KU football preparing to end 19-game losing streak on the road

Nobody is going to tell you that Harry S. Truman was the smartest president in U.S. history, Harry Truman included. Even today, his presidency remains controversial — particularly because of his decision to use atomic weapons against Japan to bring a speedy end to World War II.

But one thing a lot of people will tell you about Harry Truman is that he was a great leader of people and an even better decision-maker. In times of tribulation, he acted — fast. This is the man that oversaw the Berlin Airlift in 1948 and the creation of NATO in 1949.

In his address to the National War College on Dec. 19, 1952, President Truman famously said, “It’s easy for the Monday morning quarterback to say what the coach should have done, after the game is over. But when the decision is up before you — and on my desk I have a motto which says ‘The Buck Stops Here’ — the decision has been made… you can’t pass the buck to anybody.”

Truman often credited his farm-boy roots for his hard-working, proactive habits. He was early to rise and work. Simply, he got things done when they needed to be done.

This Saturday, the football team will have a “buck” of sorts sitting before them. A buck that has been passed on to them from teams past: a nineteen-game road losing streak dating back to 2009.

The facts are facts: Kansas’ last road win was on Sept. 12, 2009, against the UTEP Miners, 34-7. In that game, Kansas held the Miners to 208 total yards, dominating the contest in all facets, from the opening kick to the final whistle. It was an enthralling victory for the program, and the future looked as bright as ever.

Fast-forward to today. The 27-point victory still stands as the Jayhawks last road win.

I would have never guessed (even as a high schooler still relatively new to watching Kansas football) that four years later, as a junior in college, the win in El Paso would still be the last time I saw a Kansas road win.

Since that fateful day in ’09, Kansas has allowed an average of 42.6 points per road game and scored only 15.6 points per road game. It’s one thing to lose 19 straight road games. It’s another to lose 19 straight road games by an average of almost 30 points per game.

I’m not saying that this is going to be easy. It never was for Truman. But if there was ever a time for Kansas to turn the corner and change the entire attitude surrounding the program, that time is this Saturday in Houston against the Rice Owls.

Three days from now, Kansas will be matched up against a potent Owl offense, but an even more exploitable Owl defense… on the road.

The 31-14 win on Saturday was a little on the sloppy side, littered with dropped passes and penalties, but a win all the same. It should have helped quell the first-game jitters of the new athletes.

If the players board the plane due south not as individuals, but as one unified force with one thing on its itinerary — stop the streak — they’ll be greeted by Kansas fans when they get back at 2-0, with a bowl game realistically in sight.

Let’s go. I can’t wait for Saturday. The buck needs to stop here, boys.

  • Updated Sep. 10, 2013 at 10:23 pm
  • Edited by Emma McElhaney