Breaking Down Turner

Kansas Head Coach Turner Gill

On how Kansas played against New Mexico State:

"I think two phases were pretty good.  Probably half of the phase of special teams. I did not like the kick off, but I think offense and defense we definitely improved.  We did some good things there, so it was great to see that from our football team to play somewhat of a complete game.  Obviously, there are still a few things we need to get ironed out but I think overall I am pretty satisfied with where we are at."

"I think that is the only phase where we didn't do very well.  We had not done very well the whole football season but unfortunately some of it started with our kicker.  I think the first two he kicked were a little bit low number one, and number two, they were not deep enough when we had the wind in those opportunity situations. I think part of it was the kicker and you have to have people get off blocks and make plays too."

I think that's fair.  The offense looked good especially in the second half.  The defense was about par for the course, but there were definitely those areas that have and will continue to be frustrating to watch.  Special teams just has to continue to get better.  If you want to play ball control and have a bend but don't break defense, you simply have to have good special teams.

On D.J. Beshears:

"D.J. did a great job. I take our hats off to him but more importantly to our offensive line. They did some great things here today. It is great to see our guys gel and do some execution. We talked about execution. I think the more time we spent running our offense and getting used to what we are trying to get done, the timing of things were a lot better tonight."

Find a way to get the ball into the hands of those that can make plays. Kansas did that offensively with Beshears, Sims and Patterson.  Beshears was impressive.

On the rushing game (237) and gaining 501 total yards:

"Well that is what we like and hopefully we can be in that 175 to 200 every night, but I like the way we were balanced getting 200 plus yards in passing the ball and also rushing the ball.  We want to have that balance and I think we are headed in the right direction."

Great balance, solid offensive performance and they took the foot off the gas for almost the entire fourth quarter. This was pretty much what we all were hoping to see from this team from a pure statistical standpoint and while I don't know if they can do this consistently when the competition level ticks up a notch, it's nice to see what the staff is shooting for.

On the 99 yard drive:

"I think that just shows execution.  Again, they made plays when they had to.  We had guys that when the ball was in their hands, they didn't make some plays.  But obviously Patterson and Jordan Webb doing some good things of that nature, and then James Sims made some good runs.  I think Chuck Long did a good job of play calling. I think we definitely had a better continuity on the offensive side of the ball as far as trying to make sure we had a better flow of what we were trying to get done."

This drive was one ankle tackle away from being a one play 99 yard drive on a run by James Sims. That said, I'll tak the effort and execution from this one any day of the week.  Headed into the first play I was certain that we'd see the sneak at least once if not twice as we set up to punt. What I wanted was a play action pass, which we got.  No it didn't work, but it was the right call.

On wrapping up non-conference and beginning conference play:

"I feel better.  No doubt about it, we still have some work to do.  I feel good about us going into conference play.  Obviously, coming in with a win is a good situation for us, but we still have some things to improve on.  Our next opponent Baylor is a very good football team and we have to go down there to play them too.  It will be a tremendous challenge but again we have to gear up to see what we can do."

In my mind this is the type of game this team needed before heading to Waco.  It wasn't perfect, but it was convincing and an improved performance that couldn't be attributed to the extra adrenaline that might have been experienced against Georgia Tech.  Kansas faced a weaker opponent, but handled business the way you should for the most part and now they've got a week to go in and work of some positive momentum.

 

Kansas freshman quarterback Jordan Webb

On his mobility:

"People look at me as more of a drop-back passer. I look at myself that way but if the play breaks down I feel like I'm pretty good at buying time and letting my receivers get open downfield."

He impressed me with his run on a pretty key 3rd down.  New Mexico State's ends were keying on the back all night and the QB read was there for the taking.  Webb probably could have done even more damage but a play like that will at least help force teams to respect him.

One other thing I'll say about Webb, the kid throws a nice ball.  I know we've all wondered if he could air it out and the staff kept defending him saying he just had not had the time, with time he looked good.  The shot at the endzone that Jonathan Wilson didn't get to was a great throw.  Put it right where you want the ball on the sideline, in the endzone where only Wilson is going to make that catch.  To me it looked like Wilson pulled up a little, which seemed to be happening with KU players all night.  It was cold.  Back to the point though, Webb can throw a pretty nice ball.

 

Kansas sophomore wide receiver D.J. Beshears

 On the kickoff return for a touchdown:


"I have to give all of the credit to my blockers on the kickoff return team. I told them, ‘Go out there and make good blocks and I'm going to take it to the house.' Coach (Aaron) Stamn has been emphasizing that we need a big return on kickoff return, so I just made it happen tonight. I saw the hole open up when Bradley (McDougald) hit the hole. After that I just saw daylight."

I was in section 10 during this part of the game and had a great view of this return.  All the sudden a whole opened up covering the length of the field it seemed.  Right away I thought to myself, make the cut.  Beshears read it and took it to paydirt.  Nice job by all.

 

Kansas senior linebacker Justin Springer

 On where the team is going into Big 12 play:

"We just have to be more consistent with everything. We have been up and down with what we have been doing so we just have to stay consistent and try and win against Baylor."

Simple answer, right answer. The world thinks this is a bad football team. When they play consistent they can be pretty good. But with youth comes that inconsistency so hopefully as time goes, they'll improve.

On the tone of the game:

"We wanted to come out and get a three-and-out right off the bat.  I think we did a three-and-out in the first series.  We wanted to show them that we were excited and that they would have to work harder on the ball with us."

This quote actually has no bearing on what I want to say but it's from Justin Springer and I think he's shown a lot this year. Springer has good instincts, he looks a step quicker and he's doing a great job for this defense in the middle.

 

Kansas junior defensive tackle Patrick Dorsey

On how the defensive front has played:

"I am pretty happy with how we have played.  I know we have not had a sack yet, that is our goal to get sacks, but other than that I feel like we have played pretty good."

On being successful without sacks:

"I feel like we still can be successful but it is needed.  Especially with conference play coming up, we need to get sacks and pressure on the quarterback.  I feel like it is a must but we can get by without them."

The d-line has Darius Parish back to help now and late in the game he looked pretty disruptive in the middle. Parish is a big man, dwarfs our other d-lineman and twice he created a pile in the middle with himself and three NMSU o-lineman.  That's going to give everyone else a lot of room to work.  If Parish can get on board and work into the rotation it could go a long way toward improving the defensive front even further.

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