We reached out to Owen Kemp of RockChalkTalk to talk to us about the Kansas Football Program. Though we may always think of Kansas as a basketball school, they provide quality football content over on their site. We asked Owen about Turner Gill, the reaction after North Dakota State, and of course, the bar scene.[Update 11:40 AM: Here are our answers to RockChalk's Questions.]
What change has Turner Gill brought to Lawrence? Is KU a very reactive fanbase and how negative will the North Dakota State game affect what he is trying to do for the school?
The change that Turner Gill has brought is a positive, optimistic outlook. Unfortunately that didn't amount to a whole lot on Saturday and the NDSU loss certainly brought out the worst in Kansas fans. Right now it feels a little like the sky is falling for some of the fans, but if the Jayhawks can find a way to button things up and come out and compete, they'll likely forget.
The reality is that many fans knew this was a bit of a rebuilding year going in. Most would have put Kansas somewhere in the 4-8 to 6-6 range optimistically and while Saturday's loss makes it feel like an 0-12 season is on the horizon, things will balance out and if Kansas competes consistently that's all most are asking in year one.
The rest of the session after The Jump!
Georgia Tech has not traveled outside of the Southeast in a while (last was Notre Dame in 2007), so we know very little about the Kansas Jayhawks. Give us an overview of the defensive and offensive schemes.
Offensively Kansas is....well they like to...hmmmm? Honestly we have a one game sample and that sample was horrible. The Jayhawks run multiple sets ranging from your more traditional single back or I form under center to a shotgun spread look. Going forward, that could and should probably skew to a spread but Turner Gill has voiced his desire to establish a running attack and I don't expect he'll abandon it just yet...but he could be close.
Defensively Kansas looked good. They've place more emphasis on attacking with their defense, blitzing, press coverage and just working to be more disruptive by whatever means are necessary. The biggest concern going against Tech is that the Jayhawks front four didn't look great last week especially on the interior. They are a bit undersized and don't have much depth. Tech can exploit that and cause Kansas some problems with their offense without a doubt.
How scared were you when the Big12 was on the verge of realignment and you suddenly realized you weren't going to have a home?
Interestingly Kansas was tied to the Pac10 last minute and the Pac10 commish was actually scheduled to fly from Austin to KC to meet with KU officials a day before it was announced that the Big 12 was staying together. It's obviously all rumor but all signs were pointing to A&M heading to the SEC which meant the Pac10 was going to go after Kansas to fill that void. It might have been a best case for Kansas but staying in the Big 12 is safe for now as well.
The only other scenario that could have played out favorably included the Big East targeting Mizzou, K-State, ISU and Kansas. The move would have created a basketball power conference and the Big East would have been a 12 team football league. Geographically it would be a bit odd, but it's better than nothing. Either way it was a nervous time, but after Saturday Kansas certainly needs to work toward improving our argument for inclusion into any major football conference.
How are the Jayhawks preparing for Georgia Tech's Triple Option attack?
Kansas is stressing assignment football. The linebackers who might be more of a liability in the Big 12 because of their size in pass coverage, could actually prove to be a strength for Kansas in this game. The challenge and what will ultimately decide how well Kansas does at stopping Tech is going to be in how well the front four can manage to tie up the Tech offensive line. If things are too easy and Tech is getting to the second level and into the linebackers and secondary, Kansas will be in trouble.
There are a good number of folks traveling to the game, where is the nightlife in Lawrence?
The most popular stretch in town is Massachusetts Street. It's about a 6-7 block walk from the stadium and has an assortment of bars and restaurants to cover just about any scene. Head down there and you'll find something(photo after National Title game in '08) There are also a few "institutions" on or near campus including "The Wheel" or my personal favorite "Louise's West" it's a dive, but I like it.
Big thanks to Owen and all of RockChalkTalk for their time.