Kansas City Royals, y'all. What's up now, Albert Pujols?
- Kansas Football -
With the lack of a rhythm on offense, Kansas senior punter Trevor Pardula found himself in a familiar spot Saturday evening at Milan Puskar Stadium as the Jayhawks dropped their first conference road game of the 2014 season to West Virginia, 33-14.
Though KU received a fresh start this week when interim coach Clint Bowen replaced the fired Charlie Weis tweaks to practice and different motivational ploys can only do so much.
While the offense remains in flux — Kansas set a West Virginia opposition record by punting 14 times — the defense did not allow a point in the second half despite being gashed for 557 yards in the game. The Mountaineers lone touchdown after the intermission came on Mario Alford’s 94-yard kickoff return.
The last time KU played at West Virginia, the Jayhawks were drubbed 59-10 and limped off the field with no life and no fire. Not Saturday night.
Bowen, who handled head coaching and defensive coordinator duties for the first time, described his behavior during the game as “business as usual.” But he did admit that the emotions of leading his alma mater onto the field and being the guy with the head coach's headset was a rush and won't soon be forgotten.
“They played hard,” Bowen said. “Did we play perfect? No. But, on our sideline, at the end of that game, kids were still into the game, they were still sticking with each other and, at the end, they were still fighting. If we keep that mentality, there'll be improvement.”
10. Kansas Jayhawks, 2-3, 0-2, Prev Rank: 10. New coach. Same mediocre offense. Trevor Pardula finished with 14 punts in Morgantown, while quarterbacks Montell Cozart, Michael Cummings and T.J. Millweard combined to complete only 13 passes. Interim coach Clint Bowen has brought energy to the Jayhawks. But the offense still has miles to go.
Kansas is still Kansas: Interim coach Clint Bowen brought plenty of energy to the Kansas players and fanbase this week, after he took over for fired coach Charlie Weis. But once the Jayhawks took the field in Morgantown, they were the same team they’ve been. Kansas punted on its first 10 possessions, and West Virginia coasted to an easy 33-14 win. Montell Cozart completed only four passes, and the running game was a non-factor. The Jayhawks’ problems didn’t come about in a week. And they won’t be fixed in a week, either, no matter how much enthusiasm Bowen brings.
Those KU football fans that have continued to stick it out with the team deserve some some praise; according to the numbers, they've watched some of the worst quarterback play Division I has had to offer for three consecutive seasons. This year hasn't been any different.
“Montell’s a tremendous young man. He’s all about what is best for this team and what gives us the best chance to win,” Bowen said. “He took it. Obviously everyone wants to play. That’s what kids are here for, so it doesn’t make him happy. But at the same time, he was on board.”
If you’re a Kansas fan, this doesn’t make the offensive struggles any easier to swallow, but it does make it a little more baffling.
It’s been a wild ride for Cummings as a Kansas quarterback. Recruited by former KU coach Turner Gill in 2011, the 5-foot-10, 210-pound QB with the big arm but few other notable attributes continually has been passed over on the depth chart while at Kansas. During his four seasons in the program, two KU coaches have looked for better talent to pile up in front of him.
According to an ESPN Insider blog from Travis Haney posted Friday, the current San Francisco 49ers coach would be interested in the Jayhawks’ coaching opening if he leaves the NFL and decides to take a college gig after this season.
Now more Kansas rumblings have surfaced. According to reporting by ESPN’s Seth Wickersham, an anonymous Harbaugh confidant said that if Harbaugh ever returned to the college ranks, it would be at Kansas. “He’s just crazy enough to do it,” the confidant told Wickersham.
- Kansas Basketball -
KU 12th-year head coach Bill Self and his staff welcomed back 10 returners, including starters Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden, Jr., and six newcomers from a team which went 25-10 in 2013-14 and won KU's 10th-straight Big 12 and NCAA-leading 57th conference regular-season title.
“I love it when NBA scouts come to practice,” Self said. “I think the guys (Jayhawks) get juiced up for it. We’ve had numerous practices we’ve had anywhere from one to 10 to 12 NBA guys watching us work out. I like that. “I also think having a combine this early in the practice season, at least with so many young kids, I’m not sure many would look very good because they’d be thinking instead of playing.”
Several of Rivals.com’s top-rated players have said they will attend KU’s Late Night. They are: No. 2-ranked Jaylen Brown, 6-7, Wheeler High, Marietta, Georgia; No. 10 Stephen Zimmerman, 7-foot, Bishop Gorman High, Las Vegas; No. 14 Carlton Bragg, 6-9, Villa Angela St. Joseph High, Cleveland; No. 18 Brandon Ingram, 6-8, Kinston (North Carolina) High; and No. 19 Tyler Dorsey, 6-4, Maranatha High, Pasadena, California.
‘“The Blender’ is, I get the ball in the post, and I’m just doing a lot of pivots, getting ’em off balance. They don’t know what I’m about to do, and I throw a jump hook real quick. I’m moving around a lot in the post, just pivoting around, just faking,” Ellis said Thursday at KU basketball Media Day in Allen Fieldhouse.
“I see some similarities with Cliff and Thomas (Robinson, Portland Trail Blazers). Cliff is probably a little bigger at the same stage, about the same athletically, offensively about the same. Cliff has to get to where he goes after every ball. He did that in high school, so hopefully that’ll translate to college. Without question, if he were to play his best, and everybody else were to play their best, I think he would be our most physical player.”
- Kansas Sports -
Junior Liana Salazar netted her league-leading ninth goal of the season less than three minutes into the match, while Ashley Williams tacked on her fifth of the year 15 minutes later to help the Kansas Jayhawks dispatch of the Oklahoma State Cowgirls, 2-1, Friday night in front of a program-record crowd of 1,186 at Rock Chalk Park.
It took just over 60 minutes but the Kansas Jayhawks finally shook away from a pesky Missouri State squad with the help of Tayler Estrada's first career-goal Sunday afternoon at Rock Chalk Park. Junior Ashley Williams netted her second game-winner of the weekend less than five minutes later and Kansas eventually closed out the 2-1 victory, its fifth-straight.
The Jayhawk women were paced by sophomore Nashia Baker for the second-straight week as KU finished second to team champion Rice by just two points. The KU men finished fourth in the team race with the second, third and fourth-place teams separated by only nine points.
Vying to knock off the Longhorns for the first time since 2003, the Jayhawks kicked into gear in the third set but not in time to shake off the two-set deficit already stacked against them. The No. 2 Texas Longhorns entered a sold-out Horejsi Family Athletics Center on Sunday afternoon and defeated Kansas in four sets, 14-25, 20-25, 25-20, 21-25.
An Illinois native, Hoag was a guard on Kansas’ first NCAA championship basketball team in 1952, and won a gold medal playing basketball for the United States in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. He was a two-time All-Big Seven halfback on the football field, and was chosen in the NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns in 1953. He lettered in track while at KU, and also lettered in baseball. He finished his football career with 1,914 rushing yards, a school record that stood until Gale Sayers came along.
- College Sports -
Big shock, an Ag school complaining about the refs... because the refs are totally why Iowa State lost Saturday.
"We've been on the short end of several controversial calls," Pollard said during an impromptu postgame news conference. "And it's hard to sit idle and watch ESPN, FOX and other announcers, not debate, but to feel sorry for Iowa State, because maybe there will be another apology for a call."
Commissioner Mike Slive has the power to impose fines for violations in all SEC sports. Penalties start at $5,000 for a first offense.
Hours had passed since Ole Miss fans tore down the goalposts at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium after the Rebels beat Alabama 23-17 on Saturday, but somehow one of them was making its way through the main drag in Oxford, carried by students who looked like determined worker ants.
Educating the players who put their brains on the line should be priority 1. Educating those who are tasked with looking out for the student athletes, the coaches, trainers, and staff, should be priority 1a. Because what else can we do? Shane Morris' tweet this past week was very clear. "I just want to play football."
- Potpourri -
KABC doesn't say much about what the suspects look like, other than one or more of them were wearing Angels clothing. The man who was beaten also reportedly wore Angels clothing.
- Pics and Videos of the Day -
No, your eyes are not deceiving you. That's Butler, Royals DH, successfully stealing a base against the Angels in Game 3 of the ALDS. I had trouble even finding a picture of Butler running like that because it happens so incredibly rarely. The guy played in 313 games during the past two seasons and didn't even attempt to steal a base. On Sunday, he just kinda went for it, because that's the kind of series this has been for Kansas City.
A parody of the hit pop song by Lorde called "Royals" written with Major League Baseball in mind. Go Royals! Lyrics below.
On a third-and-8 play from the MSU 43-yard line, the stingy Spartans defense was showing a blitz pre-snap and it clearly affected Nebraska left guard Jake Cotton, who flinched and then hilariously fell on his backside.
Texas A&M quarterback Kyle Allen didn't have any responsibilities yesterday, so he spent some time yesterday chatting with a girl on the sidelines doing video. Mississippi State upset the Aggies, but Allen seems to be fine.
Two Ole Miss fans in search of something real find love on the turf at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Once trailing 28-3, the Browns closed the game on a 26-0 run, and beat the Titans 29-28. The Browns are .500 and they will beat your ass in second halves.