Monday Football Notebook: Turner Gill
(John Rieger/US PRESSWIRE)
Phog.net
Posted Oct 24, 2011


Kansas head coach Turner Gill took part in Monday's regular weekly Big 12 Coaches Teleconference, and Phog.net was on the line as he spoke about the importance of limiting big plays, shuffling the cards on defense and the speed of the Texas Longhorns.

Backbreaker

The tide really shifted during Saturday's rivalry game between Kansas and Kansas State with just 11 seconds remaining in the first half.

On the heels of engineering a long touchdown drive to cut the Wildcats lead to 28-14, all the Jayhawks had to do was get off the field and into the locker room, and they'd take at least a measure of the game's momentum with them.

Unfortunately, Kansas State nipped that plan in the bud, when quarterback Collin Klein hit a wide-open Tyler Lockett deep in Kansas territory, setting up a field goal with one second remaining.

And the Wildcats weren't done. Up 31-14 and receiving the opening kickoff after the half, Lockett took it 97 yards to the house, putting Kansas State up 38-14 and the game entirely out of reach.

"Those two plays made the difference in the game," said Kansas head coach Turner Gill on Monday, during the weekly Big 12 Coaches Teleconference. "That's kind of the unfortunate way it's been in some of our games, where we have 2-3 plays that are tough to overcome."

Gill said he and his coaches stress constant vigilance during each week of practice, as they know 2-3 plays can completely change the tide of a game.

"That's why we talk and just like every coach tells every team and every player, that's why you play every play hard," he said. "That's why you play everything right in your technique and what you're supposed to do. Because if you don't, then you're going to get capitalized on."

Personnel changes on horizon

In the wake of Saturday's crushing loss, Gill said some personnel changes were likely coming on defense. Though they haven't been pinpointed as of yet, Monday he indicated some shuffling of the lineup was definitely in the cards.

"We're still in that mode right now of making those decisions and still talking it through here, particularly the rest of the day today, Monday," he explained. "So we may not make a final decision, but there might be one or two where maybe guys are getting more reps or somebody is going to be replaced, trying to make ourselves better on the defensive side of the ball."

Remaining positive

In the grips of a five-game losing skid, it's probably hard for the Jayhawks to find many positives. But Gill said they'll continue to evaluate everything and everyone, coaches and players, to try and find a way to right this ship.

"I think you just continue to talk about the things that are positive, but also talk about the needs that we need to improve and talk to them real," he said. "I am that kind of guy, I'll talk to them about the facts and what's reality, and then continue to show them what we need to do, how we need to do it and why we need to do it. And just keep on trying to make some adjustments."

Next up: Texas

It takes Gill just one word to describe what stands out about the next opponent on the schedule - the Texas Longhorns.

"Speed," he said, simply. "They have guys that can run on both sides of the ball. I've seen them run very, very well, and I think that's the one thing that stands out about their football team at this point."



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