KU football team needs to maintain momentum for second half

At three of its conference games on the road this season, Kansas only mustered nine points in the second half. The Jayhawks just scored a touchdown and a field goal.

Ashleigh Lee/KANSAN
Sophomore halfback Tony Pierson misses his pass from senior quarterback Dayne Crist during the Sunflower Showdown against Kansas State University, Saturday, Oct. 6, at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Pierce had six receives and 63 receiving yards.

When Kansas visited Kansas State, Oklahoma and Baylor, it allowed 70 points combined in the second half. With two road games remaining in the season, including this Saturday’s match against Texas Tech, Weis added a new goal for the team — to come out of the locker room and produce better in the second half.

“We all need to do a better job when we’re on the road and in the last three games, that’s not the way it’s gone,” Weis said. “I’m very annoyed how last week went. It would be nice if we played good for a whole game on the road.”

Kansas trailed K-State by three points and was down six points against Baylor at halftime. Weis wants his offensive to create the same output in the second half and the defense to play well for four quarters. In doing so, Kansas is bound to end its 18-game conference losing streak.

As the Jayhawks prepare for the Red Raiders, Weis will approach this road game differently. He wants the team to get on the bus and arrive in Lubbock, Texas sooner than they had planned. The players will have a run-through at Jones AT&T Stadium the day before the game, and then hold a team meeting afterward before playing Texas Tech the next morning,

“There are things that I don’t normally do that I’m doing this week, because I’m never going to stay status quo if it’s not working,” Weis said. “I’m going to try something else.”

As a senior and one of the captains on the team, offensive tackle Tanner Hawkinson works on keeping the team in uniform and making sure his teammates come out of halftime with the same mindset used at the start of the game to finish strongly.

“I think we have to just keep the intensity up,” Hawkinson said. “You’re coming out of the first half and you’ve got a lot of juices flowing. I think we’ve just got to keep that up throughout the second half and just not let off the pedal at all.“

Weis said the second half road mishaps are not only on the players, but the coaches as well. He’s told the team all season that it needs to execute better in the second half.

Running backs coach Reggie Mitchell said that Weis has put together a different game plan for the players.

“We played four quarters against Texas,” Mitchell said. ”It’s just something we’re going to build on. We are a new program and it’s going to take some time. That is something that coach Weis is constantly talking to the guys about, being able to finish a game.”

Kansas impressed many spectators with its ability to play four competitive quarters at home. In the three home conference games the Jayhawks hosted, they’ve inched closer in the final score and feel they can compete with anyone in the Big 12.

“We need to capitalize on some of the opportunities that we have,” tight end Jimmay Mundine said. “You can’t have two people to their job and one person not to his job because the end result won’t be good. When everyone finally puts it together, we’ll be all right.”

  • Updated Nov. 7, 2012 at 12:04 am
  • Edited by Christy Khamphilay