realities of a 5-turnover day.
This Kansas team still has a long way to go to compete for four quarters with the best of the best. Their Coach knows it too, maybe he knew from the beginning.
In his post game press conference Coach Weis was asked if the loss hurt instate recruiting to which he replied, “If I were a recruit I’d wanna come play for us. They’d get on the field pretty quick don’t you think?” He went on to say, “I might not even have to recruit them, they’ll be calling me.”
Joking aside, Weis knows this is a process. The Jayhawks showed some gusto going into a full Bill Snyder Family Stadium and letting the Wildcat Nation know the Jayhawks are changing—at least for the first quarter and a half.
But Weis says he won’t waste any time getting to work on making his team better.
“One thing I can’t do is stay status quot”, said Weis. “I can’t just say ‘oh that’s ok we got our butts kicked by K-state, that’s ok fellas’. Trust me that was not the message relayed in the locker room.”
I’ve got a feeling the message was received.
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