UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
September 12, 2017
DAVID BEATY: Good to see you guys.
Just to get started real quick, certainly disappointed with the result that we had the other day. Give those guys a lot of credit. Coach Bonamego, I said it I think last week, was going to have them ready and he did. They really improved greatly between week one and week two. I know that was probably a focus for them. I don't want to put words in their mouth, but I assume it was. They did it.
So it was good for us to learn from that. If that team can do it, we can do it, too. It's something we're certainly going to be focusing on this week for sure. I take my hat off to the quarterback. Man, he played really good. He made some throws that even when I looked at them on tape, Man, that is a terrific throw. If you love football, you love seeing things like that. You don't want to see it going against you.
He made some great plays, really did. He made some throws that I'm not even sure the receivers knew they were coming to them, and they just landed right in their gut. A couple times I saw a guy literally react because the ball was hitting him in the stomach. He played really well. I think he was player of the week in their conference. He certainly deserved it.
The thing that as I go back to looking at it is, the game shouldn't have been like that. It should have been a very competitive game there at the end. I think the story is the second quarter. As I look back at it, really take it in, there's 24 points scored in the second quarter by them. With 3:08 left on the clock, it's 10-6. We come out in the third quarter. You certainly don't know the future, we come out in the third quarter, score 14 straight points. That would have been a lot better position to be in. We gave up 14 points in a matter of 3 minutes and 7 seconds. It wasn't all the defensive side that caused it. We turned the football over there in the middle of the field in our end. Just situational awareness that you cannot have happen. We've got to go better in those situations, understanding the clock, understanding the things that really you got to do with certain situations.
We'll be better as we go forward, but that doesn't help us in that week for sure. But the second quarter really told a tale. A lot of mistakes were made. We had guys that were running open, big plays, uncharacteristic defensively. I mean, we had a lot of big plays. We had nine plus plays that were 20 yards or more in the passing game. That's uncharacteristic.
You know how I feel about Clint Bowen. I know we will get that fixed. I know he feels terrible. I know our defense shoulders a lot of that. It wasn't all on them. It was a collective effort, I can assure you.
Offensively we didn't play as good as we possibly could have. There were some things we did well, but we've got to be a lot more consistent, we do.
There was a lot of things happened in the kicking game that I thought were actually good things to build on, that I think we can continue to move forward. Good to see that improvement from week one to week two.
Ironically, the game that we had and the game that our next opponent had was very similar. If you haven't had a chance to watch it, it was 10-7 in the second quarter, and then Purdue went on a 20-point run in the second quarter. Very, very similar. Very uncharacteristic stuff from their team, I'm sure. Just based on what I've seen from tapes from them for two years, turn the football over a couple times, a few big plays that you just don't see happen very often by them.
Ironically I have a feeling both teams are going to be working on some of the very same stuff this week. One of us is going to get them corrected, one is going to get them corrected better than the other. Whoever is going to do that is going to be the benefactor of it.
It was very unique to look at that game and see how it played out because that game probably should have been a lot closer than what it was, if you just take away some of the things.
The thing about football is you don't take it away. The other team creates those things. The thing that I do know about those situations is those big plays, those things are certainly unacceptable, but they are definitely correctable as we look at it. It's not a personnel deal. It's down to us doing a better job, starting with me coaching, then starting with our coaches there doing a really good job of teaching and technically making sure we are trusting our technique. Then to our players doing a really nice job of trusting that technique and getting it done the way that it's supposed to be done 'cause you can trust it will work. You got to trust it.
When you free-lance, the ball finds you. So we got to eliminate that free-lancing from our repertoire, so to speak. I know our guys are embarrassed. They're also very prideful. They're a group that is resilient and they're ready to get back on that field. There's no panic here. We see what happened on the video. I think we're going to be able to move forward. We're looking forward to going on the road for our first road trip and coming up with a victory up there in Athens. Should be a great environment.
Let's take some questions.
Q. (Indiscernible) nothing in front of him surprised him any more. Anything but years of experience going to replace that? How do you replace it?
DAVID BEATY: It's a very good observation. Those two guys had played so much together. Even his junior year, there was a huge difference between that and his senior year, just a huge difference. He just didn't get his-self in as much trouble in his senior year as he did just with alignment and movements and disguises. I think that comes with the territory, comes with experience, right?
I know with each and every snap that our guys take, they'll continue to get better. I like our guys, I really like Bryce. I think he's going to be a really, really good football player. He made some mistakes the other day. But he's going to work hard to fix them. And he cares. Which is something you can build on. Derrick Neal, same way, Mike Lee, same way. Those guys care. But we've got to be better accurate executers is what we've got to be.
We're still a good football team. That's the thing I'm excited about. We're still a good football team. Nothing's changed. We're not panicking. We learned a lot. It stinks, but sometimes you learn that way.
Q. With Jesse Williams' connection to Ohio, how can that be helpful for you guys?
DAVID BEATY: Well, one way it hurts us: he recruited way too well on that D-line. They got some dudes over there. He did a good job. They left him some guys and they lost some guys that were pretty good. You got to feel like, you know, his experience, his familiarity, probably can help you a little bit.
At the end of the day I've always said I think you can pretty much yell across the field and it's still going to come down to who executes better. Tell them exactly what you're running, exactly what you're in defensively, it really still is going to come down to those one-on-one battles, who does it the best.
I know from a perception standpoint it's going to sound like or seem like that should give you a huge advantage. But Coach Solich is one of the finest coaches in the country. There will not be an advantage on Saturday when it comes to terminology or anything like that. I don't believe for a second that they're not going to change something. I don't believe that. Coach, I don't believe it. I know. He's a great football coach.
But they're going to do what they do. We're going to do what we do. Whoever does it better is going to be the benefactor.
Q. Schadler look like a guy who has more experience than he actually does at wide receiver?
DAVID BEATY: At times he does. There's still some things that as you go through the tape, you're like, Okay, he hasn't played that position yet. Just understanding how to stay outside of an overhang, how to keep his shoulders square at the top of a route, really make sure that you give a two-way move to a safety, things like that, instead of your shoulders being turned one way or the other.
He's getting better every week. He improved greatly this week from last week. One of the things we learned about Schad is he's a sprinter. He is a sprinter. Like most good sprinters, they do well in sprints. They don't do well in distance races. He's pretty similar to that. Plus he has that condition.
So when he's fresh, he's pretty good. When he's not, we have to get him out, get the next guy in, get him a little bit of a blow. That's when his mistakes tend to come, when he's a little tired, like most guys.
Q. In the off-season, do you ever have specific conversations with players about the road losing streak, potentially putting an end to it? How much is it brought up this week?
DAVID BEATY: Honestly, we do not. I don't think I've ever even given it a thought. Until you said it, I didn't even think about it.
But, hey, it's like any other streak: somebody's going to break it. Might as well be us. That's the way I look at it. Somebody is going to break it. Might as well be us, might as well be this week.
I am a firm believer that what happened before cannot help you this week. You can learn from it, but you're going to have to be prepared this week. I mean, you're going to learn from it, that's true. But the losing streak doesn't breed more losing. That's not what it is. You're either prepared and you play better than them or you don't.
Unfortunately, those runs just happen.
Q. Maybe veteran players might express their frustration about that to teammates or also share what they've learned from those defeats as they go into this first road game?
DAVID BEATY: Well, we do have really good veterans on our team. We don't have a ton of them. We're a fairly young team still. But the ones that have been here for a while, they are leaders, which is good.
The thing that they have been through is they've been through some adversity. They do kind of lead the way for us, so to speak, in that regard.
David Bailiff, dear friend of mine, head coach at Rice, my mentor. He said it for years: You win with seniors. Coach Bonamego, when I talked to him at the game, Y'all are young. You got a lot ahead of you, no doubt about it. He's right. He said, We got a bunch of seniors. They had a bunch of older guys on that team, which helps you. That doesn't mean you're going to win. But Coach Bailiff always said: You win with seniors. When we had seniors, we had pretty successful seasons because we had a lot of experience and guys could share their wealth of knowledge.
When it comes to how our guys, older guys like Jay, I'm pretty sure he's 37 years old, Joe, excuse me, he's been here forever and he still has another year left, which is great, I love it. But, I mean, he is a guy that they all look to for stuff like that.
Q. What are the challenges of preparing for an Ohio team (indiscernible)?
DAVID BEATY: I would say that's always a challenge. It would be a reason why you wouldn't say who is playing and who is not, because it does force you to prepare for two different types of guys. One of their guys is a very dynamic runner. He can throw it, too, but he's very dynamic. The other guy is a good runner. He's not as dynamic as the other guy. Those are two different types of game plans. When you watch the tape, it shows you two very different types of game plans.
I'm sure you'll talk to Coach Bowen on Thursday, he'll give you more insight into that. It certainly steals time away from focusing on one particular style. So it is a challenge, there's no doubt about it. They have two very capable guys. I know Jesse knows them. He knows -- just shared with us that both those guys are very well liked and loved in those locker rooms. Sounds like they're good leaders too. It is going to be a challenge no matter who is under center.
Q. Right side of your offensive line looked like it had particularly a rough game. Is that the way it looked to you on film?
DAVID BEATY: You know at times both those guys, Chris and Frazier, both of those guys, Antoine, had a couple of moments, right? But there were also some really good things that they did. Some of the things that they did was strain. Peyton had some time to throw the ball the other day. He held onto it for a good while. That doesn't happen without guys protecting well.
We gave up a sack on one. There was something that we could have done to get rid of the ball a little quicker that would have helped that.
We talk to our quarterbacks all the time about: Your job is to protect yourself. There's always a place to go with the ball. There's always a trapdoor to get out. As we look at the tape, 99% of the time if you go through your reads properly, your eyes start on the right side, there is an answer to it.
But those two guys, young guys, I've been really impressed with. I mean, you're talking about guys that have played, to me, older than they look. Those are two brand-new starters. We had four returning starters coming into the season, they beat two of them out.
We need to use more guys up front. We'd like to do that. We played a hundred plus plays. Most of those guys played 85, 90 plus plays. We have good enough players to be able to kind of spell them on occasion. We can do a better job coaching there.
But Antoine is going to be a really good football player. He just is kind of new at it. I thought 45 played a good game. Nice little toolbox of how you attacked Antoine. But Antoine kind of figured it out as he went through the game. Threw the ball 62 times, gave up two sacks. I'll take that. If you tell me that before the game, we're going to throw it 62 times, I'll take that. But I want the production coming out of the quarterback's hand to be better.
Q. You talked Saturday about wanting to see Peyton tuck it and run more. How do you convince a quarterback that is more of a pocket passer to take those opportunities?
DAVID BEATY: Well, I mean, it will be very simple. It already has started. It's not tuck it and run, it's understanding what defenses are doing to you. It's not just doing a science experiment, take it off and run it. It's not that simple. It's what tells you to run, right? When are you accounted for and when are you not? When you're not accounted for, it's three deep, five under man, there's three rushers, there's one guy that has no one accounting for him really in coverage or run, and that's a cue.
Understanding those looks is something you have to understand. That's what teams can give you problems with when they disguise and they don't show you what they're in.
I think as we got moving in the game, he started to understand that a little bit better. He is by nature a drop-back passer. Listen, I would much rather have it that way than the other way because he is tough. He sits in there and takes it now. But there's times where he's having to sit in there, and there's a reason why he's sitting in there: because the defense is giving you something else. We need to get five, six, let's go snap the ball again.
Q. Update on Steven Sims?
DAVID BEATY: We think that Steven is going to be available this week, which is good. He seems to be doing a lot better. I think that he'll be fine. I'll know a lot more today after we go through practice. He tried, he just couldn't get it done.
Isi is another one that got hurt in the game, Holani, the defensive tackle that we have. I'm not sure yet. We're still waiting on a solid prognosis on him. But I don't know that he'll be able to go this week. He may be unavailable. Based on just my talking with him today and seeing him, I don't know if he'll be available or not. Hopefully they make big jumps because we need everybody, we need them all.
Q. Are you happy with how you have responded to the adversity at this point in the week?
DAVID BEATY: We're obviously, like I said, disappointed. But the way these guys have responded has been really, really good to see. It's been inspiring for us as coaches because I'm not sure that we knew what we were going to walk into Sunday afternoon. I think we were all prepared for maybe even something a little different than what we got.
When we walked in, we saw some very determined faces, some guys that were ready and willing to get better. I hesitate to use this word because sometimes you say things like this and it gets plastered everywhere. I mean, they personally were embarrassed because they know they can be better and they will be better. That ain't a bad thing, to be embarrassed sometimes when things don't go right. You take full responsibility for your play when you're involved. Just the way it is.
I was really pleased with every single man and their demeanor, their look, eyes, body language, face, urgency to get back to the field and right their wrong. I was pleased with that.
Q. After the game you said you wanted to increase the offensive snaps. Where you pleased with the (indiscernible)?
DAVID BEATY: That one, it might be a little bit more than what we're looking for, particularly when you're putting up 27 points. We'd like to have more points obviously when you snap the ball that much.
But you don't really control it. You would think that somewhere between the 78 to 85 range is a pretty good range when you're scoring a bunch of points. But every game is kind of like a snow flake: it unfolds a different way. It's its own little entity. I know when I talked to Meach, he talks about 80 to 85 plays as kind of a little bit of a sweet spot for us.
It all depends on what your production is scoring-wise. We got to do a better job of scoring. We're kind of getting to a point where we're moving the ball between the 30s again, not being able to finish drives.
I know that Meach is going to be great this week because he's had two games and a two-game sample now of calling here. He's done such a good job, he really has. He's going to solve the thing. There's no doubt about it. He's learned so much about our personnel, I think it can only help him moving forward.
To me that's what these early non-conference games are for, is to prepare you for conference. But I think he's done a really nice job. Just listening to him coming out of this week and his remarks about where we're at, what we got to do better, understanding what the situation is that we're in, the things that we got to fix, it's been good to watch. Smart guy.
Q. (Question about College Station ties.)
DAVID BEATY: Not really. But we do have College Station ties. He's just such a quiet guy. I mean, he doesn't say a whole lot until he's trying to lead, then he does a good job with that.
Like I said, he's one of the hardest working guys I've ever been around, and that's high praise because there's some good ones. He just works his way into it. He is just one of those guys. I know he was honored, greatly honored the other night when his name was called for that award. It was pretty cool.
Q. Nine or 10 games since you have won the turnover battle on the road. You've emphasized ball security a lot. How do you put a stop to a streak like that?
DAVID BEATY: Well, I've said all the other things. I've already talked to you about every drill that could have been created, anything that's ever been done, we've done, and we've done it twice on Sunday. It's going to come down to each individual guy valuing ball security, valuing it.
I go back to a play, there's so many good things that Peyton Bender did. He stood in there and just got whacked by a corner blitz. He knew it was coming. He still put it in there. We made a great catch over there by Evan Fairs that got us down to the two yard line for one of our touchdowns. This guy does some really, really good things.
But I just go back to that second quarter interception. That's something that I'm going to expect him to handle better, right? Just understanding that where we're at in the game, how much time is up on the clock, because there was not much more than three minutes left on the clock there. You do not want to give them an opportunity. You don't throw a pick there. You don't take sacks. You just keep the ball moving forward. If things aren't there, you throw it away. You go to the next down, right?
That's something that each individual man is going to have to decide that, I'm going to do it exactly how we've been coached to do it. It's a lot more difficult than people think to keep that ball up high and tight. But it's a learned trait. When we toss them a pair of socks, they got to tuck it. Doesn't matter what we throw them, that thing better be tucked, wrist has to be above the elbow, back nose got to be covered, and that front nose ought to be gripped. That ball never comes away.
When we have technique things that we use, we've studied with the Cowboys, we've studied with the Rams, we've studied with Seattle. I mean, just everywhere we can go trying to prevent that, right? That's the death of you in a football program.
We just can't let it happen. We can't let it happen. You've got to keep working until you find a way to solve it.
Q. On the depth chart, Charles Baldwin isn't listed. Didn't play against Central Michigan. Is that punishment based or...
DAVID BEATY: No, he hasn't won those positions. Zach has come on playing really good for us. I would be shocked if Zach doesn't get some playing time, a little bit more playing time this week. He's a veteran guy. Started several games for Nebraska throughout his career. He's a local dude from Kansas City. The story there is Zach. It's Zach. It's not Charles. That's not the story.
One of these days we'll get off the fact that Charles came from Alabama. I mean, c'mon. That lasts for about two minutes, then it's about what you do, right? Nothing against Charles, but Zach has done a terrific job, you know. He's prepared himself. He's got himself in position.
Antoine just took the spot, flat took it. We can count on those guys. That's one of the biggest things when it comes to your quarterbacks, is making sure they got guys on the bookends they can count on. Does that make sense?
Q. How is it to rotate offensive linemen, bring fresh guys in, because usually you want to find guys up there that are going to be used to playing with each other, some kind of bond together?
DAVID BEATY: Right. I think to the naked eye, it probably is difficult. I know in the NFL, they dress six to seven linemen. That sixth and seventh guy, they're journeymen. They can play any position, right? I was on the sidelines of the championship game a couple years ago watching Denver and New England. I watched Kirk Ferentz' boy, who is a 6'2" guy, go in every other series for a different guy and spell a guy, right?
I think that was where I really kind of started understanding that there's how you do it without breaking the mold, I guess, that those guys share when they're playing together. You throw three or four guys in there together, you got a whole new dynamic, right? But when you slide one new guy in there for a series or two, it doesn't necessarily throw that mojo off, I guess, so to speak.
That was a good learning experience for me to see that. That's what I think we are going to continue to do, is trying to get those guys in the game a little bit more because we trust them. We think they can play. We think Toby can play. We think Malik Clark can play. We know Jayson Rhodes can play. He's already playing for us. We know Larry Hughes can play, Zach. Being able to slide those guys in maybe one at a time to help kind of spell those guys is something that we just got to do more of.
Q. (No microphone.)
DAVID BEATY: We've got a little bit of an advantage on the NFL because we can dress as many of those guys as we can fit, right, within the rules. Until you get into Big 12 play, you can dress unlimited. It's great. You're tied to 70 people when you're in Big 12 play.
We have an advantage. The NFL, it was really unique to see that. I started watching it as I watched games, seeing how many times that sixth or seventh guy, they're playing. If you're on the sideline in the NFL, you're going to be playing. There's only 48 or 49 guys actually dressed most of the time. I mean, they say 53-man roster.
The game I went to, they had to move one of their wide receivers to safety because they'd only dressed two safeties that day. One of their safeties got hurt in the AFC championship game. They had to move the kid from SMU, Sanders, over to play safety in the middle of the championship game.
There's such really cool things that go on in this league, they don't necessarily fit the college game, but we can learn a lot from them by understanding how to get more guys in the game.
Thanks a lot, y'all.
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