The Norman Transcript

National Sports

November 15, 2012

Jayhawks are finally competitive again

LAWRENCE, Kan. — One of the first goals for Charlie Weis was simply for Kansas to become competitive.

He inherited a program that had won just one conference game the previous two years, had won two games total the final season under Turner Gill, and had floundered to the bottom of the Big 12 five years after winning the Orange Bowl.

Weis wanted to see his team fight, and learn how to win again. And despite a 1-9 record with two games in his first year, the Jayhawks have at least accomplished that much.

“If you were an outsider looking in at KU football and you see our record at 1-9, you obviously wouldn’t think we are a very good team,” said senior offensive lineman Tanner Hawkinson, who is preparing for his final home game Saturday night against Iowa State.

Last week’s double-overtime loss to Texas Tech was the latest in a slew of one-possession losses that show — even if the program is not winning yet — that it may be turning the corner.

Kansas has lost five games this season by a touchdown or less. Hawkinson said team has a new attitude this season.

“I feel that it doesn’t show a lot of the heart we have on our team,” said Hawkinson, who has endured two coaching changes and just 13 wins in his career.

“It takes a lot of heart to have a lot of those close games and be able to come back the next week and go out to practice and work just as hard as we do,” he said, “and then going out there the next week and fighting till the end of every game.”

When Weis first started meeting alumni from around the state, he expressed to them his disappointment in the way Kansas was not competitive. Fans were slinking toward the exits before halftime because the Jayhawks were usually out of the game.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Tiger in the hunt after day one at Bridgestone

    AKRON, Ohio — Tiger Woods showed signs of a positive recovery Thursday at the Bridgestone Invitational. Not just from back surgery, but from making bogeys....

    August 1, 2014

  • Cardinals Red Sox Trade Cardinals land Lackey, shore up rotation

    BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox traded right-hander John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig before Thursday’s deadline....

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Defensive indefernce in Big-D as injury suffles front seven

    OXNARD, Calif. — Rookie pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence’s broken foot didn’t send the Dallas Cowboys scrambling because they’re already in rebuilding mode with their defensive line....

    August 1, 2014

  • Rams’ go with youth in secondary

    ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Rams secondary doesn’t have veteran leaders, high-dollar talent or big names. Those handling spots on the last line of defense are confident they won’t be a liability....

    August 1, 2014

  • Tigers go all in on Price

    DETROIT — When David Price was finally traded, it was to an unexpected bidder. The Detroit Tigers added another Cy Young Award winner to their star-studded rotation, acquiring Price from Tampa Bay in a blockbuster deal Thursday....

    August 1, 2014

  • Oakland lands Lester, Gomes in exchange for Cespedes

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics won the Jon Lester sweepstakes, acquiring the left-hander and outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Boston Red Sox for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes before Thursday’s trade deadline....

    August 1, 2014

  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014

  • Cowboys sign tackle Smith to 8-year extension

    OXNARD, Calif. — Tyron Smith has a new contract that will probably make him the most important blocker for the next Dallas quarterback after Tony Romo....

    July 31, 2014

  • Quarterback questions abound with big stars gone from SEC offenses

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Quarterback battles and signal-caller questions abound in the Southeastern Conference going into preseason camps around the league. Big names, not so much....

    July 31, 2014

  • Jones says Brent out of rehab, NFL question next

    OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says former defensive tackle Josh Brent is out of rehabilitation and could have his future with the NFL resolved before the team leaves training camp in California in two weeks....

    July 31, 2014